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 9: Available Data
Now we turn from research methods and the principles of research design to research techniques, ways of collecting data.
Often, we do not have to generate data ourselves: it is waiting to be collected. Usually, available data comes as text, as documentary evidence in libraries and archives. Historians frequently examine this type of evidence. Even if available data does not provide the core of a research project, it is often useful in identifying what is known about particular situations and is commonly used as background material to situate the main study, often in combination with interviews.
Available data is particularly useful when the main concern is relevance. If we want to persuade decision makers to use our findings, success is more likely if we ...