Research Methodology: Poverty Described by the People
S144-Sociology Unit 8 Assignment
Purdue University Global- Professor Laska
Research Methodology: Poverty Described by the People
I am conducting a survey for my sociology class at Purdue University Global. I am conducting this survey to gather data on how people may view poverty in America.
When you hear the word poverty, what do you assume of those who fit into that definable lifestyle?
Living paycheck to paycheck, with no extra money for extra curricular activity or entertainment.
Having no job, therefore you have no money.
Not having the means to provide shelter, food, or clothing for ones’ family, so only partial needs are met.
Homelessness all together.
Living with the least possible financial burdens to ensure the most important needs are covered. For example, no cable television or internet services, food only for nutritious purposes, no family vehicle, but having a home with heat, lights and running water.
What types of people live in poverty?
It could happen to anybody in the blink of an eye.
People who are not motivated to go after what they want.
Immigrants who come into our country and live off the Government.
The blue-collar families who make to much money to get aid, but not enough to live comfortably.
The minority races who are to lazy to work hard for their money and do not provide for their children.
How does a family become poverty stricken?
Having to many children, without the means to support them adequately.
Spending money outside of the budgeted allowances.
Being laid off or fired from a job.
Illness or injury causing unexpected, but necessary financial burdens.
Any of the above answers would be a suitable response.
Survey research methodology was used to conduct a survey comprised of three questions, on two different people, to gather data on how people view poverty in America. For the purpose of my survey I utilized the structured interview method. This means along with each of my three questions I comprised a five-answer multiple choice section and asked the individuals to choose the answer most in line with their own thoughts on the answer (Henslin, 2019). The reason I chose not to use an unstructured method, allowing the individuals to provide their own open ended responses in their own words (Henslin, 2019), was to ensure the data gathered was more easily comparable to any further research methods that may be utilized to gather more data later on. The questions utilized to gather data on the views of poverty to the individuals I conducted this survey on were: 1. When you hear the word poverty, what do you assume of those who fit into that defined lifestyle. 2. What types of people live in poverty? 3. How does a family become poverty stricken? The two individuals I interviewed are very different, in the sense I know from personal relationships, they view the world very differently. The first a 41-year-old white male was interviewed face to face, He was interviewed in the late hours of Saturday evening, in his home, after his children had gone to bed. The second individual, 64-year-old white women, was interviewed by phone. This interview was conducted early in the morning on a Thursday, while she was out for a morning walk with her dog. One of these individuals grew up in poverty themselves and had a very hard upbringing, while the other grew up in a rural white middleclass neighborhood, with financial stability.
The results of my structure survey did not come as a surprise to me. The individual answers chosen from the multiple-choice list, clearly supported a life circumstances they have endured. “When you hear the word poverty, what do you assume of those who fit into that lifestyle,” was the first of the three questions, with multiple choice answers that would range from living paycheck to paycheck, being unemployed, to collecting welfare, to actual homelessness. The first individual, my male subject, answered, “Having no job, therefore you have no money.” The second, my female individual answered, “Living with the least possible financial burdens to ensure the most important needs are covered. For example, no cable television or internet services, food only for nutritious purposes, no family vehicle, but having a home with heat, lights and running water.”
The next question, “what types of people live in poverty,” was answered by the male subject, again from a multiple-choice selection with options ranging from blue collar workers, to the minority groups, the laziness. The male interviewed answered his multiple-choice selection by choosing, “People who are not motivated to go after what they want,” and the female individual answered, “It could happen to anybody in the blink of an eye.” Again, very different ideas of what poverty looks like, but answers reflective of their individual experiences,
The last question, “How does a family become poverty stricken,” was also followed with a multiple choice selection that ranged from, “it can happen to anybody, to having to many children, to spending outside the budget, to illness or injury, and included an all of the above could suitably answer this question,” option. The male I interviewed chose to answer, “Being laid off or fired from a job,” and the female, “Any of the above answers would be a suitable response.”
The conduction of this survey, for my sociology class at Purdue University Global, was to gather data on how people view poverty in America. I used two different unrelated individuals to conducts a structure three question survey, this means, I provided a selection of answers to the questions that they could chose from (Henslin, 2019). I found this method to be more meaningful than the unstructured method, which would have allowed them to answer the questions open ended, in their own words (Henslin, 2019). This provided control over the interview conducted and enforced specific answers, specifically geared towards the questions. I received very different stances on how poverty is viewed during my interview. My male subject who grew in a rural environment, not being willing to go after what you want, and having been laid off from employment. The female individual interviewed, who has herself lived in poverty during her youth, chose answers thar reflected poverty meaning just barley getting by, with little means, that anyone could become poverty stricken at any time, and poverty being the result of any life altering event you could imagine. I believe this questionnaire would need a lot more individual interviews to gain a real idea of how poverty is viewed, however I began these interviews with an idea of how the questions would be answered, based on the different backgrounds of those interviewed, and I was correct in my speculations. For further validity, an important question I would add into a repeat occurrence of this same structure interview would be, “How has poverty influenced your life.” I believe this data gathered would connect those who view poverty as an unfortunate set of circumstances verses those who believe poverty is self-inflicted.
Henslin, J. M. Sociology. [Purdue University Global Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780134740027/https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780134740027/