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A Handbook for Social Science Field Research

A Handbook for Social Science Field Research
Essays & Bibliographic Sources on Research Design and Methods

January 2006 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
A Handbook for Social Science Field Research provides both novice and experienced researcher with valuable insights into a key list of critical texts pertaining to a wide array of social science methods useful when doing fieldwork. Through essays on everything from ethnography to case study, archival research, oral history, surveys, secondary data analysis and ethics, this refreshing new collection offers `tales from the field' by renowned scholars across various disciplines.
PART I: Selecting the Right Tools
1. Archives
The Past is Another Country by Robert Vitalis


2. Case Studies
Case-Based Research by Andrew Schrank:


3. Ethnographic Methods
Ethnography: Theory and Methods by Alma Gottlieb


4. Oral Histories
Oral Histories as Methods and Sources by Tamara Giles-Vernick:


5. Focus Groups
Focus Group Interviews by Susan Short


6. Surveys and Secondary Data Sources
Using Survey Data in Social Science Research in Developing Countries by Albert Park:

Bibliography on Survey Research

7. Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Tools
Qualitative Research: Does it Fit in Economics? by Michael Piore:


PART II: Essentials for the Conduct of Research
1. Essentials for Ethnography
Ethnographic Research by Stevan Harrell

2. Essentials for the Case Study Method
The Case Study and Causal Research by Andrew Shrank

3. Essentials for Research Design
In Search of the Holy Grail: Projects, Proposals, and Research Design, But Mostly about Why Writing a Dissertation Proposal is So Difficult by Michael Watts

4. Research Ethics are Essential
Ethical Considerations for Research in Cross-Cultural Settings by Sara Curran


5. Maintaining Perspective is Essential
Bringing It All Back Home: Personal Reflections on Friends, Findings, and Fieldwork by Andrew Schrank


"This well-written book has much to recommend it. It would be interesting, useful, supplementary reading for doctoral students, and other relatively inexperienced researchers."

Ronald R. Powell
Wayne State University

What an excellent book. There is a sense of authoritative confidence in every chapter, and the bibliographical sections are first rate for young researchers.

Dr Walter Riggans
Religion , Cliff College
August 28, 2016

There are some useful chapters in this but I found that overall it is too influenced by post-structuralist perspectives and not sufficiently focused or practical in some areas. Disappointing as a book like this is a useful corrective to other texts in the field.

Dr Peter Beaney
Faculty of Arts Media and Design, Staffordshire University
November 26, 2013

The methods course I teach is based in science and technology studies. I very much like this book, however the exemplars do not match my course. For this reason, I don't think it is suitable for the specificites of my class.

Carrie Friese
Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science
October 13, 2010

Excellent resource for beginning quualitative researchers

Anna Wilson
Education Dept, Chapman University - Orange
October 26, 2009

Ellen Perecman

Ellen Perecman is Executive Director of the Council for Canadian-American Relations in New York City and President of Perecman & Samuels Consulting in New York. She has published numerous articles and book chapters as well as several edited volumes in the field of neurolinguistics and behavioral neurology. With her father, she is currently writing his memoir, tentatively titled One by One: Memoirs of a Dachau Watchmaker. A professional actress, Perecman trained with Julie Bovasso and Vivian Matalon and has appeared on the New York stage most recently in staged readings of classic Yiddish plays. Perecman received her Ph.D. in Linguistics... More About Author

Sara R. Curran

Sara Curran is Associate Professor of International Studies and Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Her interests include family demography, development, and population and environment. Curran is completing a book for Princeton University Press titled Shifting Boundaries, Transforming Lives: Globalization, Gender and Family Dynamics in Thailand.  And has published in Ambio, Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Sociology, Demography, International Migration Review, Journal of International Women's Studies, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Population and Development Review, Rural Sociology, Social Science Research and Teaching... More About Author

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