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Culture in Social Research

Looking at research from a cultural perspective, I have to identify and describe instances when a particular research methodology "quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method"might work best with a specific population and when it might be problematic. As examples, when working with a physically impaired population in a qualitative research project, one might need to provide special physical accommodation to enable research subjects to complete desired tasks. For a mentally challenged population, one might need to consider the comprehension level of research subjects when designing a study. The project requires that I evaluate different approaches for dealing with diverse sample populations when designing a research project. Some specific populations to examine might include minorities, homeless people, mentally challenged people, developmentally challenged people, or people with alternate lifestyles. In addition, reflective beliefs and bias may impact research and professional practice and should be addressed in the project. I have begun the project but a comparison would help to insure that I am approaching this in the right aspect.

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Dear Student,
Hi. The solution below should get you started. What you are being asked here is to prove your knowledge of the research process in doing social work. As such, the point is not quantity but the quality of ideas. I struggled whether to focus on examples or thicken on theories but what is important is a presentation of opinion backed up by what you can prove or raise from your own experience. As with all Brainmass solutions, this is just an example. You can add your ideas in your final paper. If you have any questions, just let me know via the feedback section. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Culture in Social Research

Why is culture an important element in social research? Culture are those traditions, practices, norms, values, belief systems, languages and shared histories that make a group of people a community, a society. Culture happens because of people, because of their social interactions. It is a product of human beings and their need of others, of survival as individuals and groups. Culture happens because we communicate, because we need to relate. As such, any kind of social research must take account of culture. Looking at research then from a cultural perspective means designing and approaching that particular research by taking account of the cultural elements of that particular individual or social group you are to study. In so doing, one will be able to account for context. Below, I am looking at some research methods and their cultural applicability.

Social Research Methods & their Applicability

Research in the social sciences is divided into 2 main approaches - quantitative research - one that seeks to measure and qualitative research - one that seeks to delve into details and to tell the human story. Scientists however have come to realize that while the epistemological leanings are a bit different, it is possible to combine the two to give a much fuller picture of any social research effort - a quantitative approach to measure given more depth by a qualitative component - we call this mixed-methods. How does one determine which method to use? This depends on the aims of the researcher, the nature of the research, the limitations as well as a host of other factors. A research can be long or short, extensive or limited depending on resources. What is important before a scientist or a researcher goes on to undertake a research and chooses a method and puts together a design is that the researcher has come up with a hypothesis and philosophies and perspectives that he/she can use in the research. It becomes the guiding principle that informs the path the research takes. Take for example ...

Solution Summary

The importance of culture in social research is discussed in this solution; in particular the need to use a cultural perspective is exemplified as it applies to studying diverse populations in social research following quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method approaches. References are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version of the solution is also attached.