1.0 Conceptualization of Key Terms
Sociology can be defined as the systematic study of human
society and social interaction. It can also be defined as a systematic study of
social behavior in human groups. Sociology focuses primarily on the influence
of social relationship on peoples’ attitudes and behavior and on how societies
are established and changed. It helps us understand the structure and dynamics
of a society and their complex connections to patterns of human behavior and
individual life changes. The components of sociology are culture, society’s
structure, mobility of society, politics and ideology.
Society can be defined as a large social group of people that
share the same geographical territory and are subject to the same political
authority and dominant cultural expectations.
According to Aggrawal (), the concept of education is like a
diamond which appears of different colours when seen from different angles.
Dewey, J (1859 1952) defines education as the development of
all those capacities in the individual which enable him/her to control his/her
environment and fulfil his/her responsibilities. It is aimed at increasing
social efficiency.
Thomson (n.d) defines education as the influence of the
environment upon the individual to produce a permanent change in his habits of
behaviour, of thought and of his attitude. Education facilitates the task of
adaptation of the child to his/her environment.
According to Ottaway (n.d), sociology of education is the
study of the relationships between education and society. It can also be
defined as the study of how public institutions and individuals experiences
affect education and its outcomes. It is most concerned with public schooling
systems of the modern society including expansion of educational opportunities.
Education is perceived as the place where children develop their unique
potentials related to human nature. Sociology of education deals with what goes
on in schools and classrooms in relation to the wider society. The systematic
sociology of education began with Emile Durkheim’s work on moral education as
the basis for organic solidarity. Educational sociology is concerned with the
relationship between the society and the learning process. It explains how
education influences changes in a society.
1.2 The Social Sciences and their Socio- historical
Antecedents of Sociology/ Historical Origins of Sociology
1.2.1 August Comte (1798 – 1857)
 He is a French philosopher.
 He is considered to be the father of sociology.
 He defined sociology as a fact and programme of the science
of society.
 He believed that theoretical science of the society and
systematic investigation of behaviour are needed to improve society.
 He coined the term sociology to apply to the science of
human behaviour.
 In his hierarchy of sciences, sociology was at the top and
he called it the queen and its practitioners scientists.
 He emphasized that the study of society must be scientific
and he urged sociologists to use systematic observation, experimentation and
comparative historical analysis as their methods of investigation.
 He divided the study of society into two groups which are social
statics and social dynamics.
Social Statics
These are aspects of social life that have to do with order
and stability and that allow societies to hold together and endure. It is the
unchanging nature of the society which tries to maintain the social
Social Dynamics
Refer to those aspects of social life that have to do with
social change and that which pattern the institutional development. They are
elements of change in a society. They are observable and manifested cause of
change in a society. They can explain conflicts and crises that the society
1.2.2 Harriet Martineau (1802 – 1876)
 She is the British philosopher.
 Like Comte, she insisted that the study of society
represents a separate scientific field.
 She translated large works of Comte into English.
 She contributed to insightful customs and social practices
of her nation England and the United States of America.
 She formulated a comparative method for studying societies
and analysed the new American culture b measuring it against stated principles.
 She facilitated the introduction of sociology and
positivism into the United States of America.
1.2.3 Emile Durkheim (1857 – 1917)
 He is a French sociologist.
 He conducted a research on suicide.
 He argued that the behaviour must be understood within a
larger social context.
 His major concern was to discover values and principles
that guide or govern the conduct of education on secular basis.
 He focused on how societies hold together and endure.
For him, social integration is
necessary for the maintenance of the social order and for the happiness of
 He suggested that happiness depends on individual finding a
sense of meaning outside them that occurs within the context of group involvement.
 Destruction of social bond has always negative impacts and
can lead individuals to commit suicide.
 He concentrated much on educational acts of teaching and
learning where his concept was social solidarity.
 He defined social evolution in terms of progression from
mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity.
Mechanical Solidarity
It is a kind of solidarity in which the society’s cohesion
and integration comes from the homogeneity of individuals. People feel
connected through similar tasks, educational and religious training and
lifestyle. It operates in traditional and small scale societies like tribe or a
family. People develop a sense of oneness because they are alike i.e it is
based on resemblance. It is characterised by little interdependence (weak
social bonds), relatively low population and relatively low volume of material and
moral density.
Organic Solidarity
It is a social cohesion or integration fostered by the
interdependence among people. It comes from the interdependence that arises
from specialization of work and the complementarities between people; a
development that occurs in modern and industrial societies. It is a social
cohesion based upon the dependence the individuals have on each other in more
advanced societies. eg. Farmers produce food to feed the factory workers who
produce tractors that allow the farmers to produce food.
