Social Surveys

Major Works

Edited by: David de Vaus

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    • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd |
    • Publication Year: 2002 |
    • Online Publication Date: April 03, 2013 |
    • DOI: 10.4135/9781446263495 |
    • Print ISBN: 9780761973386 |
    • Online ISBN: 9781446263495 |
    • Series: SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Methods |
    • Print Purchase Options


Social Surveys is the methods bible for social scientists using survey methods. It provides an unparalleled guide to the state of knowledge in the field and a key asset in practical survey know-how.

A key method of information gathering in the social sciences, surveys provide a structured or systematic set of data. They explore issues of motivation, belief, social, political and economic practices and habits of life. Survey research seeks to discover what causes some phenomena by looking at variation in variables across cases and identifying characteristics that are systematically linked with it.

In these four volumes, the distinguished author on research methods, David De Vaus has combed through the literature to provide readers with the essential contributions in the field. The collection is divided into 11 ...

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  • Editor's Introduction: Social Surveys — an Overview

    Davidde Vans

    The Nature of Social Surveys

    Social surveys have been a tool of social investigation since the early days of empirical social science. However, there is little consensus as to what constitutes a social survey. Often the definition of a survey is implicit rather than explicit and can only be gleaned from the types of topics and strategies discussed under die heading of surveys.

    Broadly, however, there are two approaches to defining survey research. A narrow approach views surveys as synonymous with quantitative data collected from a probability sample by means of a questionnaire or structured interview. The broader approach, which informs the selection of papers in these four volumes, regards surveys as representing a design for research that is ...

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