Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have

Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have

by Eszter Hargittai
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0472050265

ISBN-13: 9780472050260

Pub. Date: 12/28/2009

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

"We all know that the actual process of empirical research is a messy, complicated business that at best only approximates the models we impart to students. Research Confidential pulls back the curtain on this process, laying bare the sordid details of the research process, but doing so in a way that respects the ideals of social research and that provides

Overview

"We all know that the actual process of empirical research is a messy, complicated business that at best only approximates the models we impart to students. Research Confidential pulls back the curtain on this process, laying bare the sordid details of the research process, but doing so in a way that respects the ideals of social research and that provides useful lessons for young scholars. It should be required reading for our research methods courses."
—-Michael X. Delli Carpini, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

"In this impressive volume, some of the brightest young lights in social research have taken us backstage to share what they learned from their innovative projects. Besides providing a wealth of help with methodological concerns, the book includes theoretical and career issues to consider when doing research. Anyone doing research should benefit from reading it."
—-Caroline Hodges Persell, Professor of Sociology, New York University

"Research Confidential complements existing methods literature by providing refreshingly honest accounts of key challenges and decision forks-in-the-research-road. Each chapter enlightens and entertains."
—-Kirsten Foot, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Washington

"A must-read for researchers embarking on new projects. Rather than the abstract descriptions of most methods textbooks, this volume provides rich accounts of the firsthand experiences of actual researchers. An invaluable resource of practical advice. Critically, it will make new researchers aware of the actual challenges that they are likely to face in their work."
—-Christopher Winship, editor of Sociological Methods and Research and Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

This collection of essays aims to fill a notable gap in the existing literature on research methods in the social sciences. While the methods literature is extensive, rarely do authors discuss the practical issues and challenges they routinely confront in the course of their research projects. As a result, editor Eszter Hargittai argues, each new cohort is forced to reinvent the wheel, making mistakes that previous generations have already confronted and resolved. Research Confidential seeks to address this failing by supplying new researchers with the kind of detailed practical information that can make or break a given project. Written in an informal, accessible, and engaging manner by a group of prominent young scholars, many of whom are involved in groundbreaking research in online contexts, this collection promises to be a valuable tool for graduate students and educators across the social sciences.

Eszter Hargittai is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Cover art courtesy of Dustin Gerard

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472050260
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
12/28/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction Doing Empirical Social Science Research ESZTER HARGITTAI....................8
Spit, Sweat, and Tears Gathering Biological Data in Naturalistic Settings EMMA K. ADAM, LEAH D. DOANE, AND KATHRYN MENDELSOHN....................38
Field Experiments for Studies of Discrimination DEVAH PAGER....................61
Part of the Community LAURA CLAWSON....................78
The Challenges of In-Depth Interviewing with Disadvantaged Respondents JOAN WALLING....................101
Online Survey Instant Publication, Instant Mistake, All of the Above GINA WALEJKO....................122
Herding Cats Online Real Studies of Virtual Communities DMITRI WILLIAMS AND LI XIONG....................141
How Technical Is Technology Research? Acquiring and Deploying Technical Knowledge in Social Research Projects CHRISTIAN SANDVIG....................164
On Unexpected Events Navigating the Sudden Research Opportunity of 9/11 KAREN ALBRIGHT....................192
WAT R U DOIN? Studying the Thumb Generation Using Text Messaging ESZTER HARGITTAI AND CHRIS KARR....................217
Giving Mega Attention to Macro Research The Rewards and Challenges of Quantitative Cross-National Data Collection and Analysis NINA BANDELJ....................238
Secondary Analysis of Large Social Surveys JEREMY FREESE....................Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >