How relevant is social research? For many concerned with influencing the direction of social policy today, social research seems either too theoretical and remote from the problems of the everyday world, or too concerned with number-crunching and unintelligible 'facts'. The contributors to this volume seek to show how realist social research allows us to make genuine discoveries, of relevance to social policy, which recognise the complexity of the real world. In this innovative book, theorists and researchers from various social science disciplines explore the potential of realist social theory for empirical research. The examples are drawn from a wide range of fields health and medicine, crime, housing, sociolinguistics, development theory and deal with issues such as causality, probability, and reflexivity in social science. Varied and lively contributions relate central methodological issues to detailed accounts of research projects which adopt a realist framework. Making Realism Work provides an accessible discussion of a significant current in contemporary social science and will be of interest to social theorists and social researchers alike.