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Sociology Factsheet: 38. Sociological research: Secondary and Primary data

  • Sociology Factsheet: 38. Sociological research: Secondary and Primary data

Sociology Factsheet: 38. Sociological research: Secondary and Primary data

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  • Code: SOA-FSPI-038
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    What is primary data? What is secondary data?The aim of this Factsheet is to identify and analyse the use of secondary and primary data in Sociology, specifically:

    • the different ways of collecting secondary and primary data

    • the advantages and disadvantages of using both secondary

    and primary data in sociological research.

    Sociologists complete research to explore and gather evidence. There

    are two main reasons why sociologists conduct research:

    1. To build theories. Sociologists may have an idea about a topic/

    issue and will seek data to provide an explanation for why things are as they are.

    2. To test theories. Sociologists seek data in order to see if an idea/

    theory is true.

    In order to build or test theories sociologists need to collect data.They can do this in two ways – collecting and analysing data that already exists - secondary data or by collecting data themselves - primary data.