Constructing Social Research, Second Edition is a concise, innovative text designed for undergraduate Research Methods courses in the Social Sciences. This Sociology for a New Century Series text effectively highlights the unity and diversity of methods across disciplines and cultures using comparative and historical examples. Ragin and Amoroso clearly demonstrate the similarities among three major traditions: qualitative research on commonalities, comparative research on diversity, and quantitative research on relationships among variables. Together, these three compelling research strategies provide a solid foundation for studying all social phenomena, from examining the complexities of everyday life to investigating the power of transnational processes.
New to This Edition
- This edition includes a new Chapter 4 "The Ethics of Social Research" to provide more in-depth information on this vital topic
- Ragin and Amoroso offer a new succinct overview of the scientific method, illuminating the contrast between this method and the alternative presented in the text
- To illustrate the various types of data collection associated with qualitative, comparative, and quantitative research, each chapter within the "Strategies of Social Research" section includes new, detailed examples.
The primary goal of Charles Ragin, social scientist and innovative methodologist, is to develop methods that help students and researchers unravel causal complexity in their research. This has led to his developing and championing the use of set-theoretic methods in the social sciences, most notably, his Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and fuzzy set analysis. In a recent review article in Contemporary Sociology entitled "The Ragin Revolution" (Vaisey review), sociologist Stephen Vaisey describes Ragin's work as a "principled alternative" to quantitative analysis (which assumes away casual complexity) and qualitative case-based methods (which lack tools for generalizing across cases.) Many who have adopted Ragin's methods believe that these techniques combine the strength of both quantitative and qualitative methods, while transcending their limits.
Foreword Preface PART I Elements of Social Research 1 What is Social Research? Introduction Some Conventional Views of Social Research Social Research and Other Ways of Representing Social Life Social Research Defined Journalism and Social Research: The Similarities How Social Research Differs 2 The Goals of Social Research Introduction The Seven Main Goals The Link between Goals and Strategies The Social Nature of Social Research 3 The Process of Social Research: Ideas and Evidence Introduction The Interpretive Model of Social Research Processes and Strategies of Social Research The Challenge of Social Research 4 The Ethics of Social Research Introduction Ethical Dilemmas and Failures The Troublesome History of Ethical Research The Current Ethical Standards and Institutional Oversight Ethical and Professional Dilemmas Facing Social Researchers PART II Strategies of Social Research 5 Using Qualitative Methods to Study Commonalities Introduction The Goals of Qualitative Research The Process of Qualitative Research Using Qualitative Methods The Study of a Single Case 6 Using Comparative Methods to Study Diversity Introduction Contrasts with Other Research Strategies The Goals of Comparative Research The Process of Comparative Research Using Comparative Methods 7 Using Quantitative Methods to Study Covariation Introduction Contrasts with Other Research Strategies The Goals of Quantitative Research The Process of Quantitative Research Using Quantitative Methods AFTERWORD: The Promise of Social Research with Mary Driscoll APPENDIX: Computing Correlation Coefficients References Glossary/Index