Social Research: A Practical Introduction

Social Research: A Practical Introduction

By: Cate Curtis (author), Bruce Curtis (author)Paperback

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Description

Original, fresh and relevant this is a theoretically-informed practical guide to researching social relations. The text provides a mixed methods approach that challenges historical divisions between quantitative and qualitative research. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach to social science research, drawing from areas such as sociology, social psychology and social anthropology. Explicitly addressing the concerns of emergent researchers it provides both a 'how to' account of social research and an understanding of the main factors that contextualize research by discussing 'why do' social scientists work this way. Throughout the twelve comprehensive chapters procedural (how to) accounts and contextual (why do) issues are usefully applied to major themes and substantive questions. These key themes include: (1) Research design (2) The practices of research and emergent researchers: Beyond ontology, epistemology and methodology (3) The impact of technology on research (4) Putting the research approach in context. A superb teaching text this book will be relished by lecturers seeking an authoritative introduction to social research and by students who want an accessible, enriching text to guide and inspire them.

About Author

Bruce Curtis teaches sociology. His research interests include how policies, technologies and local and international markets impact organizations and methodology. Cate Curtis teaches social psychology. Her research interests include the construction and conceptualization of "risk" and "resilience," particularly as they pertain to young women, and social factors implicated in "anti-social behavior."

Contents

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Structure of the book Case-centric or variable-centric research Analytical induction or hypothesis-testing Some issues in research Epistemology Reliability and validity Ethical considerations Ethical issues: Risk of harm Averting/Dealing with discomfort Ethical issues: Deception Ethical issues: Debriefing Ethical issues: Where to from here? Putting the approach in context Fixed or fluid framings or research Precursors to research Developing the research topic Preparing a research proposal Recruitment of participants Conclusion Further readings References PART TWO: IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWING - THE INTERACTIVE BASE Doing data collection, analysis and presentation What is an in-depth interview? How is an in-depth interview different from a questionnaire-based interview? How is an interview different from a focus group? How is an interview different from a discussion? Origins of the approach The practicalities: What are the advantages of in-depth interviews? What are the disadvantages? Preparing and undertaking a 'typical' set of interviews Developing the research topic Ethics approval Developing the interview guide Sampling and recruitment of participants Collection of data: Beginning the interview Collection of data: During the interview Non-verbal cues and body language Collection of data: Completing the interview Debriefing Data management Transcribing Journaling Analysis of data Analytical induction Grounded theory and thematic analysis Some issues in research Interviews as data sources and data-creators Epistemological concerns and constraints Resource issues Putting the approach in context Visual techniques: Photo-elicitation and photo-voice Computer-based data analysis Conclusion Further readings References PART THREE: LIFE HISTORIES - PRIVATE TROUBLES AND PUBLIC ISSUES Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Life history research cf. oral history Pointers in doing a life history Building rapport Memory and recall Analytical induction Triangulation Naturalistic and edited forms of life history Some issues in research Epistemology and claims for validity and reliability Putting the approach in context Conclusion Further readings References PART FOUR: ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH - STUDYING GROUPS IN NATURAL SETTINGS Doing data collection, analysis and presentation Origins of the approach Data collection Entering the field Observation in practice Exiting the field Data analysis and presentation Some issues in research Epistemology and claims for validity and reliability Resource limitations Putting the approach in context The impacts of new technologies on ethnography The ethics of ethnography Conclusion Further readings References PART FIVE: FOCUS GROUPS - STUDYING ARTIFICIAL GROUPS Doing data collection and analysis Exceptional focus groups Origins of the approach Data collection Some issues in research Epistemology Reliability and validity Putting the approach in context A real-life example: When focus groups go wrong Conclusion Further readings References PART SIX: SURVEY RESEARCH - STUDYING MANY CASES Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Hypothesis-testing: From insights to posing questions Attributes, attitudes and behaviour Sample size and margin of error Response rates Sampling strategies Scales of measurement Statistical analysis: Hypothesis-testing and the null hypothesis Some issues in research Epistemology and scales of measurement Question formats Putting the approach in context Survey fatigue and oversampling Conclusion Further readings References PART SEVEN: EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH - IN THE LABORATORY AND BEYOND Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Hypothesis-testing Variables in experiments Validity and reliability in data collection Cases in experiments Analyzing experiments Some issues in research Ethical issues The crisis in social psychology: A crisis in positivist epistemology? Resourcing Putting the approach in context Conclusion Further readings References PART EIGHT: UNOBTRUSIVE RESEARCH - STUDYING ARTEFACTS AND MATERIAL TRACES Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Applications of unobtrusive methods Examples of unobtrusive research Some issues in research Methodological issues: Observer bias Methodological issues: Bias within the data Ethical issues: Defining 'unobtrusive' Ethical issues: Informed consent Ethical issues: Deception Ethical issues: Debriefing Ethical issues: Where to from here? Putting the approach in context The use of new technologies Conclusion Further readings References PART NINE: CONTENT RESEARCH - CODING AND COUNTING Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Looking at coding form Hypothesis-testing Deciding on what is a case Coding: Develop a codebook, design a coding form, train the coders Drawing a sample Some issues in research Epistemology and claims for validity and reliability Putting the approach in context Conclusion Further readings References PART TEN: SECONDARY RESEARCH - MORE THAN LITERATURE REVIEWS Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Search engines Boolean searches Hypothesis-testing Secondary versus primary research Finding gaps in, and running with or against the literature Meta-analyses: combining and testing results Some issues in research Epistemology and goals of social research Putting the approach in context Issues in quality assurance Conclusion Further readings References PART ELEVEN: SEMIOTIC ANALYSIS - STUDYING SIGNS AND MEANINGS Doing data collection and analysis Origins of the approach Analysing signs Some issues in research An aside on rigour Structuralism and post-structuralism Putting the approach in context Conclusion Further readings PART TWELVE: AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH - WRITING AND READING THE SELF Doing data collection and analysis An authoethnographic aside Origins of the approach Autobiography and reflexivity as a case Data collection and analysis and reflexivity Guidelines for writers Analytical autoethnography Aims of autoethnography Some issues in research Epistemology and claims for validity and reliability Evaluating autoethnographies Putting the approach in context Motivations: The forms of personal documents Conclusion Further readings References Glossary

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781847874757
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 312
  • ID: 9781847874757
  • weight: 580
  • ISBN10: 1847874754

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