Methodological Thinking: Basic Principles of Social Research Design

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Thinking Methodologically: Basic Principles of Social Research Design focuses on the underlying logic of social research and encourages students to understand research methods as a way of thinking. In this book author Donileeen Loseke provides an overview of the basic principles of social research, including the foundations of research (data, concepts, theory), the characteristics of research questions, the importance of literature reviews, measurement (conceptualization and operationalization), data generation techniques (experiments, surveys, interviews, observation, document analysis) and sampling. Relationships among these components of research are stressed, and the repeated, explicit lesson throughout these pages is that it is not possible to argue that one or another form of research is "better" than any other and that good researchers understand the differences among―and appreciate the capabilities of―different tools.

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About the Author:

Donileen R. Loseke is a professor in the department of sociology at the University of South Florida. She received her BA and MA in psychology (California State University, Dominguez Hills) and her PhD in sociology (University of California, Santa Barbara). Her books include The Battered Woman and Shelters, which won the Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, and Thinking About Social Problems. She also is the editor of Current Controversies on Family Violence (with Richard Gelles) and Social Problems: Constructionist Readings (with Joel Best). Numerous journal articles and book chapters report the findings of her empirical research projects, which have been on a variety of topics including evaluation research, social problems, criminal justice, social service provision, occupations, emotion, identity, and narrative and have used a variety of data generation techniques including field experiment, written survey, in-depth interview, ethnography, and document analysis. Among her editorial positions include editor of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, advisory editor for Social Problems and Deputy Editor for Social Psychology Quarterly.  She received the Mead Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction and will be the 2017 President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.  

 

Review:

Methodological Thinking is a highly accessible, practical guide to the often-intimidating process of designing a research project. An excellent starting point for an undergraduate course in social research fundamentals, full of useful examples and uncomplicated explanations of the starting stages of the research process.--Adam Driscoll

This concise, approachable book with clear examples from published articles is a useful supplement to long, detailed, technical methodology texts that students sometimes find overwhelming and inaccessible.--Tracy L. Johns

The second edition of Methodological Thinking has only improved upon the first edition, by focusing more attention on critical issues related to sampling and ethics, along with a broader examination of the epistemology underlying social science research. This book is useful as a "go-to" reference on designing social science research and is excellent as a primary text at all levels of college.--Todd L. Matthews

Methodological Thinking helps students move past their preconceptions of research to critically engage in research design while enhancing skills that will help them evaluate information in their daily lives.--Joseph V. Ross

Methodological Thinking is a highly accessible, practical guide to the often-intimidating process of designing a research project. An excellent starting point for an undergraduate course in social research fundamentals, full of useful examples and uncomplicated explanations of the starting stages of the research process.

--Adam Driscoll

This concise, approachable book with clear examples from published articles is a useful supplement to long, detailed, technical methodology texts that students sometimes find overwhelming and inaccessible.

--Tracy L. Johns

Methodological Thinking helps students move past their preconceptions of research to critically engage in research design while enhancing skills that will help them evaluate information in their daily lives.

--Joseph V. Ross

The second edition of Methodological Thinking has only improved upon the first edition, by focusing more attention on critical issues related to sampling and ethics, along with a broader examination of the epistemology underlying social science research. This book is useful as a "go-to" reference on designing social science research and is excellent as a primary text at all levels of college.

--Todd L. Matthews

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