• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book offers a comprehensive and rounded view of research as a tool for logical problem-solving. It is built on the philosophical-pragmatic foundation that the value of knowledge and research methodologies lies in their usefulness in engaging with the real world.

Basic Research Methods: An Entry to Social Science Research synthesizes both positivist and non-positivist methodologies. It is for students who are undertaking their first social science research course or their first research project. The techniques are basic ones, but many masters and doctoral research studies use them. From an experiential base, students would be able to build a more advanced conceptual and theoretical understanding of research through further reading and practice.

The book covers both quantitative and qualitative methods. It discusses policy-applied-pure-action model of research, treatment of participatory research as an ethical rather than a methodological issue, inclusion of project evaluation as a type of case study, addition of binary measurement to the standard classification, practical use of Microsoft Excel for analysis of both words and numbers, a building block approach to writing, and the author's own thoughts on application of research.

Real-life examples from different subject areas in Asia are used in this concise textbook, which has been written in an engaging language, adopting the inductive approach.

Data Analysis
Data analysis

You now have a pile of qualitative and quantitative data, otherwise known as words and numbers. You also have a serious problem. How does all this data get analysed? If you have collected words, much reading, sorting and cross-referencing lies ahead. If you have collected numbers, lots of figures need calculating, cross-tabulating and testing.

Both words and numbers must be analysed carefully. Statistics do not guarantee the rigour of your research, nor does naturalistic inquiry guarantee its meaning.

For those of us without a strong mathematical background—and many social scientists are in this situation—statistics are off-putting. Hence, we tend to look to qualitative data as the core of our research.

However, research is not that simple because the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data is ...

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