Advantages And Disadvantages Of Official Statistics In Sociological Research Essay

Established statistics are quantitative data produced by community and national government bodies, and can cover a wide range of behaviour including births, deaths, marriages and divorce, salary, crime, and work and leisure. Standard statistics may be produced as a by-product in the normal operation of a federal government department, but they can also derive from research designed specifically to develop them. Two main causes of official figures are the govt and its departments, and surveys. For example , government departments such as the Office at home and Education and Skills request; procedure and then submit information coming from organisations such as local taxes offices, cultural services and hospitals.

Among the a way to obtain surveys that produce established statistics may be the Office intended for National Stats, which is a government agency and is also responsible for obtaining and examining statistics. Every ten years this kind of agency conducts the Census of the Inhabitants, which covers every single household in the united kingdom. By law every single head of household need to complete a set of questions that includes family composition, enclosure occupation, travel and amusement. Official stats are used by sociologists because of the many advantages.

A main additionally is that official statistics tend to be compiled by data that can be gathered from a large sample size. Almost all sociologists may probably not find the money for to carry out such vast exploration. The size of the sample also tends to improve the representivity in the statistics. Additionally, they tend to become well prepared and designed when explored, so the criteria of sociological research could be met.

Recognized statistics are usually readily available and relatively inexpensive, thus sociologists can spend more time and money analysing data than collecting that. Statistics can also sometimes end up being the only source available for a particular topic, just like unemployment statistics. Another advantage is that statistics allow sociologists for making comparisons over time, as they are generally produced regularly, for example the Populace Census, which can be carried out every ten years. This is certainly similar to longitudinal studies, nevertheless the sample scale official record data is often much larger.

Looking at the above advantages, it would be easy to draw a conclusion that official statistics are in fact very useful as a supply of data, however there are also significant disadvantages to official statistics. Official stats are not often produced in a handy form, thus, making them harder for a sociologist to analyse and draw any kind of trends and patterns coming from. Another drawback is that figures do not often measure the actual intend to measure. For example the Home Office Crime Rates Stats do not take into account the fact that only a few crime can be reported.

This can decrease the representivity of the data. Another factor which should be considered the moment interpreting official statistics is that because established statistics are often produced by the government, they may be politically biased, for example to show that their policies are having the predicted impact. A well-known example of this is that the method of collecting unemployment figures has changed frequently, which gives the look that the unemployment rate that falling. By these drawbacks it would appear that though statistics can be extremely enlightening and useful, there are numerous pitfalls, which in turn cannot regularly be avoided.

Positivists view recognized statistics as a potentially valuable source of quantitative data; nevertheless they do recognize that figures have many faults. They often agree that statistics can provide measures of behaviour that can be used to investigate likely ’cause and effect’ human relationships. However Interpretivists, in particular ethnomethodologists and phenomethodologists, reject the application of official figures for calculating or identifying certain actions of which they refer to.

Cicourel and Atkinson believe that statistics are the items of symbolism, which are presumptions of those who construct these people. However , even though think that recognized statistics are not social details, but social constructs, that is not mean they can be not of sociological fascination. Phenomenologists think that they can be analyzed in order to discover that they are produced. Cicourel declared this is the simply use of recognized statistics, to some extent because every statistics involve classifying items, when this kind of decisions actually are subjective.

When assessing this kind of view, it seems like it can not be applied to all kinds of official stats, especially those relating to data on age and gender. However may well be substantial room to get interpretation when considering whether, for instance , a sudden loss of life is suicide, there is fewer room to get interpretation when ever deciding whether someone is male or female. Discord theories including marxist and feminist theory, argue that standard statistics will be neither hard facts or perhaps subjective connotations.

Instead consider they incorporate information which can be systematically distorted by the effective institutions in society. Even though the statistics are certainly not complete effects, they are altered through the definitions and procedures used to gather the data, so they really tend to prefer the interests of the wealthy and powerful. One example on this is the declare by Bea and Robin Oakley that official figures are sexist.

They have pointed out that in eighty-percent of circumstances a man is identified as the head in the household, and this women engaged in housework or perhaps unpaid domestic labour are defined as financially inactive, in spite of the contribution which usually housework makes to the economic climate. These theories suggest that standard statistics aren’t particularly useful in presenting a legitimate picture of an area of world. Compared to additional methods of collecting data, established statistics can be both excellent and second-rate.

As a extra source of info official figures come all set coded and presented, which may be hard to do with a data, specifically qualitative. Nevertheless this classified data is probably not categorised inside the exact method a sociologist might prefer it, which means this is a distinct disadvantage. Just like questionnaires and social online surveys, official figures produce quantitative data, can generally cover a fairly large sample size, and are also pre-coded. Again, like forms and social surveys, the info can be altered to support or reject a hypothesis; for example by the way the info is collected and classified. Official statistics are generally not an in-depth profile of the sample being investigated, unlike strategies such as participator observation and longitudinal studies.

However because these research are more complex, they also tend to have a smaller sample size than statistical data. To conclude, apparently although there are many benefits to using standard statistics as being a source of info, they must be treated with caution, keeping in mind the social processes involved in their collection. Although some see statistics as social buildings rather than sociable facts, official statistics perform often supply a unique chance for sociologists to get data the entire population.

This may otherwise always be far too expensive and labor intensive for a sociologist to collect themselves.

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