Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation / Edition 4

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Making Sense of the Social World, fourth edition is an engaging introduction to social research for students who need to understand methodologies and results, but who may never conduct research themselves. It provides a balanced treatment of qualitative and quantitative methods, integrating substantive examples and research techniques throughout. It is written in a less formal style than many comparable texts, complete with practical examples drawn from everyday experience.
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Editorial Reviews

Ronald Perry

"First, I would adopt—not just consider—this book. The writing style is direct and easy to follow. The issues are treated in context, with good examples. The authors do a great job of presenting the material in a way that prevents students from asking "how is this relevant to what I do?" I do wish I had written this book myself."

Mark Edwards

"The text’s strengths, bottom line, are that it’s casual and accessible, yet thorough and accurate. It is very up-to-date using good examples from very contemporary social science research."

Ann Marie Kinnell

"The strength of this text is in its brevity. In a one semester course, it is impossible to cover all the topics in a comprehensive text in any depth. I would rather my students learn the fundamentals of doing research – a few topics in depth. They can then build on this knowledge, if they need to, in order to learn new types of analysis. I also like the types and varieties of exercises included in the text."

Diane Pike
"It is a worthy contribution."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452217710
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 1/30/2012
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 100,255
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel F. Chambliss, PhD, is the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he has taught since 1981. He received his PhD from Yale University in 1982; later that year, his thesis research received the American Sociological Association’s Medical Sociology Dissertation Prize. In 1988, he published the book Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers, which received the Book of the Year Prize from the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 1989, he received the American Sociology Association’s Theory Prize for work on organizational excellence based on his swimming research. Recipient of both Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships, he published his second book, Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses, and the Social Organization of Ethics, in 1996; for that work, he was awarded the ASA’s Elliot Freidson Prize in Medical Sociology. In 2014 Harvard University Press published his book, How College Works, co-authored with his former student Christopher G. Takacs. His research and teaching interests include organizational analysis, higher education, social theory, and comparative research methods.

Russell K. Schutt, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he received the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service. Since 1990, he has also been Lecturer on Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry (Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center) at the Harvard Medical School. He completed his BA, MA, and PhD degrees at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sociology of Social Control Training Program at Yale University. In addition to seven editions of the text on which this brief edition is based, Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, and four other coauthored versions—for the fields of social work, criminal justice, psychology, and education—he is the author of the new book, Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness, and of Organization in a Changing Environment, coeditor of the Organizational Response to Social Problems, and coauthor of Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice. He has authored and coauthored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and research reports on homelessness, mental health, organizations, law, and teaching research methods. He currently directs an evaluation of a Massachusetts Department of Public Health coordinated care program. His primary research focuses on social factors that shape the impact of housing, employment, and services for severely mentally ill persons and on the service preferences of homeless persons and service personnel. He has also studied influences on well-being, satisfaction, and cognitive functioning; processes of organizational change and the delivery of case management; decision making in juvenile justice and in union admissions; political participation; media representations of mental illness; and HIV/AIDS prevention.

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Table of Contents

Science, Society, and Social Research
The Process and Problems of Social Research
Ethics in Research
Conceptualization and Measurement
Causation and Experimental Design
Survey Research
Elementary Quantitative Data Analysis
Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening
Qualitative Data Analysis
Evaluation Research
Reviewing, Proposing, and Reporting Research
Appendix A: Finding Information
Appendix B: Table of Random Numbers
Appendix C: Secondary Data Sources
Appendix D: How to Use a Statistical Package
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