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.
Chapter 7: Survey Method
The survey method is long-standing in the social sciences, especially sociology and politics. It is used for developing generalisations about populations. The survey method selects a sample that is representative of a larger population and uses the results to generalise about that population as a whole. Its strengths are in collecting demographic and socio-economic data, and in describing people's general perceptions and attitudes.
Surveys are useful mainly for describing patterns in large groups rather than in-depth analysis of individuals’ views. Questionnaires, which are the main but not the only research technique used with surveys, usually represent attitudes numerically and, normally, receive only brief written or verbal comment. One-off interviews in surveys are not an appropriate method for collecting information about intensely personal matters.