This book explains and demonstrates to students when to use and how to apply the quantitative and qualitative techniques that they'll need to do their own social research. Using actual examples from psychology, sociology, anthropology, health and education, the book provides readers with both a conceptual understanding of each technique as well as showing them how to use the technique.
The Further Reading section at the end of each chapter is expanded and the result is that the bibliography is about 60% larger than in the last edition. People ask me why there are so many references to really, really old stuff. The reason is that I want students to know that the literature on research methods is very rich and I want them to know about many of the classics. Many examples have been updated, including new information about some of the classics.
The separate chapter on searching the literature is gone from this edition because students are universally aware of the databases. Chapter 3 retains the information about the databases that I think are most important for students to control and instructions on how to use the databases effectively.
Sampling takes up three chapters in this edition, up from one in the first edition. A lot of progress has been made in the development of nonprobability methods of sampling, for example, so these are treated in a separate chapter. In the first edition, I treated consensus analysis in the chapter on participant observation and on choosing informants. Consensus analysis has become much more widely used in the last 15 years. It is now described in greater detail in Chapter 16, on cultural domain analysis. Choosing both key informants and specialized informants, however, remains in the chapter on nonprobability methods of sampling.
Interviewing takes up three chapters in this edition, up from two in the first edition. In Chapter 8, on unstructured and semistructured interviewing, the sections on recording equipment and on voice recognition software (VRS) have been updated, and examples have been added or updated. Chapters 9 and 10 are on two very different kinds of structured interviewing. Chapter 9 focuses on questionnaires and surveys. I've updated the material on computer-based methods and on Internet-based surveys and added material on the list experiment. Chapter 10 introduces methods used in cognitive science, including free lists, pile sorts, triad tests, and paired comparisons. Methods for analyzing these data are in Chapter 16.
In Chapter 11, on scaling, I've updated material on the various instruments. In Chapter 12, on participant observation, I've updated several examples and added bibliography. In Chapter 13, on taking and managing field notes, I've updated or added examples and added information on using word processors as text managers. In Chapter 14, the bibliography has been updated.
Chapter 15 is unchanged from the first edition. Chapter 16 contains new material on analyzing data from the systematic ethnographic methods described in Chapter 10: free lists, pile sorts, and so on. The section on network analysis in Chapter 16 is new to this edition. Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis are described in Chapter 16, as is cultural consensus analysis and cultural consonance analysis. Chapter 17 continues with methods in this cognitive science tradition of social science, including decision modeling and taxonomic analysis and it covers new methods for analytic induction.
The chapter on text analysis in the last edition is now two chapters. Chapters 18 and 19 owe much to my work with Gery Ryan (Bernard and Ryan 2010; Ryan and Bernard 2000, 2003). Chapter 18 focuses on methods for analyzing whole texts; Chapter 19 deals with methods that involve finding themes in texts and analyzing the distribution of themes.
Chapters 20, 21, and 22 are updated versions of Chapters 14, 15, and 16 in the first edition.