Understanding Social Research: Perspectives on Methodology and Practice

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Routledge, Aug 4, 2005 - Education - 245 pages
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In 1991 the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) published "Postgraduate Taining Guidelines". Throughout the document emphasis is placed on the need for universities to make postgraduate research students aware of the methodological issues that affect their work.; This text explores the relationship between knowledge, methodology and research practice across the broad spectrum of the social sciences in langage that is accessible to researchers at all levels of their research careers. It follows the themes that there is no single practice or correct methodology, and that the diversity and variety in terms of methodology and disciplinary focus are a sign of the sophistication and complexity of the proceses of social research. The text examines socio-cultural contexts of social research and relates them to contemporary shifts in focus such as feminism, critical theory and postmodernism. The importance of selecting the research methodology most appropriate to the subject discipline concerned is emphasized.
 

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Contents

The Nature of Enquiry
25
Challenging the Power of Rationality
42
Being Economical with Politics
56
Family Behaviour and the Economic Method
71
The Nature of Disciplines
85
A Social Science?
101
The Case for Research into Practice
112
Bridging the Gap
124
Research Practice
137
Grounded Theory Its Basis Rationale and Procedures
173
Action Research in Information Systems
196
Issues in Participant Observation A Study of the Practice
210
Notes on Contributors
233
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Jane Powell is an experienced bungalow kitchen restorer and a sought after speaker on the subject. She lives in Oakland, California.

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