Written for students and researchers who wish to understand the conceptual and practical aspects of sampling, this book is designed to be accessible without requiring advanced statistical training. It covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of sampling to special topics such as sampling rare populations, sampling organizational populations, and sampling visitors to a place. Using cases and examples to illustrate sampling principles and procedures, the book thoroughly covers the fundamentals of modern survey sampling, and addresses recent changes in the survey environment such as declining response rates, the rise of Internet surveys, the need to accommodate cell phones in telephone surveys, and emerging uses of social media and big data.

Sampling in Special Contexts

Previous chapters have covered general issues in sampling. In addition to these general points, any given research context is likely to present its own specific sampling issues. Here, we discuss various contexts that are of interest to many social researchers. We consider the following:

  • Sampling for online research
  • Sampling visitors to a place
  • Sampling rare populations
  • Sampling organizations
  • Sampling groups such as influence groups or elites
  • Sampling for panel research
  • Sampling in international contexts
  • “Big data” and survey sampling
  • Incorporating new technologies

Each of these contexts presents its own special sampling problems and its own characteristic procedures. In this chapter, you will learn about those problems and procedures.

8.1 Sampling for Online Research

As noted earlier in this book, online data collection is increasingly common and may present significant sampling problems.

The ...

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