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SAGE Publications
Designing Social Research: A Guide for the Bewildered / Edition 1

Designing Social Research: A Guide for the Bewildered / Edition 1

by Ian Greener


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849201902
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 05/09/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 982,385
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ian Greener is a Professor in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University where he leads the provision of research methods teaching on ESRC-accredited courses. Prior to this he worked for a number of UK Higher Education
Universities including Manchester and York in Business
Schools and Social
Science Departments. His main research interest is trying to keep up with the hectic pace of public sector reform both in the UK and internationally, using a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research strategies to examine continuity and change in public services, and which has led to books on the history of the NHS and public management, and over fifty articles published in a range of international peer-reviewed journals.

Ian lives in York where he spends his time trying to stop his children, Bethany, Emily and Anna, from spending what remains of his money,
and walking a spaniel his wife insists he must grow to like. He likes good red wine, Strictly Come Dancing, and computers that work.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Social Research Design - Or What Are You Talking About?
Defining terms
Some general points about research questions
Some other general guidelines
Some practical examples of how questions, methods and philosophy combine
What's the problem, and how are you going to research it? A logic of appropriateness
Five things to remember about this chapter
Reviewing What Other People Have Said - Or How Can I Tell If Others' Research is Any Good?
Nuts and bolts
The hierarchy of evidence
Reading efficiently and critically, and taking notes
So is the study any good?
Writing a review
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - 'Qualitative research and the evidence base of policy'
Surveys and Questionnaires - Or How Can I Conduct Research With People at a Distance?
The use of questionnaires - the best (and worst) of quantitative (and qualitative) social research
Surveys and questionnaires
Perspectives on questionnaires
Designing questionnaires
Open and closed responses
Getting questions really clear
Common response forms
Questionnaire design
Analysing and reporting questionnaire responses
Reflexivity and questionnaires
Contentious issues
Conclusion - working with the good and bad of questionnaires
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - The Paradox of Choice
Elements of Quantitative Design: Sampling and Statistics - Or What Can I Do With Numbers?
Numbers and their importance
What are numbers good for?
The philosophy of quantitative research
Some issues in quantitative analysis - basic descriptive statistics
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - Super Crunchers
Ethnography as a Research Approach - Or What Do I Gain from Watching People and Talking to Them?
What is ethnography?
When would I want to use an ethnography?
What does it mean to conduct an ethnography?
Philosophical debates around ethnography
What do the differences in approach mean for the resulting ethnography?
What kind of research does an ethnographic research project produce?
How can you increase the chance of doing good ethnographic research?
Conclusion - getting close or producing useless knowledge?
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - Reading Ethnographic Research
Dealing with Qualitative Data - Or What Should I Do With All These Words?
The aims of qualitative research
Grounded theory, coding and generalisation
The mechanics of grounded theory
Discourse analysis and its variants
Quantitative approaches to textual analysis
Analysing documents
What are the criteria for a good qualitative analysis?
Truth in social research
Conclusion - finding appropriate methods for dealing with your data
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - The Body Multiple
Causality in your research - or how deep should ontology go?
Ontology and depth
Science, method and causality
Constant conjunction
The world is flat
Going deeper
Levels of analysis
Conclusion - how deep do you need to go?
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - Rogue Traders and financial losses
Dealing With Time and Control - Or What Time Period Suits My Research, and How Do I Stop the World from Interfering in It?
How does Social research deal with time?
Phenomenology and process philosophy - researching the present
History and political science - researching the past
What time frame fits your research, and how does time affect what you can say?
The openness (and closedness) of systems
A way around the problem of the experimental method - scale and sampling
What are case studies for - an aid to generalisation or an analysis of power and expertise?
Conclusion - time and control in social research
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - accounts of the financial crisis
Ethics - Or What Practices are Appropriate in my Research? 142
The importance of ethics in research
The official line - what bodies such as the ESRC have to say
Questioning the official line - or is it even possible to follow all these ethical principles?
The importance of balance and appropriateness in ethics
Different perspectives on ethics
Conclusion - doing what's right and doing what's ethical
Five things to remember about this chapter
Example - 'Teenagers telling sectarian stories'
Writing Up Your Research - Or What Can I Say I've Found?
The differences between description, analysis and argument
Making an argument - what have you found out?
The bases of good arguments
Supporting a conclusion
Other concerns with arguments
Deductive and inductive arguments
Structuring a piece of writing to bring out your argument
Conclusion - writing up research so that it is clear to you (and to everyone else)
Five things to remember about this chapter
Writing up reviews and putting together proposals - or can you provide some examples of all of this?
Putting together a literature review
The role of the literature review
Doing a literature review
Exclusion and systematic review
Exclusion and realist review
Putting together a research proposal
Conclusion - the skills of being a practising researcher
Five things to remember about this chapter
Conclusion - Or Getting on with Social Research
Others' claims as a basis for your own work
Defining the job at hand
Designing research that is appropriate for the job at hand
Mixing methods
Being careful with data and with ethics
Writing it all up
Conclusion - doing research well
Example - Ladbroke Grove

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