It is based on
division of labour in more advanced societies. It is characterised by
relatively high volume of population and relatively high materials and moral
1.2.4 Herbert
Spencer (1820 – 1903)
 He is an English sociologist.
 He viewed society as having important similarities with a
biological organism and depicted it as a system – a whole made up of
interrelated parts. Just as the human body is made up of organs like kidneys,
lungs and heart, so the society is made up of institutions like family,
religion, state, school and others.
 He applied the concept of the survival of the fittest to
the social world, an approach called Social Darwinism.
 With Social Darwinism, he sought to demonstrate that
government should not interfere with the natural process going on in a society.
Only in this manner would people who are fit survive and those who were unfit
die out. If this principle is applied, human beings, plants, and animals
would progressively adapt themselves to their environment and reach higher
levels of historical development.
 His Darwinist outlook suggests that the ideas we hold about
ourselves and the universe are shaped by the social age in which we live.
 He observed similarities between biological organism and
social organism in the following ways:
o Both societies and organisms are distinguished from inorganic
matter by visible growth – a child grows up to a man, a small community becomes
a great city, a small state and an empire.
o Both social and biological organisms grow in size and this
growth is accomplished by increasing complexity of structure.
o In both social and biological organism, there is an
interdependence of parts. The progressive differentiation in both is
accomplished by progressive differentiation of functions.
o In both social and biological organisms, the differentiation
of structure is followed by a similar differentiation of function.
o The life of a society like the life of an organism is far
larger than the life of any of the units of parts.
1.2.5 Max Weber
(1864 – 1920)
 He is a German sociologist.
 He believed that sociologists can derive an understanding
of their subject in a manner that is unavailable to chemists and physicists.
 He contended that a crucial aspect of the sociological
enterprise is the study of the intentions, values, beliefs and attitudes that
underlie people’s behaviour.
 Sociologists should examine the definitions people use in
shaping their behaviour.
 He developed and ideal type model that serve as a
measuring rod against which actual cases can be evaluated. It is a tool that
allows sociologists to generalize and simplify data by ignoring minor
differences in order to accentuate the major similarities.
 He insisted on a value free sociology meaning that
sociologists must not allow their personal biases to affect the conduct of
scientific research.
 He observed that objectivity is not neutrality.
By neutrality, he meant that a person does not take sides on an issue.
Objectivity, on the other side, has to do with the pursuit of scientifically
verifiable knowledge.
1.2.6 Karl Max (1818 – 1883)
 He viewed society not only as a vehicle for understanding
society but also for transforming it.
 He believed that society is divided into those who own the
means of producing wealth and those who do not. This gave rise into class
 He viewed this system in a systematic term that is on the
way the entire system of economic, social and political relationships maintain
the power and dominance of the owners over the workers.
 Influenced by Georg Hegel (1770 – 1831), he adapted
the perspective of Dialectical Materialism – the notion that development
depends on the clash of contradictions and the creation of new and more
advanced structures out of such clashes.
He argues that in every society,
economic and social order grow to a state of maximum efficiency at the same
time it develops internal contradictions or weaknesses that contribute to its
decay. In the same manner, society is propelled from one historical stage to
another as each new order triumphs over the old. For example, slavery was
displaced by feudalism, feudalism was displaced by capitalism, capitalism was
displaced by socialism and ultimately socialism by communism (the highest stage
of society).
1.3 Theories of Social Change and Societal Development
1.3.1 Conceptualizations Theory
According to Kerling (1986), a theory is a set of
interrelated constructs/concepts, definitions and propositions that present a
systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables with the
purpose of explaining or predicting a phenomenon. It is any generalisation
concerning a phenomenon that scientifically deals with methods of a discipline.
It is a presupposition to explain facts and methods of a discipline. Theorem
A theorem is a statement showing that something is true. It
is a factual statement of what always happen in a certain circumstance with
certain amount of irregularity with nature. For example, a
Pythagoras/Pythagorean theorem states that in any right angled triangle, the
area of the square whose sides is the hypotenuse(the area opposite the right
angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares whose sides are the two
legs (the two sides that meet at a right angle).
a2 + b2 = c2 Principle
A principle is a fundamental truth or proposition that serves
as the foundation for a system or behaviour or a chain of reasoning. It is
based on basic truth. It is a general law of cause and effect. It is a guiding
rule of behaviour. It is a rule that has to be followed. For example,
Archimedes principle states that the upward buoyant force exerted on a body
immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid the body displaces. Law
A law is a factual statement with regard to certain
regularities. For example, the law of floatation states that a floating body
displaces its own weight of the fluid in which it floats. Social Change
Social change is a set of variation or modification in any
social form and such variation is usually dichotomous. It might be progressive
or retrogressive, permanent or temporary, planned or unplanned, intended or
unintended, unidirectional or multidirectional, beneficial or harmful. Any
