The Use of Steroids by High School Athletes - Essay Example

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The research “The Use of Steroids by High School Athletes” would throw light on the various factors that lead the high school athletes to be users of steroids. The author provides the analysis of the available statistical data on the number of high school athletes who use steroids…
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The Use of Steroids by High School Athletes
The Sociological Research Process can be either qualitative or quantitative, depending on the research question and the expected research outcomes. Quantitative research focuses on data that can be measured numerically whereas qualitative research focuses on interpretive description rather than statistics to analyze underlying meanings and patterns of social relationships (Quantitative and Quantitative Research, Slide 5). A researcher can undertake any research on the use of steroids by high school athletes applying either quantitative or qualitative approaches to the study; if necessary, the research can both be quantitative and qualitative at the same time. If I am asked to undertake a research on the use of steroids by high school athletes, I am most likely to follow the qualitative approach as it best suits the research topic under consideration. Such a research will take into account the previous studies (discussion and analysis of the existing literature) on the topic; the research would throw light on the various factors that lead the high school athletes be users of steroids and would come to a logical conclusion based on the study. On the other hand, applying the quantitative approach to the topic would lead to the analysis of the available statistical data on the number of high school athletes who use steroids. Thus, it can be concluded that the research outcomes can be different depending on whether one applies quantitative or qualitative approaches to the research.
Three of the research methods sound to me better suited for the purpose of the study-survey, field research and analysis of the secondary data. An analysis of the existing secondary data will convince me of the underlying issues connected with the research question whereas resorting to field research would provide me with the first hand information on the use of steroids by high school athletes. Both participant observation and ethnography will be useful in this regard; participant observation would help me to be part of the activities of the high school athletes whereas ethnography would help me to have a detailed study of the target group by living with them over a period of time (The Sociological Perspective and Research Process, p. 32). However, survey sounds to me the best research method to employ on the use of steroids by high school athletes. Surveys are considered to be “the most widely used research method in the social sciences because they make it possible to study things that are not directly observable-such as people’s attitudes and beliefs-and to describe a population too large to observe directly” (The Sociological Perspective and Research Process, p. 28). Thus, to me, survey suits best the purpose of the study, and in order to bring out the best results out of the survey a comprehensive questionnaire is to be prepared by the researcher. I prefer surveys to the other research methods as I believe that surveys would give better individual freedom to the respondents (high school athletes who use steroids) to be open and sincere.
Discussion Forum
Modern man lives in a global world that is tormented by social inequalities, gender inequalities, and racial discriminations; the difference between the wealthy and the poor, and the disparity between the “haves” and the “have-nots” are still prevalent in the society. Competition governs the universe rather than cooperation. Many sections in the society are still being segregated and marginalized. Under these prevalent social and economic milieus that permeate the modern world, the social conflict paradigm propagated by Karl Marx and W.E.B Dubois makes the most sense to me in addressing the social and economic problems that govern man today. While the social functionalism focuses on social structures, social functions, interconnectedness of social structures, and social stability, the symbolic interaction theory views society as the product of everyday interactions of individuals (Paradigm notes). Even though these theories sound convincing enough, they fail to offer solutions for the power struggle over scarce resources, the social conflicts due to social inequalities, the inevitability of social change and the very fact that the natural state of society is imbalance (Understanding Social Problem, 2002, p. 15). I stand for the social conflict theory as it purports that individuals are primarily good and that the cause of social problems are the social inequality, dominance of groups of people over other groups, competition, oppression and exploitation (Understanding Social Problem, 2002, p. 15). Thus, Marx perceives social behavior as “the process of conflict, the attempt to dominate others and to avoid being dominated” (Babbie, p. 24). There are many who argue that the social conflict theory is quite Utopian in nature; however, effectively implemented, the theory can offer solutions to many of the problems that haunt the modern man-inequality, discrimination and economic disparity.

Works Cited
“Quantitative and Quantitative Research, Slide 5”. Power Point presentation on Research Methods (provided by the customer)
The Sociological Perspective and Research Process (provided by the customer)
Understanding Social Problem, 2002 (provided by the customer)
Paradigm notes (provided by the customer)
Babbie, Earl. “The Practice of Social Research”. Sociological Footprints Introductory Readings in Sociology. Leonard Cargon (Ed.). Tenth Edition, 2002. Read More
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