You are here

The Foundations of Social Research

The Foundations of Social Research
Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process

First Edition

October 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Choosing a research method can be bewildering. How can you be sure which methodology is appropriate, or whether your chosen combination of methods is consistent with the theoretical perspective you want to take? This book links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology. The major epistemological stances and theoretical perspectives that colour and shape current social research are detailed and the author reveals the philosophical origins of these schools of inquiry and shows how various disciplines contribute to the practice of social research as it is known today.

The March of Science  
The Making of Meaning  
For and against Culture  
The Way of Hermeneutics  
Critical Inquiry
The Marxist Heritage  
Critical Inquiry
Contemporary Critics and Contemporary Critique  
Re-Visioning the Man-Made World  
Crisis of Confidence or Moment of Truth?  

Excellent in making sense of the philosophical issues underpinning research design.

Mrs Rachel Kirk
Professional Development, Great Yarmouth College
March 12, 2015

An excellent book, highly recommended for Doctoral as well as Masters students. This book is recommended for reading at the start of research to sort out the philosophical approaches to research. It is readable and challenging at the same time.

Miss Christine Hibbert
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
February 13, 2015

Core text for students wishing to undertake research in healthcare.
Well-constructed, easy to follow with appropriate chapters for research students.

Ms Amy Taylor
Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
February 6, 2015

This book is used presently, and offers the students an insight into the research philosophies and paradigms, which many texts book do not.

Dr Denis Feather
Dept. of Strategy, Marketing and Economics, Huddersfield University
February 2, 2015

An excellent resource for Social Science research

Ms Lorna Armitage
Department of Computing, Bradford University
November 24, 2014

This book is the essential introduction into the philosophical and historical background to social research- an absolute must for all researchers of any discipline

Dr Duncan Shrewsbury
Institute of Health and Soceity, Worcester University
October 15, 2014

An extremely pertinant book for those new to reserch and looking to develop their research perspectives.

Dr Robin Bown
Marketing, Gloucestershire University
October 14, 2014

This book has proved very useful for students conducting research. It is particularly relevant and helpful for those writing about theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Mr Sean Creaney
Centre for Childhood Studies, Stockport College
October 1, 2014

I found the format of this book a little disjointed but contained some good discussion regarding appropriate methodological choices

Ms Joanna Booth
Faculty of Education, Health, Sciences, Derby Univ.
July 6, 2014

Very easy to read text that goes through the complicated philosophical arguments behind research. An essential read for any student wanting a 1st class research project.

Dr Katherine Cartmell
Education and Early Childhood Studies, Liverpool John Moores Univ.
June 27, 2014

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from

ISBN: 9780761961062

ISBN: 9780761961055