society is in constant change. Verification of change is done by the assistance
of the theory since there are different manners and approaches of change with
different results and directions. Societies pass through different stages in
their life. The stages through which societies pass differ from one scholar or
perspective to the other. The following are some of scholars who tried to
establish stages through which societies pass.
August Comte
(1798 – 1857)
According to him change may be evolutionary or revolutionary.
According to him, a society undergoes a three mentally conceived stages of
social change called law of three stages.
a) Theological/Primitive Stage
At this stage, people were inanimate since they mostly feared
physical objects. Man believed that all the phenomena of nature are the
creation of the divine or supernatural. Men and children failed to discover the
natural causes of various phenomena and hence attributed them to supernatural
or divine power. The theological stage is divided into three parts:
i. Fetishism
Fetishism is a primary stage of the theological stage of
thinking. The primitive people had a belief that inanimate objects had a living
spirit in them. That is why this stage is sometimes referred to as animism.
People worshiped inanimate objects like stones and trees.
ii. Polytheism
Polytheism is an account on the existence of many gods.
Primitive people believed that each natural force is controlled by different
gods like god of rain, god of water, god of air, god of death, and god of
iii. Monotheism
At monotheism stage, people believed in one God. Therefore,
they attributed all phenomena to a single supreme deity.
b) Metaphysical Stage
This was a transitional stage where people were changing from
inanimate to animate beliefs e.g believing in witchcraft. The people believed
that God is an abstract being who guides and determines the events in the
c) Positivity/Scientific Stage
It is the stage grounded in scientific explanations based on
observation and experiment. Societies began to be governed by rules and
principles. During this stage, people tried to
establish cause and
effect kind of relationship. This stage looks at the world intellectually. It
puts emphasis on observation and classification of data and facts.
Lewis Morgan
According to him, societies pass through three phases.
a) Savagery Stage
At this stage, a human being was cruel, violent and animal
like. He was very brutal.
b) Barbarism Stage
At this stage, man was uneducated and socially backward. He
was uncivilized.
c) Civilization Stage
At this stage, man was well organized. There were developed
societies with comfortable life.
Karl Max (1818 – 1883)
He believed that society developed through a series of
contradictions. According to him, societies developed through:
i. Primitive
ii. Slavery
iii. Feudalism
iv. Capitalism
v. Socialism
vi. Communism
Charles Darwin
He argued that social change is both evolutionary and revolutionary.
He put forward the following major assumptions:
i. The Law of Natural Selection
Natural selection is the process by which environmental
effects leads to varying degrees of reproductive success among individuals of a
population of organisms with different hereditary characters or traits. The
traits that inhibit reproductive success decrease in frequency from generation
to generation.
ii. Principle of Adaptation
It asserts that environmental changes may force organisms to
develop adaptation mechanisms. The principle suggested that in Great Britain,
for example, the giraffe evolved from their ancestors with short neck surviving
on bushes and short grasses. Long necks developed gradually due to changes on
environment when they started feeding on tall trees and grasses.
iii. The Principle of the Struggle for Existence
According to Darwin, struggle for existence is crucial when
organisms produce many offspring than the available resources can support. As a
result, competition for the resources is inevitable although it is likely to
favour the stronger against the weak in the struggle for survival for the
iv. The Law of Variation
The law of variation asserts that all populations contain
some variations in traits. In interbreeding populations, genes are randomly
shuffled among members of the population through sexual reproduction – the
process that produces genetically unique offspring. This brings genetic diversity/variation
and the greater a population’s genetic diversity the more likely it is to
evolve specific traits that enable it to adapt to new environmental pressures
such as climate change and disease.
1.3.2 Theories of Social Change and Societal Development
This subsection presents different theories which explain
issues related to social change. It covers economic theory, cultural theory and
technological theory. Economic Theory
The economic theory assumes that changes in economic structures
are the prime movers of social change. In other words, changes in economic
systems trigger changes in the society. The economic theory is attributed to
historical materialism by Karl Max. In view of this theory, Karl Max holds
 History is the series of contradictions. It is these
contradictions in economic structure that subsequently lead to changes in the
Conflict is necessary for social
change and better society.
 Economic infrastructure is the result of change of
economic forces
and change of social relations. These two
changes lead to different modes of production which explain social changes.
 The changes include legal system, ideology, and
socialization process which all explain the social structure.
 There are phases through which any society develops.
According to him, these phases are Primitive communalism, slavery,
feudalism, capitalism, socialism and communism.
The contradictions in
one phase lead to its decay and emergency of the subsequent one.
 According to Karl Max, education is the tool of those who
have power against those without power.
Walter Rostow
 He developed Karl Max’s theory and agreed with him that
changes in the society are inevitable. They are the result of struggles and
contradictions between the two major camps of the haves and have
 According to him, stages of social development include:
i. Pre industrial
Society (Traditional Society)

