8.3.2 Background to the research What you decide upon as your research aim will relate closely to the work you do on the 'background' to your project. Working on the background is important because as your background knowledge develops then your aim is likely to become more specific and thus more manageable. It also provides you with a context within which to locate and report your research.
Background knowledge comes from: a review of the sociological literature (see Section 1.14.2); an examination of the relevant theoretical and political issues; and from talking to people. Indeed, getting advice from a wide range of people about what to focus on in your research is a useful strategy.
For example, in their study of poverty, Peter Townsend et al. (1987) took advice from, and involved, a range of interested organisations, such as the Disability Resources Group and various ethnic minorities groups. The combined knowledge and experience of these groups ultimately went into the design of the question schedule. The study was thus enriched by involving these community organisations in the design team.
Outline the 'background' to the research aim you produced inActivity 8.3.1. NOTE Initially your 'background' may be very hazy but over time you should fill it out and provide a sound context for your research.