We need to consider the types of question we need to ask. Factual questions give us information about what, who and how. The next step is to ask ‘How usual is this?’ – in other words to ask comparative questions about the situation in other countries or in different types of system. A different type of comparison is the one undertaken over time rather than across space. Such an approach involves developmental questions. Empirical and theoretical questions both have their place. Sociological research can be said to be scientific because it has a systematic method, it undertakes empirical investigation and data analysis, involves theoretical thinking and depends on logical assessment of arguments. The research process works in the following way. It starts from a problem, whether in the shape of a knowledge gap, or perhaps a puzzle or a lack of understanding. This is then followed up with a systematic review of existing studies in order to identify possible insights and omissions. At the third stage the research problem is honed
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY Sociology taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Open Uni..