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Making Sense of the Social World

Methods of Investigation

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Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation by Daniel F. Chambliss
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Making Sense of the Social World is an engaging and innovative introduction to social research for students who need to understand methodologies and results, but who may never conduct the research themselves. It provides a balanced treatment of qualitative and quantitative methods, integrating substantive examples and research techniques, and is written in a less formal style than many comparable texts, with examples drawn from everyday experience: a text that students actually like to read! The text covers all the essential elements of social research methods including validity, causation, experimental and quasi-experimental design, and techniques of analysis - topics cited as most challenging for students. A student study site with journal articles and online interactive exercises, and chapter examples with emphasis on everyday experiences and current newsworthy issues assist student's understanding. This Third Edition now contains: - A new chapter with revised material on evaluation research - A new chapter on research ethics. - More contemporary web-based research instruction. - Updated End-of-chapter exercises, including new ethics exercises. - Boxed features: "When Things Go Wrong in Social Research"

Table of Contents

About the Authors Preface Acknowledgments CHAPTER ONE: Science, Society, and Social Research What Is the Problem? Can Social Scientists See the Social World More Clearly? How Well Have We Done Our Research? Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER TWO: The Process and Problems of Social Research What Is the Question? What Is the Theory? What Is the Strategy? What Is the Design? But Is It Ethical? Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER THREE: Ethics in Research Historical Background Ethical Principles Conclusions KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER FOUR: Conceptualization and Measurement What Do We Have in Mind? How Will We Know When We've Found It? How Much Information Do We Really Have? Did We Measure What We Wanted To Measure? Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER FIVE: Sampling How Do We Prepare to Sample? What Sampling Method Should We Use? Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER SIX: Causation and Experimental Design Causal Explanation What Causes What? Why Experiment? What If a True Experiment Isn?t Possible? What Are the Threats to Validity in Experiments? How Do Experimenters Protect Their Subjects? Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER SEVEN: Survey Research Why Is Survey Research So Popular? How Should We Write Survey Questions? How Should Questionnaires Be Designed? What Are the Alternatives for Administering Surveys? A Comparison of Survey Designs Ethical Issues in Survey Research Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER EIGHT: Elementary Quantitative Data Analysis Why Do Statistics? How to Prepare Data for Analysis What Are the Options for Displaying Distributions? What Are the Options for Summarizing Distributions? How Can We Tell Whether Two Variables Are Related? Analyzing Data Ethically: How Not to Lie with Statistics Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER NINE: Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening What Are "Qualitative" Methods? How Does Participant Observation Become a Research Method? How Do You Conduct Intensive Interviews? How Do You Run Focus Groups? Analyzing Qualitative Data Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER TEN: Qualitative Data Analysis What Is Distinctive About Qualitative Data Analysis? What Techniques Do Qualitative Data Analysts Use? What Are Some Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis? Visual Sociology How Can Computers Assist Qualitative Data Analysis? What Ethical Issues Arise in Qualitative Data Analysis? Conclusions KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER ELEVEN: Evaluation Research What Is the History of Evaluation Research? What Is Evaluation Research? What Are the Alternatives in Evaluation Designs? What Can an Evaluation Study Focus On? Ethical Issues in Evaluation Research Conclusion KEY TERMS HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES CHAPTER TWELVE: Reviewing, Proposing, and Reporting Research Comparing Research Designs Reviewing Research Proposing New Research Reporting Research Conclusion HIGHLIGHTS EXERCISES Appendix A: Finding Information Appendix B: Secondary Data Sources References Glossary/Index

Author Biography

Daniel F. Chambliss is the Christian A. Johnson "Excellence in Teaching" Professor of Sociology, and Chair of the Sociology Department, at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he has taught since 1981. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1982; later that year, his thesis research received the American Sociological Association's Medical Sociology Dissertation Prize. In 1988, he published the book Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers, which received the Book of the Year Prize of the United States Olympic Committee. In 1989, he received the ASA's Theory Prize for work on organizational excellence based on his swimming research. Recipient of both Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships, Professor Chambliss published his second book Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses and the Social Organization of Ethics, in 1996; for that work, he was awarded the ASA's Elliot Freidson Prize in Medical Sociology. His research and teaching interests include organizational analysis, higher education, social theory, and comparative research methods. He is currently Director of the Project for Assessment of Liberal Arts Education at Hamilton College, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is a Member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Russell K. Schutt, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Lecturer on Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry (Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center) at the Harvard Medical School. He completed his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. (1977) degrees at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sociology of Social Control Training Program at Yale University (1977--1979). He has authored and co-authored texts on research methods with Sage Publications and other books on social service issues, including Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness (Harvard University Press, 2011). His recent journal articles and funded research have focused on the organization and effects of innovative public health and social service programs.
Release date Australia
April 14th, 2009
Country of Publication
United States
3rd Revised edition
Illustrations, ports.
Pine Forge
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