Social Barometer

  5. Social Change and the Development of Sociology
  6. Social factors

A great part of sociological research consists of quantitative experimenting. The system of techniques used for that purpose is that of statistical methods. These methods are necessary to examine the data, analyse them and draw certain conclusions. The results of the sociological survey are published then.

Sociological research is usually conducted by a working group under the supervision of the leading sociologists of the All-Ukrainian Centre for the Study of Public Opinion. The public opinion poll is a criterion of the current social life within the society. It is the so-called social barometer of the country. In fact our fast-moving life makes it necessary to analyse things. So it is useful to examine the results of sociological surveys.

The public opinion poll is carried out nationwide or in some definite regions, cities, institutions. It may be verbal in the form of an interview. But more often the opinion poll is conducted by means of tests or questionnaires. The questionnaires contain some items to be chosen by the subjects. In other cases the questionnaires present a set of questions to be answered by the respondents in their individual way. The respondents may express their own opinions verbally or in writing. The assessments may be optimistic, pessimistic, dramatic, positive, negative. They expose and reassess our ideals and values.

The polls are very popular nowadays throughout the country. In general, they are directed to assess current social and political situation, political figures, the most important events, economic perspectives, our lossesandgains and so on. All data are given in percentages.

II. Answer the following questions:

1. What methods are the basic tools in everysociological research?

2. Who conducts sociological research?

3. What is considered to be a social barometer?

4. Where is the public opinion poll carriedout?

5. In what form may it be conducted?

6. What are the questionnaires like?

7. How do the respondents express theiropinions?

8. What do assessments expose?

9. What is the aim of the polls?

10. How is all data given?

III. Ask your groupmate:

- why the statisticalmethods are used for the sociological survey;

- under whose supervision sociological research is conducted;

- why it is useful to conduct a public opinion poll;

- by what means the poll is carried out;

- who the respondents are;

- if the polls are popular in this country.

IV. Find in the text the facts to prove that:

1. Statistical methods are a usefultool in sociologicalresearch.

2. Public opinion poll is a social barometer.

3. It is carried out in different forms.

4. The respondents may react differently.

V. Divide the text into four logical parts.

VI. Speak on the main points of the text.

VII. Discuss in the group the following problems:

1. Opinion polls are useful and necessary.

2. They reflect the true picture of the situation.

3. You would like to carry out such a poll.

4. You would like to act as a respondent.

VIII Try to make up your own questionnaire and offer it to your groupmates.

IX. Look through the fresh newspapers and find there some information on the latest polls. Be ready to comment on it.

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WORD STUDY | Sociological Theory | Social Change and the Development of Sociology | WORD STUDY | Theoretical Paradigms | Experiments. | Questionnaires and Interviews | WORD STUDY | The Structure of Social Interaction | Social Structure and Individuality |

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