An Invitation to Social Research: How It's Done by Emily Stier Adler, Roger Clark

By Emily Stier Adler, Roger Clark

This publication offers balanced insurance of quantitative and qualitative tools of social examine with a distinct "behind the scenes" method: Chapters are equipped on focal learn items and excerpts from actual examine initiatives, they usually current the insights and views of employees engaging in real-world learn. The ebook courses readers during the many levels of social research--from identifying a researchable query and designing a examine to choosing the proper approach to info research for a specific study--and prepares them for the moral concerns and difficulties that they could face alongside the best way.

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Such research can be done for or with organizations and communities and can include a focus on the action implications of the research. Evaluation research, for example, can be designed to assess the impact of a specific program, policy, or legal change. It often focuses on whether a program or policy has succeeded in effecting intentional or planned changes. Participatory action research, which we’ll discuss in Chapter 14, is done jointly by researchers and community members. It often has an emancipatory purpose.

SUMMARY We’ve argued here that, at its best, research is like trying to solve a mystery, using the scientific method as your guide. ” We’ve suggested that the scientific method compensates for the shortcomings of these two other approaches in several ways. First, science emphasizes the value of communities of relatively equal knowledge seekers who are expected to be critical of one another’s work. Next, science stresses the simultaneous importance of empirical testing, logical reasoning, and the development or testing of theories that make sense of the social world.

Similarly, Traver (2007) interviewed a relatively unstudied population—American parents of children adopted from China. She found that, to a greater or lesser degree, these parents tended to evolve “Chinese” identities whether they themselves were European American, African American, or Asian American, through their acquisition and use of Chinese cultural objects (ranging from Chinese scrolls to posters of the NBA basketball player, Yao Ming). Both Enos and Traver, then, did exploratory research—research into a relatively new subject (mothers in prison and adoptive parents of Chineseborn children), collected data through observations or in-depth interviews of a relatively few cases, and tried to spot themes that emerged from their data.

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