Survey research: practicalities and potential
Surveys constitute one of the most important tools used in contemporary social research. It would be difficult to over-estimate the value of large government surveys such as the General Household Survey, both to policy makers and to academic researchers with interests in areas such as poverty and inequality. Surveys carried out by academics and by doctoral students have made important
contributions to our knowledge and understanding of social phenomena and processes in areas such as work, education and health. More generally, small-scale surveys can be of value wherever and whenever a researcher has a quantitative objective, i.e. wishes to answer some form of 'How many?'