Research Methods in the Social Sciences

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Bridget Somekh, Cathy Lewin
SAGE, 2005 - Social Science - 368 pages
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"This book provides an excellent balance between theory and practical application in social research. The book works well to develop students' understanding of particular methods of inquiry, embedding them within "real world" settings. I envisage that it will help students to understand the nuances of particular approaches, the complimentarity of certain methods, and the areas of conflict/contention within social research in a way that overcomes the sometimes abstract nature of these discussions" - Dr Jon Tan, School of Education and Professional Training, Leeds Metropolitan University

"This book unlocks all of the important areas of social science research in an easily digestible and stimulating style. Both students and supervisors in a range of disciplines will find this an excellent resource" - Fazal Rizvi, Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rather than being written by one or two `generalists', this innovative book is written by a large number of active researchers about their specialisms in methods/methodologies.

The book introduces all the key qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and methods and seeks to draw readers into a community of researchers engaged in reflection on the research process. Included are narrative accounts of carrying out a research study that explore the way in which the research design and methods are shaped by the methodology, discussing problematic issues, and reflecting on the way in which knowledge and understanding develop. Aimed at researchers and postgraduate students, it will also be invaluable for students at masters level.

Click on the companion website logo above to access additional resources and links to accompany each chapter in the book.

"Research Methods in the Social Sciences is a valuable pedagogical tool. It is organized as a dialogue between theory and key concepts, and practice - stories from the field allowing novices and scholars alike to see how critical interpretive research is actually conducted" - Norman K Denzin, University of Illinois

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
viii
Introduction
xiii
Ethnography
16
Research Diaries
24
Case Study
33
Interviewing and Focus Groups
41
Grounded Theory
49
Ethical Responsibility in Social Research
56
Social Semiotics and Multimodal Texts
172
Communities of Practice
180
Activity Theory
188
The Foundations of ExperimentalEmpirical Research Methods
198
The Positivist Paradigm in Contemporary Social Science Research
207
Elementary Quantitative Methods
215
Testing for Differences and Relationships
226
An Introduction to Statistical Modelling
236

RESEARCHING FOR IMPACT f
65
Critical Theories of Race
74
Queer Theorylesbian and Gay Approaches
81
Action Research
89
Researching Policy
97
The Practice and Politics of Sponsored Evaluations
105
Philosophy and Hermeneutics
114
Phenomenology
121
Naturalistic Inquiry
131
Observation
138
Discourse Analysis
146
REPRESENTING SOCIOCULTURAL MEANINGS m
155
Semiotic Approaches to Imagebased Research
164
Random Reflections on Modelling Geography and Voting
252
Capturing Complexity through Maturity Modelling
260
The Road Less Travelled in Quantitative Methodology
269
Deconstruction as a Method of Research
284
From Hermeneutics to Poststructuralism to Psychoanalysis
293
Postmodernist Perspectives
302
From Structuralism to Poststructuralism
310
FeminismPoststructuralism
318
Social Science Research in Virtual Realities
326
PARTICIPATING IN THE RESEARCH COMMUNITY
335
Glossary
344
Contributor Biographies
350
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Bridget Somekh is based at Manchester Metropolitan University as well as University of Canterbury.

Cathy Lewin is based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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