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 is your step-by-step guide to success with your research proposal. This new edition covers every section of the proposal, telling you all you need to know on how to structure it, bring rigour to your methods section, impress your readers and get your proposal accepted.
With practical tips and advice throughout, new features include:Comprehensive explanation of method and methodology, and how to maximize this crucial section of your proposal A new section on mixed methods: an increasingly common approach in research A new chapter on how to get it right with ethics Fresh exercises and activities, now for each key chapter.
The Third Edition provides an authoritative and accessible guide for anyone tackling a research proposal. It is perfect for students in education, nursing, health, and across the social sciences.
Rather than thinking about the theory-data 'fit', Alvesson and Karreman will encourage you to consider the research process as one of theory-data interplay, asking if creative empirical material can challenge established theory and inspire new lines of development, and if breakdowns and mysteries encountered in research can be a constructive rather than destructive process.
They will encourage you to think critically about empirical data in terms of construction rather than verification, and most importantly they will encourage you to develop theory that is interesting and novel, rather than naive or irrelevant, making this title essential reading for those who often find the traditional vocabulary and frameworks of social science research obvious or simplistic.
Setting out a clear and detailed road map, Gary Thomas guides the reader through the different stages of a research project, explaining key steps and processes at each level in refreshingly jargon-free terms.
- How to choose your research question
- Project management and study skills
- Effective literature reviews
- Methodology, theory and research design frames
- Ethics and access
- Data collection tools
- Effective data analysis
- Discussing findings, concluding and writing up
Packed with engaging anecdotal evidence and practical advice and supported by an interactive website featuring worksheets, videos, SAGE Journal articles and more, this new edition is a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for guidance on research principles.
While there exists a plethora of books on measurement, scaling, and the like, there are virtually no books devoted to the construction and analysis of concepts and their role in the research enterprise. Social Science Concepts: A Users Guide provides detailed and practical advice on the construction and use of social science concepts; a Web site provides classroom exercises.
It uses a wide range of examples from political science and sociology such as revolution, welfare state, international disputes and war, and democracy to illustrate the theoretical and practical issues of concept construction and use. It explores the means of constructing complex, multilevel, and multidimensional concepts. In particular, it examines the classic necessary and sufficient condition approach to concept building and contrasts it with the family resemblance approach. The consequences of valid concept construction are explored in both qualitative and quantitative analyses.
Social Science Concepts: A Users Guide will prove an indispensable guide for graduate students and scholars in the social sciences. More broadly, it will appeal to scholars in any field who wish to think more carefully about the concepts used to create theories and research designs.
For Course Use:
Social Science Concepts: A Users Guide has been written with classroom use in mind. Many of the chapters have been successfully taught at the Annual Training Institute on Qualitative Research Methods which is sponsored by the Consortium on Qualitative Research Methods. Feedback from those experiences has been incorporated into the text. Each chapter provides useful, practical, and detailed advice on how to construct, evaluate, and use concepts. To make the volume more useful, an extensive set of classroom exercises is available from the author's Web page at http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ggoertz/social_science_concepts.html. These include questions about prominent published work on concepts, measures, and case selection; in addition there are logic exercises and questions regarding large-N applications.
King begins with a qualitative overview, readable even by those without a statistical background. He then unifies the apparently diverse findings in the methodological literature, so that only one aggregation problem remains to be solved. He then presents his solution, as well as empirical evaluations of the solution that include over 16,000 comparisons of his estimates from real aggregate data to the known individual-level answer. The method works in practice.
King's solution to the ecological inference problem will enable empirical researchers to investigate substantive questions that have heretofore proved unanswerable, and move forward fields of inquiry in which progress has been stifled by this problem.