Approaches to Social Research
Striking a balance between specific techniques and the underlying logic of social scientific inquiry, this book provides a valuable introduction to ... Show synopsis Striking a balance between specific techniques and the underlying logic of social scientific inquiry, this book provides a valuable introduction to social research methods. After an introductory section that places social research in the context of science and logical reasoning, the book follows the sequence of a typical research project, beginning with research design, proceeding to data collection, and then to data interpretation. The authors focus on four major approaches to research--experimentation, survey research, field research, and the use of available data--illustrating their discussion with numerous case studies and examples drawn from sociology, social psychology, demography, history, education, and political science. While advocating a multiple-methods strategy that treats the approaches as complementary, the authors provide a detailed account of the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the actual process, of carrying out research with each approach. Sophisticated enough to make social science students become intelligent consumers of research evidence, this lucidly written survey is also entirely accessible to those with very little knowledge of the field.