Introduction and Further Reading

  • Martin Bulmer


Social-survey research and secondary analysis of already available unobtrusive measures usually treat the problem of the interaction between the subject of research and the researcher as relatively unproblematical. In the large survey organisation for example the various tasks of the research are subdivided, and it is possibly only the interviewer who will interact with the person providing the data upon which the subsequent analysis will be developed. The interviewer himself or herself may have little sociological understanding, performing what is essentially a routinised and technical task for which training has been provided. Social-survey research can of course take a different form if it is carried out on a smaller scale by sociologists themselves. For example The Affluent Worker research involved all members of the team in the interview programme, and although it used paid interviewers these were given an extensive prior training in the concepts and rationale of this study of social stratification. Sociology graduate students assisted in the coding of the data on crucial open-ended questions.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1984

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  • Martin Bulmer

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