 At this stage, an
economy of a society has a limited production function.

 The members of the
society produce minimum level of potential output.

 There exist
technological innovations but on ad hoc basis. Lacking science and technology,
such innovations spread slowly and inconsistently and is sometimes lost.

 Trade is predominantly
regional and local largely done through batter system and the monetary system
is not developed.

ii. Pre condition to take off Society
 The economy undergoes a process of change and lays a
foundation for its growth and takes off.

At this stage, there is no need for
change in socio political structure because the economy is not deeply caught up
in traditional, social and political structures.

 There is a shift from agrarian to industrial economy.
 Trade and other commercial activities expand not only to
neighbouring areas but also for flung regions creating international markets.

iii. Take Off
 There is dynamic economic growth fostered by political and
technological change.

 There is a rapid and sustained economic growth.
 Take off occurs when a society is driven more by economic
processes rather than traditions.

 Norms of economic growth are well established and growth
becomes a nation’s vision and shared goal.

 According to Rostow, there three requirements for take off:
o The rate of productive investment should rise from 5% to over
10% of national income or net national product.

o The development of one or more substantial manufacturing
sectors with a high level of growth.

o The existence or quick emergency of political, social and
manufacturing framework which exploits the impulses to the expansion of the
modern sector and the potential external economy effects of the take off i.e
the needed capital is mobilized from domestic resources and is steered into the
economy and not into domestic or state consumption.

 Industrialization becomes necessary.
 A society, at this stage, is characterised by the existence
of enlarged and sustained demand for the product of key sectors.

 There is introduction of new productive technologies and

 The society increases the capacity to generate or earn
enough capital to complete the take off transaction.

