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A Critical Introduction to Social Research

A Critical Introduction to Social Research

Second Edition

Other Titles in:
Social Research Methods

368 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

A Critical Introduction to Social Research is the new, updated, and improved edition of A Short Introduction to Social Research. This book introduces students and researchers to the key ideas and issues that inform research practice. In it, Matt Henn, Mark Weinstein and Nick Foard provide a clear and easy-to-understand route-map to help the reader plan their research project from beginning to end.

This book is perfect for use on introductory methods courses and is also an invaluable guide for the first time researcher embarking on their own small-scale research project. The new Second Edition now features updated chapters which reflect recent debates and developments in the field, including:

  • New coverage of emancipatory and feminist approaches
  • Comparative research methods, evaluation research, and action research
  • Online research
  • Glossary of key terms
  • Revised further reading sections at the end of each chapter which include peer-reviewed research articles

This book aims to prepare students and new researchers for their research project. Brilliantly written throughout, this is your essential guide to the theory of research, the practice of research and te best ways to plan and manage your research.

What is Social Research?
Critical Social Research
Getting Started in Research: The Research Process
Ethics in Social Research
Documentary Sources, Official Statistics and Secondary Data
Quantitative Approaches in Social Science Research
Qualitative Approaches in Social Research
The Analysis of Data
Writing Up and Presenting Research Results
Designing a Research Proposal

Praise for the first edition:

'Henn et al mention in their introduction that their book has been "a long time in coming". The good news is that it has been time well spent' - The Times Higher Education

A very comprehensive text that would aid our MA students in developing an in depth critical perspective on social research.

Mrs Liana Beattie
Faculty of Education (Ormskirk), Edge Hill University
October 5, 2015

This is a clear and concisely worded overview of how to do research in the social sciences. Readership level 6 and 7.

Miss Rebecca Bolan
Education, Carshalton College
May 1, 2014

This is a very useful text for students conducting research for the first time. It is very detailed but also relatively easy to read. I found the chapter research tasks very useful. This is a great text for students and also lecturers who are tasked with preparing lectures on the subject.

Mr Sean Creaney
Centre for Childhood Studies, Stockport College
August 16, 2012

This is a good book it gives a good grounding of social research to new researchers

Dr Amon Simba
Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University
May 24, 2012

This text would be very useful for those students who are able to engage critically with issues related to research.

Miss Alex Melrose
Centre for Cultural Studies of Children & Childhood, Manchester Metropolitan University
August 22, 2011

This is an excellent book that provides a comprehensive and easily readable overview of contemproaray research methods. It sets out differing theorectical perspectives as well as providing more tangible and practical support and advice. The level and depth of information is appropropriate to both undergraduate and post graduate studies.

Mr Nick Howe
School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University
August 15, 2011

This is nicely written and accessible text for postgraduate audience on a professional programme. In particular, I expect it will provide a useful theoretical resource to support the development of students' argument on why certain approach/ method was used. I like the way the philosophical aspects of research are introduced/ discussed in the book.

Dr Ani Raiden
Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University
May 9, 2011

This is an excellently designed textbook that guides the researcher by integrating explanations, examples, research tasks and recommended reading. The layout and writing are extremely clear, and summaries help the reader to place chapters into a context. This is a valuable resource for students and staff alike.

Dr Alaster Douglas
School of Education, Roehampton University
February 15, 2011

An excellent companion for the researchers at all levels

Dr Zaheer Hussain
Psychology. Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences, Derby University
December 15, 2010

New to the 2nd edition:

  • New coverage of emancipatory and feminist approaches
  • Updated chapters covering comparative research methods, evaluation research, and action research
  • Coverage of online research
  • Glossary of key terms
  • Revised further reading sections at the end of each chapter

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Matt Henn

Mark Weinstein

Nick Foard