A social survey is an assessment of the social conditions in a particular region during a particular duration of time. Social surveys are of immense socio-political as well as academic interest since they reveal the factors which go into creation of certain social, and consequently, economical and political forces. Social surveys can be conducted by involving the members of society or by conducting an external survey.
- Social surveys can be conducted through the help of questionnaires which ask for the opinions of the members of a particular society regarding quality of life, provision of both basic amenities and higher comforts of life, education, availability of daily necessities of life and so on.
- Such exercises throw up interesting conclusions which must be assessed by sociologists and other academicians who can reflect on them and pinpoint the immediate needs of the people. Social surveys must be completed taking into account the opinions of a wide spectrum of people so that the survey is inclusive and comprehensive.
- In case of social surveys which are conducted by professionals without involving members of that society in the survey, care should be taken to ensure that the survey is reflective of the true conditions prevailing in that society. Such surveys must be even more cautious as they must be completed unaided by informed opinions.
- Most social surveys are conducted with the aim of finding out certain operative influences on the society being assessed. Sometime they can be of wide significance and range like the effects of migration, partition, forced displacement, emigration on particular societies.