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Secondary Sources

Introduction to Seconadry Research Data

Complete this introductory exercise on secondary data and print it, then read page 109 and complete the tasks at the bottom of that page. After you have done this complete the Crossword Test

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research material is material the social researcher collects himself through such methods as questionnaires, observation, interviews etc.
However there is also a wealth of information available to the researcher in the form of sources. These include legal documents, parish records, official , diaries, novels auto biographies, newspapers, TV programmes, film. The data within secondary sources is referred to as secondary .

Secondary sources are often used when the researcher is unable to obtain primary data or to back up and primary data they have collected through their own direct research.

Primary data may not be available in the following circumstances:
When historical data is required and the participants are
When the researcher is studying a culture too to visit in person
When the activities being studied are illegal and it is for the researcher to collect primary data
When a "closed group" e.g. monks in a monastery are being studied and the researcher is not to enter to collect primary data.

Secondary data can be useful because:
Official statistics cover a much research base than the individual researcher could ever cover on his own
Published data is to research
Such data is easy to obtain
The information covers a long time span so can be established.

The usual types of secondary data used by social researchers include:

Official statistics
The media
Diaries
history (spoken recorded interviews or transcripts of them)
Letters
Fiction
The existing work of other social .