First of all, I would use a religious statistics to see the amount of elderly and young people that go to church from the library books but I am aware that some statistics are wrong and outdated so I will check on the Internet for more statistics to compare, looking through religious statistics. Emile Durkheim used a suicide statistics from a number of European countries, which he regarded as social facts. Before I go about doing my research I will have to define what is meant by religious beliefs and practices.
There are different types of religious beliefs and practices that people follow e. g. elieving in god, going to church, Sunday school service, praying in their homes etc. I will have to narrow the religious beliefs that people practices to three main beliefs, which are believing in god, going to church and praying in their homes. Interpretive approach uses the qualitative data. Interpretive argues that sociology is the interpretation of social action. The type of sampling frame that I will use for the research is the attendance of people that are connected to religion or the church in someway i. e. the attendance at site of religious workshop, young and old people’s places of worship, social clubs and schools.
I would use the attendance sheet of a social club for the elderly and use a classroom register of a catholic school. I would probably approach a local catholic school by sending them a letter outlining the aims and objectives of my research and asking their permission to interview some of their students. I would then do the same for the social club. I understand that the school and social club my be concerned about the ethics of my research so I will have to assure them that everything will be treated confidentially and no applicants will be identified by my research.
The sampling method I will use to select the people is a random sampling. I will select 10 people each from the two groups, I am aware that this is a small sample and it may not be representative. Therefore I may not be able to generalise it, but I could look back at my statistics of religious beliefs to see if is more or less the same as my research findings. The reason for using a random sampling is because it is representative and the interviewer will not bias it, the researcher will not be able to influence the people picked.
I will carry out a pilot study and this will determine if the research goes ahead or not. It will also help me to amend any errors I made in the research. I will need to think carefully about making sure that my method is reliable. This is quite difficult with semi-structured interviews because it often depends on the unique relationship you have with the person been interviewed. Also the problems I might face with semi-structured interviews are that the information I collect may not be enough. Some people might go off the point when been interviewed and I have to keep on bringing them back to the questions.
The qualitative aspect of the research may be lost. But the good thing about semi-structured interviews are that it has some details of the specific things you are looking for in your research, my final analysis will not be hard to quantify meaning that it will less time consuming for me. To make my research more reliable, I could ask the interviewees factual questions about their background. My research design is also very important so I will have to think very carefully about question wording and order.