Research Methods in the Social Sciences

SAGE
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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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About the author

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

Cathy Lewin is based at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
Nov 18, 2004
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Pages
376
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ISBN
9781412933902
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Research
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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While heated arguments between practitioners of qualitative and quantitative research have begun to test the very integrity of the social sciences, Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba have produced a farsighted and timely book that promises to sharpen and strengthen a wide range of research performed in this field. These leading scholars, each representing diverse academic traditions, have developed a unified approach to valid descriptive and causal inference in qualitative research, where numerical measurement is either impossible or undesirable. Their book demonstrates that the same logic of inference underlies both good quantitative and good qualitative research designs, and their approach applies equally to each.

Providing precepts intended to stimulate and discipline thought, the authors explore issues related to framing research questions, measuring the accuracy of data and uncertainty of empirical inferences, discovering causal effects, and generally improving qualitative research. Among the specific topics they address are interpretation and inference, comparative case studies, constructing causal theories, dependent and explanatory variables, the limits of random selection, selection bias, and errors in measurement. Mathematical notation is occasionally used to clarify concepts, but no prior knowledge of mathematics or statistics is assumed. The unified logic of inference that this book explicates will be enormously useful to qualitative researchers of all traditions and substantive fields.

'This book is refreshing, both as an addition to the general literature and as a text that considers cultural and social issues in studies relating to improving the situation of vulnerable people.... [T]his book will be a helpful, accessible and interesting resource for novice and experienced researchers alike in a number of fields' - Nurse Researcher

'Pranee Liamputtong has offered a well organized, clear and accessible work in Researching the Vulnerable...this book can offer very good guidance to the postgraduate student who is willing to focus in qualitative research methods, but also to an experienced researcher who may consider testing out its procedures or eventually is attempting to put into practice innovative qualitative research procedures' - Sociological Research Online

Researching Vunerable People takes as its starting point the particular considerations and sensitivities of being a researcher faced with a subject group at the margins of society, and explores the ethical, practical and methodological implications of working with such groups.

Pranee Liamputtong is an experienced textbook author, and in this book she attempts to explore qualitative methods using examples, drawn from around the world, from the wide variety of contexts that might count as 'researching the vulnerable'. Numerous salient points for the conduct of research within vulnerable groups of people, including ethical and moral issues, are considered, and discussed in the context of sensitive and innovative research methods.

In many arenas the debate is raging over the nature of sexual orientation. Queer Words, Queer Images addresses this debate, but with a difference, arguing that homosexuality has become an issue precisely because of the way in which we discuss, debate, and communicate about the concept and experience of homosexuality. The debate over homosexuality is fundamentally an issue of communication--as we can see by the recent controversy over gays in the military. This controversy, termed by one gay man as the annoying habit of heterosexual men to overestimate their own attractiveness, has been debated in communication-sensitive terms, such as morale and discipline.

The twenty chapters address such subjects as gay political language, homosexuality and AIDS on prime-time television, the politics of male homosexuality in young adult fiction, the identification of female athleticism with lesbianism, the politics of identity in the works of Edmund White, and coming out strategies. This is must reading for students of communication practices and theory, and for everyone interested in human sexuality.

Contributing to the book are: James Chesebro (Indiana State), James Darsey (Ohio State), Joseph A. Devito (Hunter College, CUNY), Timothy Edgar (Purdue), Mary Anne Fitzpatrick (Wisconsin, Madison), Karen A. Foss (Humboldt State), Kirk Fuoss (St. Lawrence), Larry Gross (Pennsylvania), Darlene Hantzis (Indiana State), Fred E. Jandt (California State, San Bernardino), Mercilee Jenkins (San Francisco State), Valerie Lehr (St. Lawrence), Lynn C. Miller (Texas, Austin), Marguerite Moritz (Colorado, Boulder), Fred L. Myrick (Spring Hill), Emile Netzhammer (Buffalo State), Elenie Opffer, Dorothy S. Painter (Ohio State), Karen Peper (Michigan), Nicholas F. Radel (Furman), R. Jeffrey Ringer (St. Cloud State), Scott Shamp (Georgia), Paul Siegel (Gallaudet), Jacqueline Taylor (Depaul), Julia T. Wood (North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

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