Approaches to Social Research
Oxford University Press, 1993 - Social sciences - 572 pages
Thoroughly revised and updated to incorporate new research, the second edition of this remarkably popular work instills readers with the sense and skills they need to become intelligent consumers of research evidence, providing a lucid, accessible introduction to the various methods employed in a variety of fields, as well as an appreciation of social research as part of the larger context of social science. Offering over two dozen new research examples and over 100 new references, "user-friendly" diagrams of essential concepts and processes, and expanded coverage of current key topics and recent developments, it strikes a balance between specific techniques and the underlying logic of social inquiry--the how-to and wherefore of research.
Opening chapters draw readers into the subject by illustrating the practicality of the study of research methods and the vital relationship between theory and research. The ensuing sequence of topics follows that of an ideal-typical research project--beginning with research design, measurement, and sampling, proceeding to data collection, and then to data processing and analysis. The authors focus on four major approaches to research--experimentation, survey research, field research, and the use of available data--and bring the material to life with numerous examples drawn from classic and current research. Advocating a multiple-methods strategy that treats these approaches as complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, the authors provide a full account of the benefits and drawbacks of using each, and describe the actual processes involved in research with each.
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