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.

Research Ethics

Research ethics

Being social science researchers does not give us any special powers or entitlements. We are merely citizens conducting professional work with fellow citizens who have the same rights as ourselves. We have no authority to direct the subjects of our research, and we must ensure that their engagement in our work is done freely. We do gain, however, some extra responsibilities.

Before commencing research, it is worthwhile giving some attention to the ethics required in conducting this exercise. This chapter is placed near the beginning of the book to emphasise the importance of ethics, especially because research involves new professional roles and behaviour. The chapter will look at:

  • a code of ethics;
  • the range of permissions needed to research;
  • researcher responsibilities;
  • confidentiality of ...
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