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My aim is to carry out my research at my college, to find out how many students live with their extended family. I will be comparing two different age groups. The first age group shall be students of the age group 21 and under and the second age group shall be of 22 and over. Hypothesis: – I predict that the students of the age group 21 and under will be more likely to live with their extended family.

Introduction: – My project is a comparative study of two different age groups and the extended family. I will be looking at two different age groups because this way I will be able to compare the results. The age groups will be 21 and under and 22 and over. I chose these two groups because after I had done some research I had found data, which was based around these two age groups. I decided to look at the extended family as I have a clear understanding as to what the extended family is and I am able to find information about this topic.

The Extended Family – this is the nuclear family, and more distant relations, e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. It is generally said that the extended family relationships have declined in importance in the twentieth century, because the social and geographical demands of an industrial society are more fluid. This has meant changing roles for women. From research into this topic I have found out that children under the age group of under 10 tend to be looked after by their grandparents and aunties and uncles. They also tend to spend weekends away with there grandparents if their parents are busy with work.

Methodology: – I will be looking at primary data and secondary data. A questionnaire will be used that is suitable for both age groups. I shall then be making 5 copies of my questionnaire and handing them out to people to see whether or not my pilot study is successful or not. A pilot study is trial of the methodology that shall be used to see whether or not it is successful. I shall know whether or not it is successful once I have collected the questionnaire back and seen if anything was left blank and I would ask the students if they would add anything to the questionnaire. I have decided to use a pilot study for the reason to see if my questionnaire is understandable. I would then modify the questionnaire. Once, the changes are in place, I would then make 30 copies of my questionnaire and then hand them out to a variety of different people and not just people who ‘hang out’ in one particular place. This will be done to get fair results.

Primary Data: – Following from the questionnaire, I shall be including graphs with conclusions to show my results from the data. This shall also be done for any interviews that I carry out in the college. I shall also be carrying out interviews. In total I shall conduct ten interviews, five for students of the age group 21 and under, and five for the age group 22 and over. This shall be done to make my study fair. The interviews will be about the thoughts of students and what they think about the extended family. The results from my interviews will be recorded in a table. I shall then conclude on the results I have collected.

Open and closed questionnaires – a type of questionnaire where the student can write as much or as little as they like depending on the question. This is something that I shall design myself. The questions will start with the easiest first e.g. what age group do you fall into: 21 and under or 22 and over? The questions that I choose to ask will be random and not specific questions these will be arranged in the questionnaire to make the questionnaire ‘flow’ rather than to confuse the student. There are many advantages of using a questionnaire to collect data and they are that, they are easy to produce, anonymous, cheap, quick to complete and they allow a lot of data to be collected quickly.

There are also many disadvantages of using a questionnaire and they are, people may not be truthful about the information they are giving, people may not want to take part in the collection of the data. Interviews – a conversation around the topic and 1 person asks the questions while one the other answers. There are many advantages of carrying out interviews and they are, a lot of information can be collected with views of the student, more detailed than a question. There are many disadvantages of carrying out the interviews and they are, it can be time consuming, students may not want to participate because of it is time consuming, they may not want to answer truthfully because they are known to the interviewer (they are not anonymous).

Secondary Data: I shall also be looking at a number of secondary data. Secondary data is data that has already been collected by other people. I shall be looking at data from textbooks by other sociologists i.e. Haralambos; I shall also be looking at newspaper reports and on the Internet. The data collected shall also be recorded. Textbooks by other sociologists – books written by sociologists related to the family i.e. Sociology in Practice. There are many advantages of carrying out research through textbooks and these are, views of sociologists can be collected and compared easily, data may have graphs to show the results, which would help in analysing the data.

There are many disadvantages of carrying out research through textbooks and these are, it can be time consuming, data is not always reliable as it is usually the views of other sociologists.Internet – information about the family that has been collected beforehand by various different people and is open to the public to view.  There are many advantages of using the Internet and these are, information can be collected very easily and quickly, There are many disadvantages of using the Internet and these are, information may not always be truthful, data can vary from country to country, difficult to understand at times.

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