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The Use of Observation in Research

Observation involves looking at a particular setting, and can be done in various ways, from informally watching what is going on to structuring the looking process in some way, such as by noting what is observed at particular times or counting the number of people, vehicles, or behavior at a particular site. In some cases, the observer can watch unobtrusively, like a bystander, without identifying him or herself to the people being observed.

Contribution of Different Disciplines to Leisure and Tourism Studies

Leisure and tourism studies are characterized by a diversity of approaches which come from different disciplines and use a variety of methods. A researcher might regard these different approaches like a tool-kit which he or she can draw on, as appropriate, for doing a study on a particular topic for a particular purpose. This article describes the major approaches.

Using Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative research methods are characterized by collecting limited information about a large number of cases. The methods used in quantitative research include: a household survey, in which people are interviewed in their home and are selected to be included in the survey based on their location; a street survey, where people are stopped on the street or in a shopping mall and asked to answer questions; and a telephone survey, where the interviewer calls the prospective survey participant. This article describes these different methods.

Different Research Approaches Used in Leisure and Tourism Research

Besides the approach of different disciplines, there are about a dozen approaches which involve more than one discipline. In brief, these are the approaches that cut across disciplines: the theoretical approach, the applied research approach, the empirical research approach, the inductive approach, the deductive approach, the descriptive approach, the explanatory approach, and a half dozen other approaches. This article describes these different approaches to help the researcher decide which one to use.

Definition and History of Sociology

Sociology is considered one of the social sciences – along with economics, psychology, anthropology, geography, and political science (among others). The social sciences were born in the 18th and 19th centuries, as people began applying the scientific method to human life and behavior. The world was changing dramatically and quickly as industrial production replaced agriculture, as democratic republics replaced monarchies, and as city life replaced country life. Realizing how many great insights science had lent regarding the natural world, people decided to try to use the same method to understand the social world.

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