You are here

Constructing Social Research

Constructing Social Research
The Unity and Diversity of Method

Second Edition

July 2010 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Constructing Social Research, Second Edition is a concise, innovative text designed for undergraduate Research Methods courses in the Social Sciences. This Sociology for a New Century Series text effectively highlights the unity and diversity of methods across disciplines and cultures using comparative and historical examples. Ragin and Amoroso clearly demonstrate the similarities among three major traditions: qualitative research on commonalities, comparative research on diversity, and quantitative research on relationships among variables. Together, these three compelling research strategies provide a solid foundation for studying all social phenomena, from examining the complexities of everyday life to investigating the power of transnational processes.

New to This Edition

- This edition includes a new Chapter 4 "The Ethics of Social Research" to provide more in-depth information on this vital topic

- Ragin and Amoroso offer a new succinct overview of the scientific method, illuminating the contrast between this method and the alternative presented in the text

- To illustrate the various types of data collection associated with qualitative, comparative, and quantitative research, each chapter within the "Strategies of Social Research" section includes new, detailed examples.

PART I Elements of Social Research
1 What is Social Research?

Some Conventional Views of Social Research

Social Research and Other Ways of Representing Social Life

Social Research Defined

Journalism and Social Research: The Similarities

How Social Research Differs

2 The Goals of Social Research

The Seven Main Goals

The Link between Goals and Strategies

The Social Nature of Social Research

3 The Process of Social Research: Ideas and Evidence

The Interpretive Model of Social Research

Processes and Strategies of Social Research

The Challenge of Social Research

4 The Ethics of Social Research

Ethical Dilemmas and Failures

The Troublesome History of Ethical Research

The Current Ethical Standards and Institutional Oversight

Ethical and Professional Dilemmas Facing Social Researchers

PART II Strategies of Social Research
5 Using Qualitative Methods to Study Commonalities

The Goals of Qualitative Research

The Process of Qualitative Research

Using Qualitative Methods

The Study of a Single Case

6 Using Comparative Methods to Study Diversity

Contrasts with Other Research Strategies

The Goals of Comparative Research

The Process of Comparative Research

Using Comparative Methods

7 Using Quantitative Methods to Study Covariation

Contrasts with Other Research Strategies

The Goals of Quantitative Research

The Process of Quantitative Research

Using Quantitative Methods

AFTERWORD: The Promise of Social Research with Mary Driscoll
APPENDIX: Computing Correlation Coefficients

Unlike many "methods" texts, this book presents an overview of issues in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Moreover, it is written in a language I feel is both interesting and accessible for undergraduates. Finally, in an era of rising textbook prices--particularly methods books--this book is both reasonable and easily available as an e-book.

Ms Lori Weber
Political Science Dept, California State University - Chico
September 14, 2012

One of the best books to get students engaged in social research methods. The writing is clear and concise and students really "get it!"

Dr Dana Greene
Sociology Dept, North Carolina Central University
January 30, 2011

The authors' thoughtful approach to otherwise dry material is useful for students with widely divergent academic backgrounds, and the many up-to-date examples bring the material to life.

Professor Joe Grengs
College Of Arch Urban Planning, University of Michigan
December 14, 2010

Charles Christopher Ragin

Charles C. Ragin spent most of his youth in Texas and the southeastern United States. He attended the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate and received his BA degree in 1972 at the age of 19. That same year he began graduate work in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his PhD in 1975. From 1975 until 2001, he lived in the Midwest, teaching first at Indiana University and then at Northwestern University. He headed west in 2001, where he spent just over a decade at University of Arizona-Tucson. In 2012, he joined the faculty at the University of California-Irvine, where he is currently the... More About Author

Lisa M. Amoroso

Lisa M. Amoroso spent her childhood in Pittsburgh and the suburbs of Chicago. She attended Northwestern University for her BA in economics and mathematical methods in the social sciences. After working in software development and management systems, she returned to Northwestern and the Kellogg School of Management, where she completed her PhD in a joint program in sociology and organization behavior in 2003. Since leading her first seminar at Northwestern in 1997, she has been teaching in the Midwest—at Northwestern, Beloit College, Roosevelt University, and currently Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Research methods and... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412960182

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.