Practical Social Investigation provides, within a single text, an introduction to a wide range of both long-standing and newer social research methods. Its balanced and integrated coverage of qualitative and quantitative approaches demonstrates that they can be complementary. While research practice is emphasised, readers are encouraged to reflect on methodological issues as well as being provided with tools for their own research. *The first three chapters consider the nature of research, research design and sampling, identifying both the shared characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research and also their distinctive features. *The next four chapters focus on data collection, including the practicalities of observation, surveys and interviews, and the pros and cons of using existing data. *Two chapters are devoted to qualitative and quantitative data analysis, including detailed coverage of statistical techniques, while a chapter on writing encourages the effective dissemination of research findings.
*The final chapter, which aims to facilitate readers' own projects or dissertations, draws together earlier material by using two examples of student projects to highlight key issues and common problems within the research process.This coherent, accessibly written book draws upon the authors' extensive experience of conducting research and teaching research methods. Numerous examples, based on real research studies, illustrate key issues in a way that acknowledges both the messiness and the creativity of social research. Useful supplementary material includes a glossary and example survey data; the latter can be downloaded from a dedicated website, currently located at: http://www warwick.ac.uk/~syrdr/psi/ .Christopher Pole is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. Richard Lampard is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Warwick.
"clearly written, accessible and comprehensive" "It is a worthwhile addition to the literature and deserves to be widely used" "a useful companion to an undergraduate course on research methods" "will serve both undergraduates and postgraduates well as a reference work" Chris Savory, "Educational Research," Vol. 46, No. 2, Summer 2004