 Activities in the key sectors induce a chain of growth in
other sectors of the economy.
iv. Drive to Maturity.
 It is a period when a society has effectively applied the
range of modern technology to the bulk of its resources.
 The growing economy triggers needs for the expansion of
modern science and technology.
 The leading sectors in an economy are determined by not
only technology but also available resources.
v. The Age of High Mass Consumption
 It is the period of comfort.
 Consumers concentrate on durable goods.
 Rostow viewed education as a tool in a society that help it
achieve better services i.e it is not in conflict terms as argued by Karl Max. Cultural Theory
According to this theory, culture is the prime mover of
social changes. Changes in culture trigger changes in a society. The cultural
theory is divided into three theories which include diffusion of
innovation theory, internal evolution of ideas theory
, and a core
– periphery value interchange theory. Diffusion of Innovation Theory
 It is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what
rate the new ideas and technologies spread through cultures.
 It was propounded by Everett Rogers in 1962.
 Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is
communicated through certain channels over time among the members of the social
 The elements that influence the spread of ideas include
innovation, communication channels, exploration, military conquest, tourism,
internet, and missionary works.
The theory assumes that innovation
and changes in a society are always exogenous i.e are due to external
influences. For example it is mistakenly believed that culture and civilization
in Africa came from outside the continent.
 All practices and values in the society are imported from
outside. Internal Cultural Evolution of Ideas Theory
 According to this theory, all changes in the society result
from long time experiences practised in the society.
 Any society, given the internal forces and experiences, is
capable of influencing its cultures or changes.
 Scholars in this theory include Basil Davidson, Jon
Vansina, Isaria Kimambo (studies the Pare society) and Bethwell O’got ( a
Kenyan who studied the history of Luo). The Core – Periphery Value Interchange Theory
 The theory assumes that in any society, there are two
values which are core values and periphery values.
o The Core Values are values that are
shared by all individuals in the society and are unquestionable.
o The Periphery Values are values which are
shared by few and are not rigid as they might change to be core.
 The concept of interchange here occurs when either of the
said values change to the other, that is core values may change to periphery
and the periphery may change to core as well, that is to say as the new ideas
comes in, the old ideas goes out or disappear.
 The scholars in this theory include Ralph Linton. Technological Theory
 According to this theory, changes are the result of
development of science and technology.
It provides the basis for
verification and such verification can be done through research.
1.4 The Interface between Education and Social Change
Educational and social changes are mutually reinforcing and
complementary. Educational change leads overtime, to a corresponding social
change and social change in turn, intensifies the need for and strengthen the
educational change. It may be in the reverse, that social change leading to
educational change and educational change intensifying the need for and
strengthening social change. The role of education in steering social change
 To conserve the worthy points of cultural and social
 To adjust to the changing situation.
 To create a new system of education for social progress.
 Education helps in reconstructing and reorganizing the
experiences of the needs of the society and thus eliminates the unworthy
practices of the society and builds up the happier and better society.
1.4.1 Broad Areas of Social Transformation through Education
 Education is important in realizing the ideals of
democracy, secularism, national integration and industrialization.
 Education is expected to change the values and attitudes of
the people to crate in them an urge for the necessary motivation for social
 Education provides competent personnel needed in
industrial, business, educational, agricultural and research fields.
 Education provides necessary skills and knowledge necessary
for the systematic and consistence progress of the society.
 The agencies of social change include family, school,
and mass media.
1.4.2 Teacher as an Agent of Social Change
A teacher can conveys, disseminates and develops knowledge,
attitudes, skills and values to the students in the following ways:
Direct teaching.
 Providing opportunities to the students to practise the
values of democracy, secularism and socialism.
 The teacher himself/herself is a model embodying the
desired values.
1.5 Research Methods in Social and Educational Issues
1.5.1 Conceptualization of Key Concepts Research
Research is a scientific and systematic search for pertinent
information on a specific topic (Kothari, 2004). It is a scholarly or
scientific process of investigation or inquiry in the society. Research is
conducted in order to:
 gain familiarity of a social phenomenon
 portray characteristics of a particular situation
 determine the frequency with which something occurs
 test hypothesis
Why People Undertake Research?
 desire to be of service to the society
 desire for respectability
 desire for intellectual joy
 desire for personal satisfaction
Importance of Research
 It solves problems in the society
 It solves the pressure of the institution
 It is for personal satisfaction
 It disseminates knowledge to the wider society Social Research
Social research is the application to any social situation of
any exact procedures for the purpose of solving a problem or testing
1.5.2 Different
Types of Research (adopted from Kothari, 2004)
a) Descriptive vs. Analytical Research
Descriptive researches is the survey
and fact finding inquiry of any kind. They only describe the state of affairs
of the existing phenomenon. The descriptive researcher has no control over the
variables – he/she just reports what happened or what is going on like
preference of people, frequency of shopping etc.
Analytical Research is the kind of research
in which the researcher uses the available facts or information to analyse and
evaluate the phenomenon.
b) Applied vs. Fundamental Research
Applied research/action research is
a kind of research aiming at finding a solution for the problem at hand.
Fundamental research/pure/basic research is
a kind of research aiming at making generalizations or formulating a theory.
