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Making Sense of the Social World

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Making Sense of the Social World

Methods of Investigation


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Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation by Daniel F. Chambliss
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This book provides an engaging, innovative, and accurate introduction to social research for students who need to understand how social research is done and appreciate the results, but may never do research themselves in the professional lives. Like the more comprehensive version of Russell Schutt's Investigating the Social World, it presents research methods as an integrated whole, with balanced treatment of qualitative and quantitative methods, integration of substantive examples and research techniques, and consistent attention to the goal of validity and the standards of ethical practice.Key Features and Updates to the Second Edition: A major re-organization of material from Investigating the Social World has resulted in a briefer, more accesible treatment appropriate for a lower division audience Expanded coverage of validity, causation, experimental and quasi-experimental design, and techniques of analysis in the Second Edition; these are the topics reviews cited as the most difficult for their students in their research methods classes Expanded Student Study Site with SAGE journal articles and online exercises New examples will be used in each chapter, many of them drawn from everyday experiences and current newsworthy issues Greater use and emphasis on using the Web for research

Table of Contents

Science, Society, and Social Research What Is the Problem? Can Social Scientists See the Social World More Clearly? How Well Have We Done Our Research? Are Our Answers Correct? Conclusion The Process and Problems of Social Research What Is the Question? What Is the Theory? What Is the Strategy? What Is the Design? But Is It Ethical? Conclusion Conceptualization and Measurement What Do We Have in Mind? How Will We Know When We've Found It? How Much Information Do We Really Have? Did We Measure What We Wanted To Measure? Conclusion Sampling What Sampling Method Should We Use? Conclusion Causation and Experimental Design Causal Explanation What Causes What? Why Experiment? What If a True Experiment Isn't Possible? What Are the Threats to Validity in Experiments? How Do Experimenters Protect Their Subjects? Conclusion Survey Research Why Is Survey Research So Popular? How Should We Write Survey Questions? How Should Questionnaires Be Designed? What Are the Alternatives for Administering Surveys? A Comparison of Survey Designs Ethical Issues in Survey Research Conclusion Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening What Makes Methods "Qualitative"? How Does Participant Observation Become a Research Method? How Do You Conduct Intensive Interviews? How Do You Run Focus Groups? Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Conclusion Qualitative Data Analysis What Is Distinctive About Qualitative Data Analysis? Techniques of Qualitative Data Analysis Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis Visual Sociology Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Ethics in Qualitative Data Analysis Conclusions Quantitative Data Analysis Why Do Statistics? How to Prepare Data for Analysis What Are the Options for Displaying Univariate Distributions? What Are the Options for Summarizing Distributions? How Can We Tell Whether Two Variables Are Related? Analyzing Data Ethically: How Not to Lie with Statistics Conclusion Reviewing, Proposing, and Reporting Research Comparing Research Designs Reviewing Research Proposing New Research Reporting Research Conclusion Appendix A: Finding Information Appendix B: HyperRESEARCH(TM): A Software Tool for Qualitative Data Analysis Appendix C: Secondary Data Sources Appendix D: How to Use a Statistical Package References Glossary/Index

Author Biography

Daniel F. Chambliss is the Christian A. Johnson "Excellence in Teaching" Professor of Sociology, and Chair of the Sociology Department, at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he has taught since 1981. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1982; later that year, his thesis research received the American Sociological Association's Medical Sociology Dissertation Prize. In 1988, he published the book Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers, which received the Book of the Year Prize of the United States Olympic Committee. In 1989, he received the ASA's Theory Prize for work on organizational excellence based on his swimming research. Recipient of both Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships, Professor Chambliss published his second book Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses and the Social Organization of Ethics, in 1996; for that work, he was awarded the ASA's Elliot Freidson Prize in Medical Sociology. His research and teaching interests include organizational analysis, higher education, social theory, and comparative research methods. He is currently Director of the Project for Assessment of Liberal Arts Education at Hamilton College, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is a Member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Russell K. Schutt, Ph.D., is Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Author of Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research (3rd ed.) and Organization in a Changing Environment, and coauthor of Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice, he has written numerous journal articles on organizations, law, homelessness, mental health, and teaching research methods. His research experience includes federally funded studies of housing options for severely mentally ill persons, surveys of homeless persons and service personnel, multi-method investigations of organizational change, and secondary analyses of juvenile justice decision making and craft union practices. He has recently been a lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.
Release date NZ
April 26th, 2006
Country of Publication
United States
2nd Revised edition
Pine Forge
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