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From The CriticsReviewer:Christopher J. Graver, PhD(Madigan Army Medical Center)
Description:In the behavioral sciences, new research methods are constantly needed to study the underlying and challenging constructs of human phenomena. This book provides a review of current and cutting edge methodology that can be employed in the study of novel and emerging research questions.
Purpose:This book has two aims. The first is to provide options to students working on a thesis or dissertation for different approaches to their research question. The second is to provide methodologies for researchers exploring new, hidden, and undiscovered phenomena in the behavioral sciences.
Audience:Consistent with its aims, the book is appropriate for both researchers and students engaged in behavioral science research. According to the authors, the broad range of tools in this book makes it appropriate for a wide range of disciplines under this umbrella. While certainly accomplished, the editors and contributors authors are largely drawn from sociology and social science programs, which seems somewhat narrow given the purported usefulness of these techniques across all behavioral sciences.
Features:The table of contents alerts readers to the heavy social research focus of this book, mainly emphasizing survey research, focus groups, and a multitude of qualitative approaches. The 32 chapters cover a wide range of topics, including historical contexts, innovations, and the impact of emergent technologies on research. The chapters are organized by major sections and include subsections. Each ends with a discussion and conclusion. The ideas and information areuseful, but it is a little difficult to see their broad applications as indicated in the preface. For those studying sociological methods, the book will provide a rich field of ideas. Figures and illustrations are scarce, though, making this a dense book to wade through. The references are fairly current and plentiful, but some chapters are severely lacking in peer reviewed resources.
Assessment:For students and researchers involved in the largely survey and qualitative research specific to sociology, this will probably be a helpful book, but the content and writing style is dry. For those interested in a wider variety of research methods in behavioral science, Essentials of Research Design and Methodology, Marczyk et al. (Wiley, 2005) is a more user friendly and economical choice.