Sociological surveys

MRP-EURASIA organize Socio-political polls (surveys) in 32 countries in the continent Eurasia (Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including sub-regions of CIS and FSU).

Sociological survey- collection of facts about a defined social group, and the term is still used in this way. The term survey is therefore not necessarily synonymous with ‘questionnaire survey’, since other methods of data collection (such as observation of behavior) may be employed in a survey. In practice, however, most sociological surveys are based on written questionnaires.

Below you see the list of countries where we are available to conduct sociological surveys:

More precisely, the term usually refers to data collections that employ both interviewing and sampling to produce quantitative data-sets, amenable to computer-based analysis. Sampling and interviewing are employed in many other research designs. It is the combination of the two that has led to the social survey, or sample survey, becoming the most important single type of social research, used by all the social sciences, market research, and opinion polls.

Surveys can be used to provide descriptive statistics for national, regional, or local populations; to examine the clustering of social phenomena; to identify the social location and characteristics of subgroups for more intensive follow-up case-study research; and to analyze causal processes and test explanations. In recent years sociological survey analysis has been greatly extended to include the sophisticated multivariate modelling techniques that are common in econometrics.

One of the main attractions of the sample survey for both policy research and theoretical research is its transparency and accountability: methods and procedures can be made visible and accessible to other parties, unlike research designs that depend heavily on the contribution of individual researchers.

The key disadvantage is that surveys normally use structured questionnaires, which constrain an enquiry to paths fixed at the start of fieldwork. Other criticisms which are sometimes levelled at surveys are that numerical variables rarely provide adequate operationalization of sociological constructs; the highly asymmetric power relation between researcher and interviewee is detrimental to the quality of the data collected; they provide a false aura of objectivity which makes their results vulnerable to political manipulation. Many of these criticisms can be overcome by good survey design and implementation.

Surveys can collect information on individuals, roles, social networks, and social groups such as households or families, organizations such as schools, workplaces, or companies. In most cases the information is provided by individuals, but the information collected may be about any social unit of interest, with larger and more complex units requiring multiple interviews to avoid the information limitations or bias of a single informant. Surveys are used to study poverty, social stratification, social mobility, political orientations and participation, work and employment, and virtually all the issues addressed by sociologists and other social scientists.

Survey interviews may be personal, postal, or conducted by telephone.

Sociological surveys methodologically are separated into two types:
Quantitative research (public opinion polls)
Qualitative research (focus groups, in-depth interviews and expert polls)

To refine the list of countries and regions, you can go to "Our geography".

To send us a request for a case study of consumers in a particular country or region, you can:
1. Go to link "Contact Us" and select the desired country with contacts for your request;
2. Go to link "Our geography". There, in the list of countries (also in a contour map) you can click on selected country, then country page will open with email contacts for your request;
3. You also can select to contact the head office country, Moldova - at the page "Moldova" are direct contacts of the head research division for all our regions head-office@mrp-eurasia.com or RFP@mrp-eurasia.com.
4. You should not forget about the main email address of our company info@mrp-eurasia.com(for all questions and suggestions).

If you want to save as much as possible on a budget, you have an opportunity to use our regional regular Omnibuses (syndicated surveys with a fixed sample, deadlines and other parameters). To learn more about our Omnibuses and calculate your budget, you can follow the link "Our Omnibus".

MAIN TOPICS

Contemporary political sociology involves, but is not limited to, the study of the relations between state, society and citizens. Where a typical research question in political sociology might have been: "Why do so few American or European citizens choose to vote?" or even, "What difference does it make if women get elected?" political sociologists also now ask: "How is the body a site of power?", "How are emotions relevant to global poverty?" or "What difference does knowledge make to democracy?" The opening up of political sociology does not mean that old topics have been discarded. Traditionally there were four main areas of research:

  • The socio-political formation of the modern state;
  • "Who rules"? How social inequality between groups (class, race, gender, etc.) influences politics;
  • How public opinion, ideologies, personalities, social movements and trends outside of the formal institutions of political power affect formal politics;
  • Power relationships within and between social groups (e.g. families, workplaces, bureaucracy, media, etc.).

In other words, political sociology was traditionally concerned with how social trends, dynamics, and structures of domination affect formal political processes, as well as exploring how various social forces work together to change political policies

SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH: DESIGNS, METHODS

Sociologists use many different designs and methods to study society and social behavior. Most sociological research involves ethnography, or “field work” designed to depict the characteristics of a population as fully as possible.

Three popular social research designs (models) are:

  • Crosssectional, in which scientists study a number of individuals of different ages who have the same trait or characteristic of interest at a single time
  • Longitudinal, in which scientists study the same individuals or society repeatedly over a specified period of time
  • Crosssequential, in which scientists test individuals in a cross‐sectional sample more than once over a specified period of time

Six of the most popular sociological research methods (procedures) are the case study, survey, observational, correlational, experimental, and crosscultural methods, as well as working with information already available.

