The work of a sociologist is to study how humans behave, interact, and organize themselves either in the social, political, or economic environment. This means that whatever the sociologists need is found outside the laboratory. They need to get outside there for them to interact with people and observe them. Organizing mass observation in a lab is not applicable because there are not social/economic or political environments to interact it. Moreover, people will definitely interact differently when subjected to the terms of a lab and would definitely jeopardize the results. People need to be in their natural habitats and, if possible, should not be aware that they are under observation.
Outside the lab, the sociologist will be able to interact with his subjects of study. He will attain firsthand information on how these people interact one on one. This enhances in depth understanding of the ways of the test subjects. He collects facts on the community instead of just basing his research on assumptions. This way, he can confirm or criticize his prior understanding of his test subjects.
Outside the lab, research has its advantages and disadvantages. He benefits are that the sociologist gets to interact with his test subjects and learns new culture. He could also share his culture with a test subject. Such research enriches cultures. The researcher also gets firsthand information about the test subjects, and this has enabled many tarnished names about communities to be cleansed. The disadvantages are that the researcher may experience culture shock. He might not fit in the community he is observing. He may also experience a language barrier and new unconducive environments limiting him from collecting enough information. It may be time-consuming and expensive because the researcher needs to step out of their natural habitats and live in a different community or country for months or years observing them. It could also be emotionally draining for the researcher. Moreover, collecting information from a large community may also prove to be difficult.
Shepard, J. M. (2010). Sociology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Lumen. (n.d). Field research. Sociology. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/alamo-sociology/chapter/research-methods-field-research-and-secondary-data-analysis/