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Constructing Social Research
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Constructing Social Research
The Unity and Diversity of Method

Third Edition


April 2018 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The updated Third Edition of this innovative text shows the unity within the diversity of activities called social research to help students understand how all social researchers construct representations of social life using theories, systematic data collection, and careful examination of that data. The book tackles questions like "What is social research?", "How does it differ from journalism, documentary film-making, or laboratory research in the natural sciences?", and "What is the researcher's obligation to those he or she is studying?"

Updated throughout with new references and examples, this edition is designed to evoke challenging questions regarding the nature of representation and the ethical challenges facing social scientific researchers. The text moves beyond standard research challenges to push readers to see the complex relationships among ethics, ideas, evidence, and outcomes.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
PART I: ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL RESEARCH
 
CHAPTER 1: What Is (and Is Not) Social Research?
Introduction  
Some Conventional Views of Social Research  
Social Research and Other Ways of Representing Social Life  
How Social Research Differs  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 2: The Goals of Social Research
Introduction  
Seven Main Goals  
The Link Between Goals and Strategies  
The Social Nature of Social Research  
 
CHAPTER 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  
CHAPTER 4: The Ethics of Social Research  
Introduction  
Ethical Dilemmas and Failures  
The Troubled History of Ethical Research  
The Current Ethical Standards and Institutional Oversight  
Ethical and Professional Dilemmas Facing Social Researchers  
The Problem of Representation  
Conclusion  
 
PART II: STRATEGIES OF SOCIAL RESEARCH
 
CHAPTER 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
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 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  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 7: Using Quantitative Methods to Study Covariation
Introduction  
The Goals of Quantitative Research  
Contrasts With Other Research Strategies  
The Process of Quantitative Research  
Using Quantitative Methods  
Conclusion  
 
Afterword: The Promise of Social Research With Mary Driscoll
 
Appendix: Computing Correlation Coefficients
 
References
 
Glossary/Index
 
About the Authors
Key features

 NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • The book has been updated to reflect current research designs and the latest regulations regarding human subjects.
  • Research examples throughout have been updated and are drawn more broadly from across the social science disciplines.
  • A total of 23 new citations reflect the latest research and thinking in the field, on subjects such as mass incarceration in the U.S., sexual orientation and intersexuality, migrant workers in South Africa, slaughterhouse workers in the American South, and peasant societies in post-colonial Southeast Asia.
KEY FEATURES:
  • The book emphasizes that the three traditions of social research—qualitative research on commonalities, comparative research on diversity, and quantitative research on relationships among variables—are not rigid divisions to help students understand that research designs often blend aspects of each tradition in creative ways.
  • The model of social research put forth is not as restrictive as the scientific method and encompasses social research ranging from research examining the complexities of everyday life to research investigating the power of transnational processes.
  • The authors present complex ideas in a brief and easy-to-understand fashion.



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