c) Conceptual vs. Empirical Research
Conceptual research is the research that
relies on some abstract ideas or theory. It is used by philosophers and
thinkers to develop anew concepts or reinterpret the existing one.
Empirical Research is the kind of research
that relies on experience and observation. It depends on the data collected,
and is capable of being verified by observation and experimentation.
d) Quantitative vs. Qualitative research
Quantitative research is the kind of
research that is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is
applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity.
Qualitative research is the kind of research
that is based on the measurement of quality. It is applicable to phenomena that
can be expressed in terms of quality.
Generally, research can be categorized into either
qualitative or quantitative basing on the following criteria:
 Data collection and field work strategies.
This involves the
techniques of data collection and the instruments used. Qualitative approach
uses a highly structured instruments aimed at quantifying the information
elicited while a qualitative uses unstructured instruments aimed at expressing
a phenomenon.
 Types and forms of data which may be produced.
Quantitative produces statistical data while the qualitative
produces textual ones.
 The degree of flexibility built in the study design.
Quantitative is very rigid while the qualitative is flexible
in terms of hypotheses, objectives, ways of collecting and analysing data.
 Data analysis strategies.
The quantitative analyzes data statistically while the
qualitative one analyzes descriptively. Both may, however, use the data
analysis programs like SPSS, R’BUL, R, GOLD VARBs.
1.5.3 Characteristics of Research
Any research is characterized by the following:
 It is systematic. Any research should follow certain
 It is logical. This means that research is guided by the
rules of logical reasoning though induction or deduction.
 It is based on empirical data. Any research should be
related to real life situation and deals with concrete data (gathered from the
five senses of organs – hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling).
 It is replicable. Its results can be verified by conducting
a similar research using the same methodology.
 It carefully checks for validity and reliability of data.
The validity means accuracy and meaningfulness of inferences based on the
research results (Mugenda and Mugenda, 2003). The reliability, on the other
hand, means the degree to which research instruments yield consistent results
 It is objective. This means that it draws conclusion from
the data collected and not from personal preferences.
1.5.4 Research
Generally, there are two research approaches. These are:
a) Qualitative Approach
It is the kind of research design which is concerned with
generation of data in qualitative form like opinion, behaviours etc.
b) Quantitative Approach
It is the kind of research approach which is concerned with
generation of data in quantitative form.
1.5.5 Research Designs
Kothari, (2004) defines a research design as the arrangement
of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to
combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. It is a
conceptual structure within which research is conducted. It constitutes the
blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. It is an
outline of what the researcher will do from writing hypothesis and its
operational implications to the final analysis of data. The choice of a
research design depends on:
 The nature of the study
 The purpose of the study
 The location of the study
 The type of data to be gathered
 The time allocated for conducting the study
 The nature and kinds of sample to be taken
 The techniques of data collection
 Data analysis procedures
There are different research designs. Among them are:
a) Social Survey Design
It is used in areas where there is a need to look for new
data than to analyse the existing ones. It is important in social
administration especially in the government. It is aimed at
studying social
phenomena like overcrowding in towns, poor services etc. The following are the
types of social surveys:
i. Exploratory Survey
Ii is a kind of research design which is meant to reveal
community attitudes, values or group experiences. It is dedicated to
exploration of certain trends in a society.
ii. Longitudinal Survey
It is undertaken on a group of people over a long period of
time. It is used in areas are affected by certain events like war, famine,
drought etc.
iii. Cross Sectional Survey
It is based on a representative sample cutting across the
population whose findings will establish generalizations that apply to the
whole population. It does not take long time to accomplish as the longitudinal
survey does.
b) Experimental Design
 It investigates both
dependent and independent variables. The dependent variable depends on the
other variable. It changes when the other variable (independent) changes. The
independent variables are characteristics which influence other variables
(dependent variables).
 It is usually
concerned with laboratory works.
 It involves random
assigning of subjects to treatment and control groups.
 It yields valid results.
c) Documentation Design
 It includes reviewing
the already existing documents in order to discover the missing themes.
 It involves taking information from the text e.g books,
news papers, slogans, picking paragraphs of interest from a written source etc.
d) Observational Design
 It involves seeing
and recording in schedules what is being observed or what is to be observed.
 Observation can be participant or non participant. In
participant observation the researcher becomes a member of the group he/she is
observing so as to share experiences at the same time collecting information.
It may include attending political rallies; participating in religious ceremony
etc. In non participant the researcher is not part and parcel of the community
he/she is observing. It is conducted by a researcher in a relatively separated
e) Case Study Design
 It involves an in
depth study of a social unit or phenomenon that is purposefully selected.
 It deals with the
processes that take place and their interrelationship.
 It takes a long time
to accomplish.
 It describes experiences of phenomena as they occur (and
not with a theoretical ground).
1.5.6 The Interactive Process of Research.
Research is not a stand alone phenomenon. It is the result of
certain components which mutually interact each other to make a meaningful
whole. The diagram below illustrates the interactive process of a research.

