Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Mar 23, 2010 - Reference - 323 pages
4 Reviews

“You might think that dancing doesn't have a lot to do with social research, and doing social research is probably why you picked this book up in the first place. But trust me. Salsa dancing is a practice as well as a metaphor for a kind of research that will make your life easier and better.”

Savvy, witty, and sensible, this unique book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science. In this volume, Kristin Luker guides novice researchers in:

  • knowing the difference between an area of interest and a research topic
  • defining the relevant parts of a potentially infinite research literature
  • mastering sampling, operationalization, and generalization
  • understanding which research methods best answer your questions
  • beating writer's block

Most important, she shows how friendships, nonacademic interests, and even salsa dancing can make for a better researcher.

“You know about setting the kitchen timer and writing for only an hour, or only 15 minutes if you are feeling particularly anxious. I wrote a fairly large part of this book feeling exactly like that. If I can write an entire book 15 minutes at a time, so can you.”

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Review: Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut

User Review  - Joel - Goodreads

Man, this is a good book. Super readable. Sane advice. Would highly recommend to new PhD students in the social sciences. Made me think about why am I so anxious about my project and is helping point to way toward how to not be. Read full review

Review: Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut

User Review  - Jennie - Goodreads

Simply essential reading for anyone considering a dissertation using mixed methods, qualitative, or interdisciplinary research. There are incredibly useful exercises to get you started formulating a ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Kristin Luker is Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley.

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