Designing Social Research: A Guide for the Bewildered / Edition 1 available in Paperback
Using everyday jargon-free language, Designing Social Research guides you through the jungle of setting up a research study. Ian Greener provides guidance on how to practically plan your research and helps you to understand the underpinning methodological principles that should inform your decisions about the methods you plan to use. It will help you to assess the appropriateness of a range of methods and to understand the strengths and limitations of different approaches to research.
Greener highlights key debates in the field, both philosophical and practical, and presents them in such a way that they remain constantly relevant to research practice. Coverage includes framing an effective research question/problem; examining the jargon of social research; the links between theory, methodology and method; the role of literature reviewing in research design; managing and planning the research process; sampling; qualitative designs; quantitative designs; mixed methods designs and data analysis.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|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? Introduction 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 Conclusion Five things to remember about this chapter Reviewing What Other People Have Said - Or How Can I Tell If Others' Research is Any Good? Introduction Nuts and boltsThe hierarchy of evidence Reading efficiently and critically, and taking notesSo is the study any good? Writing a review Conclusion 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?Introduction 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? Introduction Numbers and their importance What are numbers good for? The philosophy of quantitative research Sampling Some issues in quantitative analysis - basic descriptive statistics Conclusion 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? Introduction 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? Introduction 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? Introduction 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? Introduction 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? 142Introduction 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? Introduction 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? Introduction 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 Introduction 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