3 2 23
Source: Wallace (1969)
1. Logical deduction to
the hypothesis. Giving plausible explanations.
2. Operationalization
and Instrumentalization. In collecting data, there should be instruments
necessary for the exercise.
3. Number of facts
obtained from the field. It includes scaling and measurements of data.
4. Logical induction. Giving the summary from specific to
general terms.
The Relationship between Theory, Research and Practice
Having defined the term research in and theory in and
theory in, the new term to be defined at this juncture is practice.
According to Kerling (1992), practice is the process whereby certain
theoretical assumptions and ideas or theories are put into actions. It is
assumed that all human actions are already presupposed in certain theoretical
framework. However, the three concepts are related to each other in the
following ways:
 Theory establishes the basis and basic assumptions which
research studies and it is the practice that demonstrates all the assumptions
in the real life.
 Research is used to test or verify the existing theories
(through deductive approach) or develop new theories (through inductive
 Theories guide the conduct of research through which
tentative ideas/hypotheses can be formulated in order to be tested. They form a
frame of reference for the practitioner and practice in general.
 Practice plays major roles in putting the theories on the
ground. It is through practice that the theoretical assumptions are tested. So,
theories guide actions while the actions confirm the assumptions on the ground.
 Theories guide and facilitate decision making during
1.5.7 Stages of
Generally, sociologists follow the following steps in
conducting research:
i. Defining a problem
ii. Review of
iii. Formulating
iv. Selecting research
v. Collecting data
vi. Developing a conclusion
Kothari (2004:12-19), identifies the following stages of
conducting research:
i. Formulating the
research problem
ii. Extensive
literature review
iii. Development of
working hypotheses
iv. Preparing the
research design (the conceptual structure within which the research will be
v. Determining sample
vi. Collecting data
vii. Execution of the
viii. Analysis of data
ix. Hypothesis testing
x. Generalizations and
xi. Preparation of the report
Fox D.J (1969) identifies the following 13 stages involved in
designing a research:
i. Initiating an idea
or need or problem area
ii. Initial review of
iii. Defining the
specific research problem
iv. Estimating the
success potential of the contemplated research
v. The second review of literature (it is more selective,
purposive and focused)
vi. Selecting the
research approach
vii. Stating the
hypotheses of the research
viii. Selecting data
gathering methods and techniques
ix. Selecting and
developing data gathering instruments
x. Defining the data
gathering plan
xi. Defining the data
analysis plan
xii. Identifying the
population and invited sample
xiii. Pilot study on the data gathering approach, methods,
instruments and the data analysis plan
Population: Includes all the items
in the field under study
A sample: A group of individuals
selected from a large population. Or is the fraction of the population to be
Sample Size: Is the number of items
drawn from a population for study.
Sampling: Is the process of
selecting items from the universe to constitute a sample.
Sampling Technique: Is the procedure the
researcher would adopt in selecting items for the sample.
Issues to Consider when Sampling
There are number of things to be considered when sampling.
Such things include:
 The number of informants needed for research
 The topic of research
 Target population
 Budget
The nature of the population –
whether the population is homogenous or heterogeneous.
 Time to accomplish the study.
Sampling Techniques
The sampling techniques are categorized into two categories:
a. Probability Sampling
b. Non – probability Sampling
a. Probability Sampling (for more
details on this aspect, read Kothari, 2004)
 A probability sampling is also known as random sampling or
chance sampling.
 According to this technique, every item of the universe has
an equal chance of being included in the sample. The probability sampling
techniques include:
i. Systematic Sampling
 The systematic
sampling technique involves a selection of n
