With its unique modelling and mapping of social processes, Investigative Research offers an alternative approach to social research. This book guides you through the theoretical grounding and rules you need to effectively combine the evidence-based explanations of social behaviour and distinctive strategies of data collection associated with investigative research.
It helps you answer key investigative questions like:
- How are models and maps of social reality crucial to the formulation of research problems and questions?
- What are the main phases, challenges, and theories of investigative research?
- How does investigative research compare with other research approaches, like surveys, case studies, grounded theory, and mixed methods?
- How can you control the quality and validity of your investigative research?
With its clear focus on investigative research exploration, description, and explanation, this book gives you the solid building blocks needed to manage and integrate the theoretical and practical issues in your work.
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About the Author
Derek Layder is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leicester and Honorary Professor of Health and Life Sciences and De Montfort University. He was awarded a doctorate by the London School of Economics in 1976. Appointed Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester in 1974 and promoted to Reader in 1995, he became Professor in 1997 and Emeritus Professor from 2002. He has held several visiting academic positions and has also held honorary visiting appointments at The Australian National University (as a Humanities Research Fellow) and the University of Western Sydney (as Eminent Research Visitor). He taught in areas of social theory, social psychology, social research methods and the philosophy of social sciences. He has published numerous academic articles and 12 books. Among his books, in the area of the philosophy of social science, he is the author of The Realist Image in Social Science (1990); in social theory, he has written Understanding Social Theory (second edition, 2006), as well as Modern Social Theory (1997). On research strategies and methods, he has authored New Strategies in Social Research (1993), Sociological Practice (1998), and Doing Excellent Small-Scale Research (2013). He has also written on intimacy, emotion and self-identity, including Emotion in Social Life (2004), Social & Personal Identity (2004) and Intimacy & Power (2009).
Table of ContentsChapter 1: Research Models, Problems and Questions The Importance of Models and Maps Closing Gaps in Knowledge Influential Models of Social Reality Should Models be Eliminative or Integrative? Entangled Domains and Research Restoring Lost Domains: Investigative Research Problems & Questions Research Problems, Topics & Questions Adaptive Method &Theory Having a Solid Back-Story: Top Soil or Taproots? Summary of Key Features of Investigative ResearchChapter 2: Dimensions, Quantity & Quality Some Basic Dimensions of Research Survey Research as Mono-Method Theory-Testing Research Qualitative Approaches Action (or Transformative) Research Using IR: Some Practical SuggestionsChapter 3: Case Studies & Mixed Methods Case Study Research Mixed Methods Using Investigative Research: Some Practical SuggestionsChapter 4: The Limitations of Grounded Theory Essential Differences between Investigative Research & Grounded Theory Different Unfolding Strategies Data, Concepts & Theoretical Discovery Conceptual Generation & Theoretical Discovery The Cul-de-sac of Not-Knowing Discovery or Innovation? Ground Theory Mark 2: One Step Forward & Three Back? Constructionist Grounded Theory: An Even More Limited Version? Practical Limitations of Constructionist Grounded Theory Coding, Concept-Formation & Sampling in Investigative ResearchChapter 5: The Arc of Investigative Research The Research Arc: Phases & Cycles Models of the Research Process An Overview of the Investigative Research Model Cycle-Phase Dynamics Flexibly Structured Adaptation Problem Formulation & Orienting Scaffold A Multi-Strategy, Multi-Method Approach Phases of Research: An Integrative Framework Complementary Aspects of Reality Blending Life-world & System Phenomena Research Design & Data Types Data Analysis as Nascent Explanation Constant Reformulation: A Concluding CommentChapter 6: Theory in Investigative Research Variable Theory & Theory-Testing Applied General Theory Empirical Theory: Substantive & Formal Orienting Concepts (Single or Multiple) Emergent Concepts The Deployment of Theory in Overall Research Strategy Developing Theory in Investigative Research: An Overview Modifying and Creating Theory and Concepts Generic Research Outcomes Cumulative Knowledge & Theory-Development An Appropriate Model of Social RealityChapter 7: Networks & Domains: A Research Guide Activities and Settings: A Central Pairing Social Behaviour & Social Reality Distinguishing Settings from Locations/Locales Primary & Secondary Settings: Transition Zones Networks & Social Domains Organized Settings & Networks Informal Settings & Networks Research Questions for Networks and Domains Matching Concepts with Empirical Indicators Selecting Data Threads within Domains Identifying Settings from Data Variations in Organized Settings Work Organizations as Social settings Smaller ‘Organizations’ & Informal Settings Selective Focusing Examples of Selective Focusing Causal Influence & Causal Explanation One-Dimensional Causality: The Case of Gender & Intimacy Intimacy & Situated Activity Social Settings, Gender & Intimacy Researching Causality Research, Causality & Theory BuildingChapter 8: Continuous Quality Control Quality Control: The Central Importance of Validity The Research Process: A Two-Tiered Model The Research Matrix (or Grid) The Preparatory Phase The Data Gathering Phase The Analytic /Explanatory Phase Conclusion