Social studies.

In the world there are many different concepts to deal with that is not so simple.In this same article, we will discuss what social studies, how they differ from the sociological and which at the same time apply the basic methods.

about the terminology

In this case, the question of the terms is quite acute.In fact, many even professional companies often do not differentiate between concepts such as sociology and social studies.And it is wrong.After all, there are differences.And they are quite substantial.

The first thing to understand that the very sociology as a science studies society as a whole, its various connections and nuances.The social sphere - it is a certain part of society.That is, if you make a preliminary conclusion is simple, the case study can be directed completely to the social sphere.

What's the difference?

What is different sociological and social studies?

  1. Social research is directed exclusively to clear, limited scope of the social sphere.
  2. In sociological research there are many specific methods, from social, more often than not.Although I must say that we are considering the category of research is mainly used methods of sociological.
  3. Social studies can be conducted not only by sociologists, but also doctors, lawyers, personnel officers, journalists and so on. D.

However, it's worth to clarify that the question of more precise distinctions between social and sociological research has not yet been finally resolved.Modern scientists are still arguing about a number of minor, but still important points.

object and subject

subject of social research can be very different.And it depends on the chosen topic.The objects of the most frequent (according to the scientist VA Lukov):

  • social processes and institutions.
  • social community.
  • Social values, concepts and ideas.
  • regulations that somehow affect social change.
  • Social projects and so on. D.

functions of social research Social research

performs the following functions:

  1. Diagnostics.That is a social study aimed at to understand the state of the object at the time of the study.
  2. reliable information.That is all the information that is collected in the course of the study, must be accurate.In the case of distortion must make adjustments.
  3. Forecasting.The research results provide the ability to create short and long-term forecasts and delineating possible prospects.
  4. design.That is, the results of the study can also give different recommendations on possible changes to the selected study area.
  5. Information.The results of social studies should be made public.They are also obliged to provide certain information to the people, to explain certain points.
  6. Revitalization.Due to the results of social research can be activated or provoke a more active work of the various social services and public organizations on solving various problems of the research object.

main types of

What are the main types of social research?

  • academic research.
  • Applied research.

If we talk about the first type, the present study aimed at updating the theoretical basis, ie. E. Gain knowledge in a particular chosen field.Applied research is aimed at to analyze a certain area of ​​social life of the community.

Applied research

It is worth noting that there is such a thing as applied social research.It is a complex of different methods and theories to help analyze social problems.Their main purpose in this case is to obtain the desired results for their subsequent use for the benefit of society.At the same time, these methods were born on the territory of our country for a long time.The first attempts of social studies in Russia - a census.Were they quite regularly since the 18th century.Down the boom of these studies began in the post-revolutionary period (study by P. Sorokin family relations, J. Lassen - the sexual sphere of life of young people and so on. D.).Today, these social sciences occupy a significant place among the other different types of study of society.

Basic methods

What are the main methods of social research?So, it is worth noting that they are not to be confused with sociological methods.Although in some respects there are still some matches.Most often used the following methods:

  • Simulation.
  • rank.
  • Diagnostics.
  • examination.

There is also the concept of a participatory and aktsionistskih social studies.Consider each method in detail.


Modern social studies often use a method such as modeling.What is it?So, it is a special design tool.It is important to note that this method is widely used in ancient times and is still used today.The very same model - is an object which, according to the ideas, the object replaces the real, original.The study of this particular object makes it possible to more accurately and deeply understand the basic problems of the real object.That is, in this case study is conducted from the reverse.The very same model performs the following three functions:

  1. predictive.In this case we are talking about some predicting what might happen in the future with the object of social research.
  2. simulation.In this case, it concentrates attention on the newly created models that can provide a better self original study.
  3. Projective.In this case, the object of research designed certain predefined functions or properties that further improves the quality of the results.

It is also important to note that the modeling process necessarily involves the construction of the necessary abstractions, creating deductions, as well as the construction of various types of scientific hypotheses.


consider further the various methods of social research.What is the diagnosis?So, it is a method by which manages to match up various parameters of the social reality existing standards and indicators.That is, this method is designed to measure various attributes of the selected object of social research.To do this, use a special system of social indicators (this is the special characteristics of individual properties as well as the condition of social objects).

is worth noting that the most common method of social diagnostics found in the study of quality of life or social inequality.There are the following stages of the method of diagnosis:

  1. comparison.It can be done with previous studies, the results, the intended objectives.
  2. analysis of all the received changes.
  3. interpretation.

