Sciences, such as biology and chemistry, often confine their research to the laboratory.
Discuss why sociologists do so much of their research outside the laboratory.
Why is this type of research (outside the laboratory) necessary?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of research?
Sociologists conduct research on almost every area of human behavior. Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that develop when people interact and work together. Sociologists do so much of their research outside the laboratory because there is literally nothing that a lab space would give a sociologist access to that they might need. Sociologists study people. People behave very different when subjected to laboratory conditions. Also designing experiments with large groups of people in them as groups is almost impossible. When it comes to tackling societal issues, whether they relate to public health, educational success or entrenched poverty, sociologists must head out into the communities they serve, taking observational and analytical skills and precise questionnaires that will elicit insightful information about underlying human and cultural factors.