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Researching Society and Culture

Researching Society and Culture

Fourth Edition
Edited by:
  • Clive Seale - University of London, UK, Brunel University, UK
Additional resources:

November 2017 | 664 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Written by internationally renowned experts, each chapter provides a full introduction to a key aspect of research methodology. From starting out to generating, analyzing, and presenting data, this new Fourth Edition covers foundational concepts in social research, while also keeping readers on the pulse of topics like digital social research, social surveys, and big data. Packed with international examples from across the social sciences, this text shows how to interpret and work with data generated from real-world research.

Readers will learn to:
  • Design the right research question for a project
  • Access, understand, and use existing data
  • Effectively write-up projects and assignments
  • Be confident in the A to Z of the research process
Supported by an interactive website with videos, data-sets, templates, and additional exercises, this book is the perfect hand-holder for any social science student starting a methods course or project.
Clive Seale
Chapter 1: Introduction and guide to using this book
Part 1: Starting out
Clive Seale
Chapter 2: Philosophy, politics and values
David Silverman
Chapter 3: Research and theory
Suki Ali and Moira Kelly
Chapter 4: Ethics and social research
Duncan Branley, Clive Seale and Thomas Zacharias
Chapter 5: Doing a literature review
Moira Kelly
Chapter 6: Research questions and proposals
Clare Robinson and Clive Seale
Chapter 7: Research design
Chetan Bhatt
Chapter 8: The dissertation
Part 2: Generating data
Clive Seale
Chapter 9: Sampling
Clive Seale
Chapter 10: Questionnaires and interviews
Clive Seale
Chapter 11: Questions, measurements and structured observation
Bridget Byrne
Chapter 12: Qualitative interviewing
Fran Tonkiss
Chapter 13: Focus groups
David Walsh and Clive Seale
Chapter 14: Doing ethnography
Clive Seale
Chapter 15: Grounded theory
Ben Gidley
Chapter 16: Doing historical and documentary research
Neil Spicer
Chapter 17: Combining qualitative and quantitative methods
Clive Seale
Chapter 18: Digital Social Research
Part 3: Doing Analysis
Clive Seale
Chapter 19: Preparing data for statistical analysis
Clive Seale
Chapter 20: Analysing single variables
Clive Seale
Chapter 21: Bivariate analysis
Clive Seale
Chapter 22: Causal arguments and multivariate analysis
Clive Seale
Chapter 23: Secondary analysis
Clive Seale and Fran Tonkiss
Chapter 24: Content and text analysis
Carol Rivas
Chapter 25: Finding themes in qualitative data
Suki Ali
Chapter 26: Visual analysis
Fran Tonkiss
Chapter 27: Discourse analysis
Tim Rapley
Chapter 28: Analysing conversation
Ann Griffin and Vanessa May
Chapter 29: Narrative analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis
Part 4: Writing, Presenting, Reflecting
Carol Rivas
Chapter 30: Writing a research report
David Silverman
Chapter 31: Giving oral presentations
Clive Seale
Chapter 32: Research quality

Concise and to the point. This is a highly useful methods book for approaching and teaching research on society and culture from start to finish, between qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Robert Hafner
Geography, Innsbruck University

This brilliant book offers an authoritative exposé of all major aspects of empirical social research. The authors balance consideration for detail, necessary for hands-on research, with general methodological discussion, and show how both are necessary to achieve research excellence.

Rasmus Helles
Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen

This book has the potential to be a market leader. Seale put together a comprehensive collection of chapters that inspires students to take their classroom examination of methods out into the real world. This book moves ahead of many others by explaining concepts in a way that actively encourages students to engage with them and visualize how they can be used with actual problems. The authors address students directly on a personal level, rather than lecturing, which turns the book into the ‘story of methods’. Such an experience means that chapters on theory and ethics draw students into everyday life reassuring them that these are important topics to consider within actual research.

Grant Coates
Social Sciences, University of Roehampton

A useful text, well written and illuminating.

Dr Steve Hothersall
Faculty of Health & Social Care, Edge Hill University
August 24, 2019

This book provides some interesting information in relation to research methods. This will be a useful addition especially for the students completing their final research dissertation. It provides easy to understand text and examples.

Mr Stuart Woodcock
Department of Law, Chester University
June 20, 2018

The depth and clarity of explanation across a wide array of social research methods makes this book an invaluable resource for Masters/ PhD students as well as early career researchers. Many of the topics such as:

Digital social research;
Finding themes in qualitative data;
Discourse analysis; and
Analysing conversation

are covered better in this text than anywhere else I have come across. This book is a useful addition to any researchers' personal library.

Dr Ciaran McAleenan
School of the Built Environment (Jordanstown Campus), Ulster University
February 6, 2018

Fantastic textbook that is an absolute must for any student of social research or Education-Specific Research. Excellent balance between detail and practical examples that flesh-out the concept. Use of colour makes this text easy to read even for first time social researchers.

Dr Chelle Davison
Education, Coventry University Scarborough Campus
December 7, 2017

Clive Seale

Clive Seale has been Professor of Sociology (or Medical Sociology) at Goldsmiths and Queen Mary’s (both University of London) and Brunel University. His work has concerned communication in health care and death in modern society. He has published extensively on research methods. His books include Constructing Death: the sociology of dying and bereavement (Cambridge University Press, 1998), The Quality of Qualitative Research (Sage, 1999), Media and Health (Sage, 2003) and Gender and the Language of Illness (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010, with Jonathan Charteris-Black). Recently, he has turned to fiction, publishing a novel, Interrogating Ellie ... More About Author