• 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.

Qualitative Data
Qualitative data

Many of us in the social sciences come from arts rather than science backgrounds and find statistics difficult. Hence, we tend to look to qualitative data as the core of our research. Qualitative data is information that is represented usually as words, not numbers. If you have pages of text before you, recordings of interviews or notes from observation, for all practical purposes you have qualitative data. Nevertheless, words must be analysed as carefully as numbers. Naturalistic inquiry does not guarantee the meaning of your research any more than statistics guarantee its rigour.

In researching people's subjective perceptions, we build up scientific knowledge about their personal knowledge by objectifying their perceptions systematically. However, the actual perceptions themselves do not suddenly become scientific by ...

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