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Social Research
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Social Research
Philosophy, Politics and Practice

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December 1992 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Martyn Hammersley's own track record in this territory has ensured that the choice and ordering of the contributions is excellent. The book is presumably intended for postgraduate students and will serve them well. I should like to think that managers, policymakers, and others who commission and use social research might take the time to study this book in order to disabuse themselves of the notion that the research process is simply about collecting and connecting 'facts.'" --Steve Harrison in Health Services Management Research "The collection is focused on the cutting edge, the interface between social research, philosophy, politics, and practice. In both classic and more recent contributions, the authors lucidly and critically raise important methodological issues, none of which can be understood in purely technical terms." --Jaber F. Gubrium, University of Florida "An important guide to current issues and debates in social research. Hammersley has assembled a useful range of source material for the beginning student." --Robert Burgess, University of Warwick Social research takes many forms and is carried out under a wide variety of conditions. It is not surprising that there is a considerable amount of disagreement and debate about the methodological issues it involves. In recent years this debate has intensified, and differences regarding the appropriate methods and goals have become more critical. Social Research draws together a key set of readings to explore the issues that are at the center of the debates. Some of the issues examined are the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methods; positivism, and the role of the natural sciences as a model for social research; the purpose of research--knowledge of the social world or its transformation; issues of race, gender, and power in social research; the politics and ethics of data collection; and the validity and relevance of social research. This thought-provoking volume will be of value to researchers, academics, and undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences, education, nursing and related fields.
 
Introduction
 
PART ONE: PHILOSOPHY
Leszek Kolakowski
An Overall View of Positivism
G H von Wright
Two Traditions
Karen L Henwood and Nick F Pidgeon
Qualitative Research and Psychological Theorizing
Brian Fay
The Elements of Critical Social Science
Victor Jupp and Clive Norris
Traditions in Documentary Analysis
 
PART TWO: POLITICS
Rodolfo Stavenhagen
Decolonializing Applied Social Sciences
Maria Mies
Towards a Methodology for Feminist Research
Elim Papadakis
Intervention in New Social Movements
Barry MacDonald
A Political Classification of Evaluation Studies in Education
Toby Epstein Jayaratne
The Value of Quantitative Methodology for Feminist Research
Waqar I U Ahmad and Trevor A Sheldon
`Race' and Statistics
 
PART THREE: PRACTICE
Catherine Hakim
Research Analysis of Administrative Records
Government Statisticians' Collective
How Official Statistics are Produced
Views from the Inside

 
Janet Finch
`It's Great to Have Someone to Talk to'
Ethics and Politics of Interviewing Women

 
Maurice Punch
Observation and the Police
The Research Experience

 
Janet Ward Schofield
Increasing the Generalizability of Qualitative Research
N L Gage
The Obviousness of Social and Educational Research Results

`An important guide to current issues and debates in social research. Martyn Hammersley has assembled a useful range of source material for the beginning student' - Robert Burgess, University of Warwick

`All the readings are clear and incisive and have been well chosen as exemplars of a particular tradition or type of critique. Since they can be studied individually as well as collectively, this book will be invaluable for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate methods courses' - Journal of Social Policy

`Between them, the papers included in this book cover an impressive range of issues central to social research. The editor has succeeded in pulling together papers from a wide range of sources... and making them available in an easily-accessible form. The book could serve as a useful introduction to the field for undergraduate students, or as eye-opening background reading for research practitioners who have not had formal training in the philosophy of social investigation.' - ESRC Data Archive Bulletin

`The book accomplishes its purpose of illuminating the 'profound differences in approach' and should help the users of social research as well as practitioners.' - Educational Research


This offers some useful insights for undergraduates, new to the research process. This useful examples that will allow them to appreciate social research.

Mr Hu Clarke
Counselling, Havering College of Further and Higher Education
August 27, 2012

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Martyn Hammersley

Martyn Hammersley is an emeritus professor of educational and social research at The Open University, UK. He has carried out research in the sociology of education and the sociology of the media. However, much of his work has been concerned with the methodological issues surrounding social enquiry. He has written several books including (with Paul Atkinson) Ethnography: Principles in Practice (fourth edition, Routledge, 2019), The Dilemma of Qualitative Method (Routledge, 1989), The Politics of Social Research (SAGE, 1995), Reading Ethnographic Research (second edition, Longman, 1997), Taking Sides in Social Research (Routledge, 2000),... More About Author