Social Survey

Essay by chloewalker97High School, 12th gradeA, September 2014

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Social Survey Essay

A social survey can be either a questionnaire or a structured interview, or in some cases the researcher may use both. For a piece of research to be considered a "social survey" it has to be macro scale, for example the samples taken within the research has to be within hundreds to thousands of people. The difference between a questionnaire and an unstructured interview is the fact that in an unstructured interview, the interviewer is always present. Whereas with a questionnaire, the researcher is not.

Both questionnaires and structured interviews can be valid, as they tend to include mostly open questions which provides qualitative data, because of this, despite the methods not being popular among Interpretivists, they would use them, as both methods allow people to give a detailed and meaningful answer. Also, as both methods can be anonymous and confidential, people are more likely to be honest.

A difference between questionnaires and structured interviews within validity is that structured interviews have the capability to be more valid, as they provide clarification so there is no possibility that the sample may misunderstand the questions. In some cases both methods may be invalid, as with both it is hard to check honesty. An example of an invalid questionnaire is the BCS, as there is no clarification and elaborated language is used throughout, many people may misunderstand, therefore leading them to be dishonest when giving their responses. Another reason the BCS may be invalid is closed questions, as it does not allow the sample to give their full opinion, because of this Interpretivists would not use this particular questionnaire for their research. Another reason for questionnaires being inappropriate for interpretivists is their limitation of social interaction, which disallows Interpretivists to achieve Verstehen. Structured interviews may also be invalid...