The selected methods to be used in researching militia groups and other interest groups include observation, experimental research, interviews, and surveys.
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Surveys in this research will be used to collect data from the respondents, who will in this case be the militia and interest groups. Individuals will be free to express personal ideas as their identity will be anonymous. Surveys will be useful in establishing the respondent’s feelings and thoughts. In this case, a sample population of 20 respondents from both the city militia and the opposing group will be chosen to represent the entire population of both groups.
Both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires will be used. An open-ended questionnaire may, for example, ask how the respective groups plan to hold their protests, what activities they intend to have during the protests, and how they have previously held their protests. The multiple-choice questions will bear yes or no answers. More information will be obtained from the open-ended qualitative questions which will allow the respondents to give a variety of detailed information on socio-economic and political issues (Gray & Guppy, 2007).
Interviews will be administered to respondents who will be free to choose the way they respond. Clarifications and additional questions will be posted, and answers sought as the conversation progresses. Questions like, how the respondent from both groups intend to articulate grievances during the protests, and the mode of delivery will be posted.
Participant observations will be carried out by joining groups in some of their routine activities before the day of protests to observe them within that context. It will bring out an aspect of their social life and provide a first-hand glimpse of the groups’ institution, trend, and behavior. As a researcher, I will try and blend in with the population under study, to allow for a more specific emergence of behavior patterns and observation of real, non-exaggerated behavior.
The research will involve going out to the city militia’s places of residence and the opposition group’s stations to gather primary data. It will provide an opportunity to observe how both the civil militia group and the opposition groups behave. Data collected will be based on correlation.
Secondary Information regarding the civil militia and protesting group, in this case, will be obtained from the already completed work of other researchers. The main advantage of secondary data is that it is not reactive research as there is no direct contact with subjects and will not alter or influence the civil militia’s behavior or even that of the protesting groups.
Experimental research is carried out through the manipulation of one or more grouping or variables. It involves the use of a control group versus an intervention group and observing the result of the manipulation on one or more dependent or outcome variables (Creswell, 2009). In this case, the control group will be the city militia and the opposition group of the intervention group.
When a theory is tested, the results either prove or disprove a hypothesis, the social theory can be proved by experimenting by investigating the relationship to the hypothesis (Jackson, 2009). In this case, the research will seek to find out how unemployment among the youth, availability of guns and other weapons, and social injustice contribute to the protests on both sides of the groups and their behaviors.
The answers obtained from the survey of opposing group members will suggest the behaviors and activities of the entire team as an assumption from the group dynamics theory. According to this theory, the behavior, experience, attitude, and opinion of an individual is highly influenced by the group to which one belongs. Based on the Social identity theory the opposing groups’ status differences from those of the civil militias can be used in predicting the behaviors and activities of the later and vice-versa. The theory focuses on the perception of in-group that is formed by a group bias including prejudice and stereotypes (Replogle, 2011).
From the results obtained conclusions will be made based on the de- individuation theory which seeks to explain various forms of anti normative collective behavior like violent crowds and mob-justice. The research methods to be used will provide a positive and negative range of information on the activities of protestors. The findings obtained will provide all the required information about the group: their behavior, attitudes, beliefs, and characteristics, and help the Mytown Police Department to understand more about them.
These will help them in making any possible predictions about the possible actions of the group, and in turn, help them in coming up with preventive and control measures against any such actions from the groups. The findings will help the police department in the decision-making process related to the best measures to take about the militia and interest groups, and the planned protests. Generally, the obtained evidence and knowledge from the research will ensure that the Mytown police department is prepared for the event and that it acts professionally in handling any anomaly that may arise.
Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Gray, G., & Guppy, N. (2007). Successful surveys: Research methods and practice. Toronto: Harcourt Canada.
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Jackson, S. (2009). Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Replogle, E. (2011). Reference Groups, Mob Mentality, and Bystander Intervention: A Sociological Analysis of the Lara Logan Case. Sociological Forum, 24 (4): 796- 805.