Check your library’s online holdings to see if it subscribes to the online version of the Annual Review of Sociology. If it does, go to that site and search for articles that use qualitative methods as the primary method of gathering data on any one of the following subjects: child development/socialization; gender/sex roles; aging/gerontology. Enter “Qualitative AND Methods” in the subject field to begin this search. Review at least five articles, and report on the specific method of field research used in each.
Go to the Intute site at www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/ and enter “Qualitative Methods” under “Search social sciences.” Now choose three or four interesting sites to find out more about field research—either professional organizations of field researchers or journals that publish their work. Explore the sites to find out what information they provide regarding field research, what kinds of projects are being done that involve field research, and the purposes that specific field research methods are being used for.
You have been asked to do field research on the World Wide Web’s impact on the socialization of children in today’s world. The first part of the project involves your writing a compare and contrast report on the differences between how you and your generation were socialized as children and the way children today are being socialized. Collect your data by surfing the web “as if you were a kid.” The web is your field, and you are the field researcher.
Using any of the major search engines (such as Google), explore the web within the “Kids” or “Children” subject heading, keeping field notes on what you observe. Write a brief report based on the data you have collected. How has the web influenced child socialization in comparison with when you were a child?