This accessible text presents a comprehensive and integrated scheme for preparing research designs and research proposals for students in the social sciences. The book is concerned with planning social research projects rather than how to conduct them and in the process it connects the techniques of research with key methodological issues in the social sciences.The author places particular emphasis on the formulation of research questions and the selection of appropriate research strategies (logics of enquiry) to answer them. He argues that other design decisions, such as the selection of data sources and methods of data collection and analysis, must be made in the light of the particular ontological and epistemological assumptions associated with each research strategy.The basic requirements for research designs and research proposals are laid out at the beginning of the book, followed by discussion of the major design elements, and the choices that need to be made about them. Four sample research designs at the end of the volume illustrate the use of the research strategies. The need to achieve consistency in design decisions is stressed throughout the book.
The author includes a critical review of some controversial issues, including the use of quantitative and qualitative methods, the role of case studies, the appropriateness of triangulation, the relevance of representative samples, and the limited role for tests of significance.This book will be essential reading for all social researchers, but particularly for postgraduate students. It is a companion to Blaikie's Approaches to Social Enquiry.