Research Methods

Series
Longman
Author
Bob Matthews / Liz Ross  
Publisher
Pearson Longman
Cover
Softcover
Edition
1
Language
English
Total pages
544
Pub.-date
June 2010
ISBN13
9781405858502
ISBN
1405858508
Related Titles



Description

Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences is an essential resource for the social researcher.  It offers a comprehensive introduction for first time researchers right through to thorough and practical advice for those undertaking more advanced work.  The book draws on real life experiences from a wide variety of disciplines to show how theory translates into practice, and offers a rigorous analysis of why researchers choose the methods they use.  Think about it boxes throughout the text offer questions and ideas to help the researcher to focus on core issues and practical considerations, whilst your research summaries present questions, activities and checklists to help the researcher to develop their ideas.

The book is supported by a fantastic companion website that contains learning materials, interactive exercises, videos, questionnaires, datasets and much more.  The website can be found at: www.pearsoned.co.uk/matthews

Written to reflect the breadth of the social sciences, Research Methods is essential for anyone conducting research in sociology, health policy, social work, criminology, social policy, cultural studies, political studies, public policy and related fields.

Features

  • Examples drawn from real life show you how theory translates into practice.
  • Real research from a wide variety of disciplines lets you see your project in context.
  • Think about it boxes offer questions and ideas to help you focus on core issues and practical considerations.
  • Your research summaries present questions, activities and checklists to help you develop your ideas.
  • What is…? boxes provide definitions and explanations of key terms.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

 

PART A: Thinking About Research

A1: What is Research?

A2: Knowledge, Theories, Paradigms and Perspectives

A3: The Nature of Data

A4: Research Questions, Hypotheses and Operational Definitions

A5: Research as an Ethical and Cultural Issue

PART B: Preparing for Research

B1: Planning a Research Project

B2: Reviewing the Literature

B3: Research Design

B4: Choosing Methods

B5: Sampling

B6: Research Proposals

 

PART C: Data Collection

C1: Collecting Data

C2: Data Collection Skills

C3: Questionnaires

C4: Semi-structured Interviews

C5: Focus Groups

C6: Observation

C7: Narrative Data

C8: Documents

C9: Secondary Sources of Data

C10: Collecting Data Using Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)

 

PART D: Data Analysis

D1: Beginning to Analyse

D2: Working With Data

D3: Statistical Analysis

D4: Thematic Analysis

D5: Analysing Narrative

D6: Discourse Analysis

D7: Content Analysis

D8: Grounded Theory

D9: Using Computers in Data Analysis

D10: So What? Drawing Conclusions

 

PART E: Data Presentation and Reports

E1: The Importance of Audience

E2: Writing for Research: Reports and Dissertations

E3: Data Presentation

E4: Dissemination and Further Research

 

Glossary

 

Back Cover

“A lively and accessible, practical guide on how to do social research. It takes the reader on a journey, from initial thoughts and questions through to the complexities of data collection, analysis and dissemination. A welcome and invaluable addition to the literature on research methods.”
Professor Saul Becker, Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Nottingham

“A seminal textbook, glittering with extensive examples, information and insight which publicise the entire research process from a new and engaging perspective.”
Faiza Qureshi, Loughborough University

“Accessible to new researchers without losing the essence of highly complex issues. In short, a valuable tool for those seeking to mobilise research projects for the first time or those seeking to refresh and update knowledge of current research issues.”
Dave Orr, University of Central Lancashire

Whether you are doing social research for the first time, or taking on more advanced work, Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences will inform and improve your understanding and practice.

More than a comprehensive practical guide, this book also offers a rigorous analysis of why researchers choose the methods they use. Drawing upon academic and professional sources, Research Methods demonstrates how theory underpins practice and helps you select the most appropriate techniques for collecting data and analysing your findings while remaining ethically and culturally sensitive.

Matthews and Ross pay particular attention to the areas students find most challenging. With a visual guide to using SPSS and Excel in data analysis and an extensive look at data presentation, this book supports the student researcher throughout every stage of the research process.

Written to reflect the breadth of the social sciences, Research Methods is essential for anyone conducting research in sociology, health policy, social work, criminology, social policy, cultural studies, political studies, public policy, education and related fields.

Key features

  • Examples drawn from real life show you how theory translates into practice.
  • Real research from a wide variety of disciplines lets you see your project in context.
  • Think about it . . . boxes offer questions and ideas to help you focus on core issues and practical considerations.
  • Your research summaries present questions, activities and checklists to help you develop your ideas.
  • What is…? definitions provide additonal explanations of key terms.

About the authors

Bob Matthews is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, UK. Bob currently teaches and researches in Comparative Social Policy, Social Inclusion, Health Policy and Research Methods.

Liz Ross is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, UK. Liz has taught social research methods on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and is Programme Co-ordinator of Birmingham’s MA Policy into Practice.

Visit the Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences website at www.pearsoned.co.uk/matthews to find learning materials, including interactive exercises, videos, questionnaires, datasets and much more.


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