th item
on the list.
 The element of randomness emanates from the fact that the
point with which to start the sampling process is selected randomly – only the
first unit is selected randomly and the remaining units of the sample are
selected at a fixed interval.
ii. Stratified Sampling
 It is used in
heterogeneous population
 It is the kind of sampling technique in which the
population is divided into several sub populations that are individually more
homogeneous than the total population and then selecting the item from each sub
population (stratum) to constitute a sample.
The strata formed are homogeneous
within themselves and heterogeneous between them.
 The strata are purposively formed basing on the experience
or judgment of the researcher.
 Sometimes, a pilot study may be conducted to ensure
appropriate stratification.
iii. Cluster Sampling
 With cluster
sampling, the population is divided into smaller non overlapping areas and some
of these areas (in this case, clusters) are randomly selected to constitute the
desired sample.
 The clusters are
randomly selected with their constituents.
iv. Area Sampling
 If the clusters, as stated in (iii) above, happen to be
geographical sub divisions, the cluster sampling is known as area sampling.
v. Multistage Sampling
 It is a further
development of the idea of clusters.
 It is used when a sample is to be drawn from a considerable
big geographical area like an entire country. Suppose we want to interview
secondary school students in Tanzania, a sample could be drawn in the following
way: Tanzania could be divided into regions, districts, wards and from the
selected wards; students could be randomly selected to constitute the sample.
vi. Sequential Sampling
 With sequential
sampling, the ultimate number of the sample is not fixed in advance, but it is
determined according to mathematical rules on the basis of information yielded
as a survey progresses.
 Generally, one can go on taking samples so long as he/she
desires to do so.
b. Non Probability
 Non probability
sampling is a sampling procedure which does not afford for estimating the
probability that each item in the population has an equal chance of being
included in the sample.
 It is sometimes known
as purposive sampling, deliberate sampling or judgmental sampling.
 The items for the
sample are selected deliberately by the researcher. His/her choice concerning
the items remains supreme.
 The logic behind
purposive sampling is based on a sample of information rich cases that is
studied in-depth.
 There is no assumption that all members of the population
are equivalent data sources, but the selected ones are believed to be
information rich cases. The non probability sampling techniques include the
i. Snow ball
/chain/network/referral Sampling
 It is a process by which individuals initially selected
suggest the names of others who might be appropriate for the sample.
ii. Convenience
Sampling/ Accidental Sampling
 This method is based
on using people who are a captive audience; the people the researcher meets
accidentally and happen to be information rich.
 Respondents are
people who happen to be walking by, or show a special interest in ones
 The sample is drawn from that part of the population which
is close to hand. That is, a sample population selected because it is readily
available and convenient.
iii. Volunteer Sampling
 It is a type of non
probability sampling in which research participants offer to participate.
 It is a kind of sampling which is used when every member of
the sample can not comply with the demands of the study to be conducted. Only
willing or volunteering individuals are included in the study.
iv. Quota Sampling

Quota sampling is
a kind of sampling in which a population is first segmented into mutually
exclusive sub-groups and then judgment is used to select the subjects or units
from each segment based on a specified proportion. For example, an interviewer
may be told to sample 200 females and 300 males between the age of 45 and 60.
The researcher has a judgement of who is to be selected to constitute a sample
provided that he/she does not do this outside the preset proportion. With quota
sampling, the actual selection of items for sample is left to the researcher’s


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