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The Politics of Social Research
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The Politics of Social Research


August 2012 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Is social research political? In recent years a debate has raged around the politicization of social research. One camp argues that research should be governed by the principle of value neutrality. Critical, feminist, antiracist, and postmodernist analyses have argued the opposite, that research is intrinsically political.

In this stimulating and often controversial book, Martyn Hammersley weighs the arguments offered in support of these two camps. He considers the fundamental issues that the debate raises about the nature of social research, its political dimensions, and its contemporary relevance. At the same time, he provides a robust defense of value neutrality as a constitutive principle of social research and presents a reassessment of the role of research in modern societies.

The Politics of Social Research
will be of interest both to scholars and students engaged in researchboth applied and theoreticalacross the range of social science disciplines.

 
Introduction
 
Paradigm Lost? Positivism and its Afterlife in the Philosophy of Social Research
 
A Critique of `Critical' Research
 
On Feminist Methodology
 
Research and `Anti-Racism'
A Critical Case  
 
Writing Wrong
An Assessment of Textual Radicalism  
 
Is Social Research Political?
 
Social Research, Policy-Making and Practice
Reflections on the Enlightenment Paradigm  
 
The Liberal University and its Critics

`For anyone interested in the nature of social research, who has enough grasp of the issues to access the text, this book is a must' - British Journal of Educational Psychology

`All in all Hammersley has produced a text which provides us with much to think about. As I have said, certain chapters will, no doubt, attract considerable debate. Almost all of the chapters could stand alone but the broad political theme used to bring chapters and topics together works well almost always' - Local Government Studies

`Not only is Hammersley a leading exponent of sociological research, he is also a key writer and thinker on the problems of undertaking research. This collection, some of which has been published elsewhere and some not, therefore is a welcome addition to the literature on social research... interesting and well-argued' - Disability and Society


A comprehensive and thought-provoking text on issues related to social research.

Sasha Pleasance
Care & Learning Opportunities, South Devon College
June 3, 2014

Very interesting book with excellent treatments of the idea of positivism and critical research.
It can be recommended as supplemental text. It is probably more advisable to use this book for a course in an advanced research master, rather than in a more basic course on research methodology.

Dr Roy Gigengack
Rural Development Sociology (RDS), Wageningen University
February 15, 2011

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