The do classes has several consequences. One of them is that one is faced with things that, maybe you already knew, but there are a lot more patents to have the front students.
Now that I’m doing classes of methodology in a career in sociology, I faced one of them. The idea of course is that the methodology you learn to walk, and therefore the course is organized around the conduct of an investigation. And as the course is of quantitative methodology, then the research requires quantification.
And how it was read, the demand of quantification? How a requirement of the survey. All the proposals were as part of the quantitative conduct a survey (and usually a survey of attitudes). The comments that we made in class about the quantitative methodology cannot be reduced to surveys, but includes other types of sources, apparently were not heard or did not seem relevant.
And that is something that I find deeply troubling. Because quantitative methodology is not surveys. In fact, the surveys (and in particular, of the attitudes) are nothing more than a little bastard to quantify subjective aspects that, in reality, are best studied with qualitative methodologies. And it is not that sociology has as its only method and as a single subject of things that can be better studied if you are asked to think people. The observation can be quantified, can be used to analyze behaviors, whether it be some that are recorded by the nature of the action -such as voting – or of those who may wonder -as time use. That is, the quantitative is not merely to go and ask something to someone.
But it seems that all those possibilities are never think, and we have reduced the field of quantitative (and given the strength and apparent ‘scientificity’ of the quantitative, sociology) to surveys of attitude: what You think about X? Do you like And? And that does not cease to be regrettable.
In fact, but this is more my personal prejudice, to any question of real interest to sociological, never will be the method to ask people for their opinion the most appropriate method.