An important skill for students, whether they remain in academia or move on to careers elsewhere, is to become critical consumers of research, with the ability to sort out and evaluate sometimes conflicting findings that are reported in the popular media. While traditional sociological methods texts focus on teaching how to produce research, Greenstein teaches students how to understand the research results they'll encounter. He equips students with the essentials they'll need to become intelligent and critical readers of research on families, whether in their work or in everyday life. In focusing on techniques that enable students to better interpret and comprehend scientific findings, Greenstein addresses such essential questions as: why do research on families? What are the stages of social research? What are the benefits of well-conducted research? How is research analyzed? How are literature searches and reviews conducted? How is the internet best used in research? Students at all levels will come away from this brief, affordable book equipped to critically read, understand, and evaluate research on the family.
Generally, the text as a whole focuses on conceptual understanding aimed at helping students become intelligent and critical consumers of research on families, equipping them to more critically analyze what they read. More specifically, 'Study Questions' at the end of each chapter help students test their command of the material. In addition, when new terms are first introduced, they are highlighted in boldface and defined in context. A combined glossary/index further helps students review and navigate the terminology of social science research methodology and guides them to where the term was introduced in the text.
Theodore N. Greenstein is a father, husband, teacher, author, and researcher. He is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University and has been teaching sociology of the family, research methods, and statistics since 1976. His research program focuses on the intersection of work and family. His publications on the division of household labor, marital stability, and the effects of maternal employment on child well-being have appeared in Social Forces, the Journal of Marriage and Family, the Journal of Family Issues, and the Journal of Comparative Family Studies. He is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Southern Sociological Society, the Council on Contemporary Families, and the National Council on Family Relations. Professor Davis was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. She received her BA in Sociology in 1997 with distinction as an Undergraduate Research Scholar from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2004 from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. She also spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Davis' research has two foci. One vein of her work focuses on the creation of families and the negotiation of family life. Specifically, she is interested in how family members negotiate the intersection of paid and unpaid work in their daily lives and how gender inequality is reproduced in families. Recently, she began investigating the ways married couples are responding to the recent economic recession, and how these responses facilitate and undermine gender equality.
Preface The Goal of This Text What's New in the Third Edition To the Student To the Instructor Organization of This Text Acknowledgments 1. Why Do Research on Families? What Are the Stages of Social Research? How Is Research on Families Different? The Benefits of Well-Conducted Research Study Questions For Further Reading 2. Causal Inference in Family Research Variables Units of Analysis Thinking Causally Framing the Hypothesis Causal Inference in Qualitative Research Study Questions For Further Reading 3. Searching and Reading the Literature Reading a Journal Article Where Do I Go From Here? How Do Journal Articles Get Published? Research Monographs Edited Volumes Other Types of Publications Study Questions For Further Reading 4. Sampling Issues Defining the Population Sampling Designs How Large Does the Sample Need to Be? How Do We Go About Choosing a Sampling Technique? Study Questions For Further Reading 5. How Do We Measure Concepts? Characteristics of a Good Measurement Procedure Levels of Measurement What Are Reliability and Validity? Some Thoughts on Reliability and Validity Study Questions For Further Reading 6. Working With Scales and Indices Types of Scales and Indices Using Existing Scales and Indices How Do We Evaluate Scales and Indices? How Do We Deal With Missing Data in Scales and Indices? Study Questions For Further Reading 7. Studying Families: Quantitative Methods Studying Families Through Experiments Studying Families Through Survey Methods Studying Families Through Nonreactive Techniques Types of Nonreactive Research Secondary Analysis of Sample Surveys Some Limitations of Quantitative Methods Study Questions For Further Reading 8. Studying Families: Qualitative Methods Qualitative Research Compared to Quantitative Research Types of Qualitative Strategies Studying Families through Observation Evaluating Qualitative Research Study Questions For Further Reading 9. Studying Families: Mixed Methods Mixed-Method Approaches to Family Research Mixed-Model Studies in Family Research Some Closing Thoughts on Choosing a Research Strategy Study Questions For Further Reading 10. Using Other People's Data Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Analysis What Are Some Sources of Data About Families? Sources of Secondary Data Sets Future Trends in Secondary Data Analysis Study Questions For Further Reading 11. Analyzing Data on Families Descriptive Statistics Interpreting Cross-classification Tables Inferential Statistics Commonly Reported Tests of Statistical Significance Some Thoughts About Statistical Analysis Study Questions For Further Reading 12. Advanced Topics in Family Analysis The Idea of Nested Entities Analyzing Nested Data Individual Change over Time Final Thoughts on Nested Entities Study Questions For Further Reading 13. Evaluating Family Programs Needs and Social Impact Assessment: What Is the Problem? Outcome Assessment: Does It Work? Process Research: How Does It Work? Some Thoughts About Randomization in Evaluation Research The Relationship Between Applied and Basic Research Study Questions For Further Reading 14. The Ethics and Politics of Family Research Ethical Issues in Research on Families and Children What Is the Role of the Institutional Review Board? Political Concerns in Research on Families Some Closing Thoughts Study Questions For Further Reading References Glossary and Index About the Authors
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3rd Revised edition
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