Social assessment

If conducted socio-economic studies, often their main method is precisely the examination.It includes the following key steps and milestones:

  1. Diagnosis of the social object.
  2. Getting information about the object of research, as well as its surroundings.
  3. Forecasting future changes.
  4. Development of recommendations for future decision-making.

Aktsionistskoe study

study in social work can also be aktsionistkim.What does this mean?To grasp the essence, it is necessary to understand that this word - Anglicism.Originally, the term sounds like action research, t. E. "Research-action" (from the English.).The term was proposed for use in the distant 1944 scientist Kurt Lewin.In this case study suggests real change in the social reality of the object.And on this basis, it made certain conclusions, recommendations are made.

Participatory research

This term is also Anglicisms.Participant means "party."That is a special reflective way of research, during which the object is endowed with the ability to research and government to take the necessary decisions for ourselves.In this case, themselves objects of research carried out substantive work.The role of the investigator is reduced to observe and record different results.On this basis, it made certain conclusions, recommendations are made.

Psychological research

There is also a psychological social research.In this case, all used the same methods described above.But others can be applied.So, often using different management and educational research methods.

  1. widely applied in such a case, the polls (the person must answer a number of questions put to him).In social psychology, the most commonly used method of questioning or interview.
  2. psychological and social research often uses this method to obtain information on the subject, as a test.It can be both personal and group.However, it should be noted that this method of research is not strictly a social or psychological.It can be applied in the case study.
  3. Another important method of research in social psychology - is an experiment.In the course of this method to artificially create the right situation where we study certain behavioral reactions or other important nuances of personality.

Research socioeconomic

Separately, also need to consider and understand what is a socio-economic study.Their purpose is as follows:

  1. study of economic processes.
  2. identify important for social laws.
  3. Impact of economic processes on the life of the research object.
  4. Identifying the causes of social change due to certain economic processes.
  5. And, of course, forecasting.

Study of socio-economic processes can be carried out by any of the methods described above.They are used very widely, because the social sphere of life is very closely linked to the economic.

Socio-Political Studies

often also carried out social and political studies.Their main purpose is to:

  • Assessment of local and central authorities.
  • rank electoral moods of people.
  • Determining the needs of different population groups.
  • Forecasting.
  • definition of socio-political and socio-economic problems of the research object.
  • Studies level of social stress research object.

It is worth noting that these studies often are conducted in the period before the elections.At the same time they are using all of the above methods.But it is widely used as an analysis and comparative analysis (even some methods of social research).


Research social processes - this is a very time-consuming activity.After all, it is necessary to prepare the program, which will be spelled out all the basic information.Thus, this document should contain:

  1. information about the object and subject of study.
  2. It is important to pre-select method of research.
  3. Originally prescribed as alleged hypothesis.That is to say that according to preliminary data should get a result.

research strategy

Any study of social problems includes a stage as a research strategy.Previously also I must say also that any investigation can be a continuation of the previous or assume parallel conduct other activities aimed at obtaining information or a change in the social reality of the selected object.This strategy includes the following key points:

  • Setting goals and questions (why do you need to study, what you want to get a result, and so on. D.).
  • Consideration of various theoretical models and approaches.
  • sure to research resources (funds and time to carry out the planned).
  • data collection.
  • Selecting the study, ie. E. The identification data.
  • Selecting the management of the study itself.

Types of research in this case may be quite different.So, it could be a pilot study, when the subject is little known and virtually unknown.There is a single study (when the object is not returned), or repeated.Longitudinal, or monitoring, research suggests that the object is studied periodically at set intervals.

field study carried out in the usual conditions for the object.Laboratory - artificially created.An empirical study is based on the actions or the actions of the object, the theoretical - involves the study of the alleged actions or behavioral object of social research.

followed by the choice of method of research (most of them are described above).It is worth noting that this is the most important form of collecting primary information, so you can get some results and draw some conclusions.It is important to pre-defined and the method of processing the information received.This may be a statistical, genetic, historical or experimental analysis, social modeling, and so on. D.