I'roblem of evaluation in the sociological research.
With the formation of program and plan of research great importance is given to the development of the system of indices on the basis of which a sociologist composes a task for preparation of concrete methods. New problems appear on this stage. The problem of reflection of indices in methods is the main one. For solving this problem it is necessary to create a list of indices that are to be reflected in the questionnaire.
The necessity of the development of such indices, quantitative or qualitative, that would give the idea of studied processes and phenomena of social reality appears due to the fact that sociology studies mass phenomena, processes and fact that take place in the society. Procedure of sociological evaluation starts with the search of such indices.
What is evaluation? Evaluation is a procedure which helps to compare object of evaluation with a certain standard and acquires quantitative expression in a certain scale or ratio. It is possible to evaluate any features of the object — age, income, level of education, his attitude to certain phenomena, etc.
It is not difficult to establish standard for evaluation of quantitative indices. For instance, income is evaluated in currency, age - in years. Qualitative characteristics do not have such distinct standards, that is why a sociologist has to create them according to the nature of the studied phenomena.
How to find such standard of evaluation? We can analyze the basis for stratification that was proposed by Weber. It is based on the income, but apart from income there are notions of power and prestige. With the change of the prestige level, i.e. revelation of standard of qualitative characteristic of stratification certain difficulties appear.
Defining of the standard of evaluation is done in four stages.
First stage is qualitative classification of the object. It is difficult to classify the level of prestige because we have to refer a man to this or that level of social class. What should be the starting point - social layers (aristocracy and people) or income level (rich and poor)? There is no answer to this question. All depends on concrete problem that is to be solved in given research.
If we have the problem of differences of statuses as the aim of our research maybe we will have to know the other characteristics of people that will give us more differences between them, for instance the character of passing leisure time, value orientations, etc.
Second stage enables a sociologist to set continuum, i.e. duration of features that are extracted in the process of quantitative analysis. There are two basic means of doing this. In the first case we use evaluations that were defined by experts. If we define prestige as a feeling of respect and envy that is experienced by the others towards the given subject we can settle the most valuable indices of prestige after study of the majority point of view.
Third stage is ihe place to establish empiric indicators or outer features of those characteristics that constitute continuum. With the help of indicator - outer feature of the studied object - we reveal its presence or absence in the studied group of people.
On the fourth stage a sociologist checks whether all the features of the evaluated object are in the ranged row.