Realist Inquiry in Social Science

Realist Inquiry in Social Science

By: Brian Douglas Haig (author), Colin Evers (author)Paperback

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Realist Inquiry in Social Science is an invaluable guide to conducting realist research. Written by highly regarded experts in the field, the first part of the book sets out the fundamentals necessary for rigorous realist research, while the second part deals with a number of its most important applications, discussing it in the context of case studies, action research and grounded theory amongst other approaches. Grounded in philosophical methodology, this book goes beyond understanding knowledge justification only as empirical validity, but instead emphasises the importance of theoretical criteria for all good research. The authors consider both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and approach methodology from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Using abductive reasoning as the starting point for an insightful journey into realist inquiry, this book demonstrates that scientific realism continues to be of major relevance to the social sciences.

About Author

Brian Haig is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. He is a theoretical psychologist who has published numerous articles in psychology, education, and philosophy journals on the conceptual foundations of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and the nature of psychological science more generally. He recently published a book entitled Investigating the Psychological World (MIT Press, 2014). He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the New Zealand Psychological Society. Colin Evers is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of New South Wales, having previously worked at The University of Hong Kong, Monash University, and the University of Sydney. He studied mathematics, philosophy, and education before taking his PhD in philosophy of education at the University of Sydney. His teaching and research interests are in educational administration, philosophy of education, and research methodology. He has co-edited and co-authored ten books in his various fields of interest including Knowing Educational Administration, Exploring Educational Administration and Doing Educational Administration (all written with Gabriele Lakomski and published by Pergamon/Elsevier) and many papers.


Chapter 1: Scientific Realism What is Realism? Naturalistic Realism Global and Local Realism Realist Methodology The Centrality of Method Realism in the Social Sciences Chapter 2: Evidence Social Science Preliminaries Empirical Evidence and Theory Coherentism and Naturalism Varieties of Evidence: Pragmatic Considerations Chapter 3: Validity Test Validity, Operational Definition, and Logical Empiricism Holism, Realism, and Ontological Commitment Construct Validity and Logical Empiricism Construct Validity, Generalization in Experiments, and Epistemology Paradigms of Validity Coherence Justification Chapter 4: Grounded Theory The Abductive Theory of Method Problem Formulation Phenomena Detection Theory Construction ATOM as Grounded Theory Method Chapter 5: Factor Analysis Exploratory Factor Analysis and Scientific Inference Methodological Challenges to Exploratory Factor Analysis Exploratory Factor Analysis and Other Factor Analytic Methods Chapter 6: Case Study Constitutive and Regulative Rules What is A Case? Generalizing From Cases A Case Study in China Making Generalizations Improving Knowledge of Generalizations

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781446258859
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 168
  • ID: 9781446258859
  • weight: 260
  • ISBN10: 1446258858

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