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Understanding Social Statistics

Understanding Social Statistics

Second Edition

January 2006 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This fully revised, expanded and updated Second Edition of the bestselling textbook by Jane Fielding and Nigel Gilbert provides a comprehensive yet accessible guide to quantitative data analysis. Designed to help take the fear out of the use of numbers in social research, this textbook introduces students to statistics as a powerful means of revealing patterns in human behavior.

The textbook covers everything typically included in an introductory course on social statistics for students in the social sciences and the authors have taken the opportunity of this Second Edition to bring the data sources as current as possible. The book is full of up-to-date examples and useful and clear illustrations using the latest SPSS software.

While maintaining the student-friendly elements of the first, such as chapter summaries, exercises at the end of each chapter, and a glossary of key terms, new features to this edition include:

  • Updated examples and references
  • SPSS coverage and screen-shots now incorporate the current version 14.0 and are used to demonstrate the latest social statistics datasets
  • Additions to content include a brand new section on developing a coding frame and an additional discussion of weighting counts as a means of analyzing published statistics
  • Enhanced design aids navigation which is further simplified by the addition of core objectives for each chapter and bullet-pointed chapter summaries
  • The updated Website at http:/ reflects changes made to the text and provides updated datasets

A valuable and practical guide for students dealing with the large amounts of data that are typically collected in social surveys, the Second Edition of Understanding Social Statistics is an essential textbook for courses on statistics and quantitative research across the social sciences.

Numbers, Data and Analysis
Using Computers in Statistics
Univariate Statistics
Graphics for Display
Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion
Graphics for Analysis
The Normal Curve
Correlation and Regression
Bivariate Analysis

Categorical Data

Sampling and Inference
Testing Hypotheses
Modelling Data

This is a very comprehensive guide to the use of social statistics. This text does as it says. It takes 'the fear out of using numbers in social research'. This text would be useful for both undergraduate and master's students completing an introduction to statistics course or embarking on using SPSS for the first time. The text begins with an introduction to quantiatative research and builds up to the use of various statistical techniques from the more straightforward to the more complex. Throughout there are numerous illustrations which facilitate keeping pace with the concepts that are introduced. This is certainly an invaluable guide for any student taking those first steps into social statistics.

Mrs Moyra Journeaux
Nurse Education, Health and Social Services
December 14, 2012

I recommended the book for this time, since the programme was already mainly settled for the term. However, I aim to replace the current text book and would make Understanding Social Statistics the core reading next time.
The great advantage of the book is the step-by-step guide through SPSS. The avoidance of formulas by and large provides an easy introduction to statistics for students who are reluctant to engage with statistics. Once they know how easy it can be to produce meaningful results, they are more likely to use them in the future and understand the logic of it. formulas can always be introduced at a later stage for more advanced students. However, I would recommend to use it only in conjunction with a general methods book that covers qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches as well as research design and mixed methods.

Dr Stephan Köppe
Centre for Housing Research, St Andrews University
November 29, 2012

The book was limited in scope

Dr Karyn Morrissey
Department of Geography, Liverpool University
November 10, 2012

Very good introduction to statistics, very good intro to SPSS.
I will strongly recommend this book to all students who will be using quantitative methods in their studies.

Dr Manuela Heinz
School of Education, National University of Ireland
November 1, 2011

This is an excellent text and covers many of the data operations in SPSS that often get little attention. I also approve of the inclusion of equations, rather than shying away from them.

Dr Luke Sloan
Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
March 7, 2011

I have used the previous version of this book and have found it to be extremely useful and benefical to the course.

Miss Urszula Wolski
Sociology and Criminology, Kingston University
December 3, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

PDF for Chapter Three

PDF for Chapter One

Jane L. Fielding

Jane Fielding gained her DPhil in Biochemistry in 1976 to be followed by postdoctoral fellowships at Queen Elizabeth College and Imperial College, University of London. She joined Surrey University in 1981 as a researcher on several part-time contracts in the departments of Sociology, Psychology and Human Biology. In 1984 she was appointed as the Departmental Research Fellow and has been involved with the teaching of computing and quantitative methods since that time. In 1994 she took up her current lectureship in quantitative methods and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001. More About Author

Nigel Gilbert

Nigel Gilbert is Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey, Guildford, England. He is the author or editor of 34 books and many academic papers and was the founding editor of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. His current research focuses on the application of agent-based models to understanding social and economic phenomena, especially the emergence of norms, culture, and innovation. He obtained a doctorate in the sociology of scientific knowledge in 1974 from the University of Cambridge and has subsequently taught at the universities of York and Surrey in England. He is one of the pioneers in the field of... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412910545

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