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Principles of Research Design in the Social Sciences is a book for researchers who know what they want to study, but who have yet to decide how best to study it. This book does not aim to provide a set of rigid recipes for social scientists - as many methodology books do - rather it is intended to stimulate them to think about the issues involved when deciding upon their research design. By discussing standard approaches to research design and method in various disciplines within the social sciences, the authors illustrate why particular designs have traditionally predominated in certain areas of study. But whilst they acknowledge the strengths of these standard approaches, Bechhofer and Paterson's emphasis on helping researchers to find the most effective solution to their given problem, encouraging them, through this familiarity with the principles of a variety of approaches, to innovate where it is appropriate. This book will prove indispensable to students of all levels in the social sciences embarking upon a research project, and to experienced researchers looking for a fresh perspective on their object of study.
Frank Bechofer is Professor at the Research Centre for Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Lindsay Paterson is Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Edinburgh.