Surveys and ethnosurveys

Authored by: Mariano Sana , Becky Conway

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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Throughout the twentieth century surveys became the preferred universal method for the collection of data on individuals and households. The popularity of surveys hinges on two scientific strengths: statistical representativeness—based on proper sampling—and standardization—the principle of using exactly the same tools to collect comparable data from different subjects. The most desirable properties of survey data, such as maximum validity and reliability and minimum or no bias, are thought to be achieved when representativeness and standardization are secured. All of these are thoroughly addressed themes in survey methodology textbooks. A third advantage of collecting data from a sample of the population is of a practical nature. Surveys cost only a fraction of what their alternative, a population census, costs.

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