Explorations in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Applications

Explorations in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Applications

by Jeanne Kohl, Jane Reisman


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Explorations in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Applications offers real-life research examples and exercises. The book aids instruction by offering students more opportunities for hands-on practice in conducting and applying social science research than they are likely to find with only a standard research methods text at their disposal.

The text offers three types of field-tested exercises: Research Briefs, Tools and Data, and Applications (mini-projects). They can be used as graded assignments, as in-class exercises, and/or as discussion material.

* The Research Briefs are concise summaries of studies that illustrate various research topics and approaches. They present challenges typically encountered and show how researchers have overcome these challenges. Each Research Brief is followed by assessment questions designed to encourage students' critical thinking.
* The Tools and Data sections focus on the "nuts and bolts" of research. They illustrate the use of various research tools, such as data collection instruments, questionnaire items, and requests for proposals. Assessment questions follow.
* The Applications are mini-projects that allow students to carry out and then evaluate research activities. The project-oriented approach of these applications supplies a dynamic learning tool.

Instructors will find it easy to adapt Explorations in Social Research to their needs because the chapters are self-contained units. They can be assigned in any order, according to the design and emphasis of a particular course.
In addition to quantitative and "basic" research studies, this text includes many examples of both qualitative and applied research. This approach allows instructors to provide a broad introduction to the social research field or to be selective in emphasis. Furthermore, the text integrates gender, race, social class, and ethnicity as it explores research topics, variables, and populations.

Three sub-themes are integrated throughout the book:

* how bias can affect the research process;
* methodological difficulties and the importance of ethics in working with human subjects;
* how notions of common sense can both be a guide to and interfere with the process of scientific investigation.

Explorations in Social Research also features original interviews with well-known sociologists and social researchers, including Pauline Bart, James Davis, Howard Becker, Peter Rossi, James Coleman, and Maxine Baca Zinn. The book's conversational writing style helps to break down some of the learning barriers so common among students taking this course. The perforated pages for exercise questions provide a convenient way for students to submit assignments. Suggested answers to all assessment questions are listed in the accompanying Instructor's Manual.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195329650
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/01/1994
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 9.20(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The World of Research
Chapter 2. From Mental Health to Gender Equity: Selecting Research Topics
Research Brief: Mental Illness and the Homeless
Tools and Data: Selecting a Topic in Order to Obtain Federal Funding for Research
Application: How Specific Can You Get?
Chapter 3. Which Approach to Use: Choices and Constraints
Research Brief: Do Women on Welfare Keep Having Babies in Order to Continue Collecting Welfare?
Tools and Data: Communication: The Key to a Good Relationship
Application: Program Evaluation Design
Chapter 4. "What Are You Thinking About?" Conceptualization and Measurement
Research Brief: The Three Faces of Racism
Tools and Data: Conceptualizing and Measuring Intimacy
Applications: 1. Conceptualization 2. Measurement
Chapter 5. "How Are You Feeling Today?" Operationalization and Instrumentation
Research Brief: Death and Dying in the Medical Environment
Tools and Data: The First Draft
Application: Guttman Scale
Chapter 6. How Do We Deal With the Inevitable Error? Validity and Reliability
Research Brief: A Researcher's Nightmare
Tools and Data: Does Getting to Know Your Sample Help?
Application: Testing for Validity and Reliability in a Crisis Situation
Chapter 7. How Many? The Science and Art of Sampling
Research Brief: Getting Beyond the White and Middle-Class Experience
Tools and Data: "Hello, This Is City Hall Calling"
Application: Sampling
Chapter 8. "This Will Just Take A Few Minutes of Your Time": Surveys
Research Brief: A New Look at the Effects of Divorce on Children
Tools and Data: Survey Preparation
Applications: 1. Survey Administration--Method Effectiveness
2. Survey Administration--Interviewer Bias
Chapter 9. Where the Action Is: Field Research
Research Brief: Being "Inside and Outside" as a Participant Observer
Tools and Data: First Day On the Job
Application: Field Research
Chapter 10. "Wanted: Subjects for Experimental Study": Experiments and Quasi-Experiments
Research Brief: "L.A. Law"--Stay Tuned for the Next Episode
Tools and Data: Assigning Blame for Rape
Application: Experimental and Comparison Groups
Chapter 11. Thumbs Up or Down? Evaluation and Applied Research
Research Brief: "And One More Thing. . ."
Tools and Data: Can the Racial Attitudes of Elementary School Students be Changed?
Application: Measuring Program Effectiveness
Chapter 12. No-Contact Research: Unobtrusive Methods
Research Brief: Where Are Women and Minorities in the Computer Revolution?
Tools and Data: Using Historical Records to Expose the Myth of the Absent Family
Application: Content Analysis Project
Chapter 13. The Lab Work of the Social Researcher: Data Preparation
Research Brief: Coding Challenges of Unstructured Interviews
Tools and Data: "Dirty Data"
Application: Codebook Construction
Chapter 14. In Pursuit of Patterns: Data Analysis
Research Brief: Do "Only Children" Have an Advantage?
Tools and Data: Stealing on the Job
Application: What Are the Trends?
Chapter 15. "As I Was Saying. . .": Communication of Findings
Research Brief: Contrasting Two Approaches
Tools and Data: "We Do Not, at This Time, Offer Any Solutions. . ."
Application: Scholarly Journals versus Magazines
Chapter 16. Spotlight on Social Researchers
Original Interviews:
Pauline Bart
Howard S. Becker
James Coleman
James Davis
Oswald Hall
Morris Rosenberg
Peter Rossi
Maxine Baca Zinn

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