CASE STUDY RESEARCH

In case study research, an investigator studies an individual or small group of individuals with an unusual condition or situation. Case studies are typically clinical in scope. The investigator (often a clinical sociologist) sometimes uses self‐report measures to acquire quantifiable data on the subject. A comprehensive case study, including a long‐term follow‐up, can last months or years.

On the positive side, case studies obtain useful information about individuals and small groups. On the negative side, they tend to apply only to individuals with similar characteristics rather than to the general population. The high likelihood of the investigator's biases affecting subjects' responses limits the generalizability of this method.

SURVEY RESEARCH

Survey research involves interviewing or administering questionnaires, or written surveys, to large numbers of people. The investigator analyzes the data obtained from surveys to learn about similarities, differences, and trends. He or she then makes predictions about the population being studied.

As with most research methods, survey research brings both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include obtaining information from a large number of respondents, conducting personal interviews at a time convenient for respondents, and acquiring data as inexpensively as possible. “Mail‐in” surveys have the added advantage of ensuring anonymity and thus prompting respondents to answer questions truthfully.

Disadvantages of survey research include volunteer bias, interviewer bias, and distortion. Volunteer bias occurs when a sample of volunteers is not representative of the general population. Subjects who are willing to talk about certain topics may answer surveys differently than those who are not willing to talk. Interviewer bias occurs when an interviewer's expectations or insignificant gestures (for example, frowning or smiling) inadvertently influence a subject's responses one way or the other. Distortion occurs when a subject does not respond to questions honestly.

OBSERVATIONAL RESEARCH

Because distortion can be a serious limitation of surveys, observational research involves directly observing subjects' reactions, either in a laboratory (called laboratory observation) or in a natural setting (called naturalistic observation). Observational research reduces the possibility that subjects will not give totally honest accounts of the experiences, not take the study seriously, and fail to remember, or feel embarrassed.

Observational research has limitations, however. Subject bias is common, because volunteer subjects may not be representative of the general public. Individuals who agree to observation and monitoring may function differently than those who do not. They may also function differently in a laboratory setting than they do in other settings.

CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH

A sociologist may also conduct correlational research. A correlation is a relationship between two variables (or “factors that change”). These factors can be characteristics, attitudes, behaviors, or events. Correlational research attempts to determine if a relationship exists between the two variables, and the degree of that relationship.

A social researcher can use case studies, surveys, interviews, and observational research to discover correlations. Correlations are either positive (to +1.0), negative (to −1.0), or nonexistent (0.0). In a positive correlation, the values of the variables increase or decrease (“co‐vary”) together. In a negative correlation, one variable increases as the other decreases. In a nonexistent correlation, no relationship exists between the variables.

People commonly confuse correlation with causation. Correlational data do not indicate causeandeffect relationships. When a correlation exists, changes in the value of one variable reflect changes in the value of the other. The correlation does not imply that one variable causes the other, only that both variables somehow relate to one another. To study the effects that variables have on each other, an investigator must conduct an experiment.

EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

Experimental research attempts to determine how and why something happens. Experimental research tests the way in which an independent variable (the factor that the scientist manipulates) affects a dependent variable (the factor that the scientist observes).

A number of factors can affect the outcome of any type of experimental research. One is finding samples that are random and representative of the population being studied. Another is experimenter bias, in which the researcher's expectations about what should or should not happen in the study sway the results. Still another is controlling for extraneous variables, such as room temperature or noise level, that may interfere with the results of the experiment. Only when the experimenter carefully controls for extraneous variables can she or he draw valid conclusions about the effects of specific variables on other variables.

CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH

Sensitivity to others' norms, folkways, values, mores, attitudes, customs, and practices necessitates knowledge of other societies and cultures. Sociologists may conduct crosscultural research, or research designed to reveal variations across different groups of people. Most cross‐cultural research involves survey, direct observation, and participant observation methods of research.

Participant observation requires that an “observer” become a member of his or her subjects' community. An advantage of this method of research is the opportunity it provides to study what actually occurs within a community, and then consider that information within the political, economic, social, and religious systems of that community. Cross‐cultural research demonstrates that Western cultural standards do not necessarily apply to other societies. What may be “normal” or acceptable for one group may be “abnormal” or unacceptable for another.

RESEARCH WITH EXISTING DATA, OR SECONDARY ANALYSIS

Some sociologists conduct research by using data that other social scientists have already collected. The use of publicly accessible information is known as secondary analysis, and is most common in situations in which collecting new data is impractical or unnecessary. Sociologists may obtain statistical data for analysis from businesses, academic institutions, and governmental agencies, to name only a few sources. Or they may use historical or library information to generate their hypotheses.