Introduction: Methods in Sociology
The sociological method is the scientific steps applied by researchers
in the context of sociological research. The sociological method describes the position of the discipline of sociology as a methodology.
Step 1: Methods in Sociology
Basically there are two types of work methods or methods, namely qualitative methods and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods give priority to materials that are difficult to measure with numbers or other exact measurements, even though these materials are evident in society. The qualitative method includes the historical method and the comparative method which are both combined to become a historical-comparative. The historical method uses analysis of events in the past to formulate general principles. A sociologist who wants to investigate the consequences of revolution (in general) will use historical materials to examine the important revolutions that occurred in the past
The comparative method emphasizes the comparison between various societies and their fields, to obtain differences and similarities and their causes. These differences and similarities are aimed at obtaining clues about the past and present behavior of society, and also regarding societies that have different or the same level of civilization. The case study method aims to deeply study one of the real phenomena in people's lives. Case studies can be used to examine a situation, group, local community, institutions and individuals. The basis is that the study of a particular problem which is a general symptom of other problems can produce general arguments. The tools used by the case study method include interviews, questionnaires, schedules, participant observer technique, and others. Interview technique is often used when important data from other communities are needed. The interview technique can be carried out in an unorganized and structured manner. In the first, the investigator hands over the conversation to the person being interviewed, while in the latter, the investigator leads the conversation. In using this technique, the investigator must be aware that what is said by the interview is more or less affected by his or her presence. On the technique questionnaires, the questions that will be asked have been made. The technique is almost the same as a schedule, where interviews are carried out through a list of pre-arranged questions.
In the Participant Observer Technique, the investigator takes part in the daily lives of the social group he is investigating. In this case, the investigator will try his best not to influence the patterns of life of the people he is investigating. This qualitative method in German terms can be called a method based on verstehen (meaning understanding).
The quantitative method prioritizes explanatory materials with numbers, so that the symptoms under study can be measured by using scales, indexes, tables and formulas, all of which at least use exact science or mathematics. Which includes the type of quantitative method is a statistical method which aims to examine social phenomena mathematically. Recently, a technique called sociometry has been produced which attempts to examine society quantitatively. Sociometry uses scales and numbers to study the relationships between people in society. So Sociometry is a collection of concepts and methods that aim to describe and examine the relationships between humans in society quantitatively.
Apart from the above methods, other sociological methods are based on the explanation between the inductive method which studies a specific phenomenon in order to obtain rules that apply in a wider field, and the deductive method which uses the opposite process, namely starting with the rules. rules that are considered generally accepted for later study in special circumstances.
Almost the same, but essentially different is the classification of sociological methods into the kind of empirical method which relies on conditions which are clearly found in society, and the type of rationalistic method which prioritizes thinking with logic and common sense to achieve an understanding of societal problems. The empirical method in modern sociology is realized by research, namely a way of studying a problem systematically and intensively to gain more knowledge about the problem. Research can be basic or applied. Basic research is research that aims to obtain more knowledge from knowledge, while applied research is aimed at the practical use of knowledge. The rationalistic method was widely used in the past, there is still functionalism by sociology scholars in Europe.
Finally, sociology also often uses the method of functionalism. In brief, it can be explained that the functionalism method aims to examine the usefulness of social institutions and social structures in society. This method holds the main position that the elements that make up society have a reciprocal relationship that influences each other; each of them has its own function towards society. In the field of anthropology, this method was popularized by Bronislaw Malinowski and A.R. Radcliffe Brown, while sociology scholars who carry out a functional approach to society include Talcott Persons and Robert K. Merton.
Sociological methods mentioned above, are complementary and sociologists often use more than one method to investigate the object. Except for the methods mentioned above, each science and also sociology has its tools called concepts for analyzing problems contained in its field, in particular, for sociology, namely society.