Introduction to Sociology course

Chapter 3. Sociological methods

The core aims of sociology, as we have seen in the first meeting, are to accurately describe social phenomena, to understand underlying social processes and to apply sociological knowledge. In order to fulfill these aims, sociologists conduct empirical research: they observe social reality. This lecture introduces you to sociological methods of observation. Three important things to ask are therefore: (1) which sociological research methods can you use? (2) how should you decide which method to use? and (3), which principles can help you in evaluating empirical evidence? In this meeting the aim is to answer these questions.


Ch. 3

Power Point slides


Test your knowledge

Further reading

Additional chapter resources

  • Videos/lectures:
    • What is the effect of smartphone use on education and learning outcomes? Check here and here.
    • On internal and external validity: watch this video.
    • On quantitative vs qualitative research methods: watch this video.
    • On surveys: check here.
  • Websites: