Quantitative history involves the use of methods of statistical analysis drawn from the social sciences, but used on historical data. It was posited by its experts as providing a way for historians to obtain more scientific results – for instance, allowing the scrutiny of census data to obtain exact breakdowns of the population at a particular time, rather than relying on the qualitative but selective reading of a variety of different sources which had characterized the practice of history hitherto. Its emergence in the 1960s coincided both with the increasing popularity of social science methodology and with the dawning of the computer age. Critics have suggested that quantitative history makes assumptions about the nature of historical data ignore the factors influencing its production, and the cultural turn has called into question more broadly the epistemology of the social sciences, nonetheless particularly in economic history (cliometrics) the application of quantitative methods has become integrated as part of a broader historical approach.
Ethnographic research is used for investigating cultures by collecting and describing data that is intended to help in the development of a theory. This method is also called ethnomethodology or methodology of the people. An example of applied ethnographic research is the study of a particular culture and their understanding of the role of a particular festival in their cultural frame work.
Historical research provides the researcher to analyses past and present events in the context of the present condition, and allows one to reflect and provide possible answers to current issues and problems. Ethical inquiry is an intellectual analysis of ethical problems. It includes the study of ethics related to obligation, rights, duty, right and wrong, choice etc. Critical social research: it is used by a researcher to understand how people communicate and develop symbolic meanings. There are various tools of qualitative and quantitative research.
These interviews contain the views of eminent historians on the evolution of the discipline from the perspective of their own fields and interests. It should be noted that these views are those of the individuals themselves, and should not be seen as representative of those of the research organization. They focus on changes in the practice and profession of history, as well as on the rise and decline of different methods and approaches, as observed over each historian’s career. Each interview is available in audio and transcript form and in addition the responses of different historians to similar questions have been collated. The technique of testing the reliability of the contents of document is called Internal Criticism or Hermeneutics or Higher Criticism. Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation and thus fundamental to much if not all qualitative research.
Questionnaires are very cost effective when compared to face interviews. This is especially true for studies involving large sample size and large geographic areas. Written questionnaire become even more cost effective as the number of research questionnaire increases. Questionnaires are easy to analyze. Data entry and tabulation for nearly all surveys can be easily done with many computer software packages.
Interview is based on a combination of facts, data are more scientific and accurate. Scope of the technique of interview is quite wide. It is only through this technique that the events that are not open to observation can be studied and analyzed. E.g. Family problems, Abstract factors like attitudes, feelings, emotions, and perceptions can also be studied with the help of the technique of interview. As it is a face to face interaction between the researcher and the respondent. Because the data collection in this process is directly based upon respondent’s narration, it is possible for a researcher to collect primary information successfully. Primary information is more or less reliable. Data collection through this technique is based upon verbal (words and phrases) as well as non-verbal (gestures, facial expression, body language etc) indicators.
The surveyor comes in contact with the people whom he wants study. The survey method leads is greater objectivity many field worker use in the survey remove possible mistakes and collect correct information. Survey may very well lead to the introduction of new theory for example poverty was regarded as the course of crime for fairly long time till increasing crime in advanced countries have falsified this theory. Survey method enables to have fill knowledge of social institution. The actual experience with the situations amounts none to any amount of investigation.
A survey may be undertaken with the primary purpose of formulating a programme for amelioration of the conditions of life and work of a community or a group, implying some frame in the mind of the survey or as to what the conditions ideally ought to be. The purpose of a social survey may also be to provide scientifically gathered facts or materials affording some empirical basis for the social theorist to set up their conclusions.