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Making Sense of Social Research Methodology
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Making Sense of Social Research Methodology
A Student and Practitioner Centered Approach

First Edition


March 2021 | 496 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Making Sense of Social Research Methodology: A Student and Practitioner Centered Approach introduces students to research methods by illuminating the underlying assumptions of social science inquiry. Authors Pengfei Zhao, Karen Ross, Peiwei Li, and Barbara Dennis show how research concepts are often an integral part of everyday life through illustrative common scenarios, like looking for a recipe or going on a job interview. The authors extrapolate from these personal but ubiquitous experiences to further explain concepts, like gathering data or social context, so students develop a deeper understanding of research and its applications outside of the classroom. Students from across the social sciences can take this new understanding into their own research, their professional lives, and their personal lives with a new sense of relevancy and urgency.

This text is organized into clusters that center on major topics in social science research. The first cluster introduces concepts that are fundamental to all aspects and steps of the research process. These concepts include relationality, identity, ethics, epistemology, validity, and the sociopolitical context within which research occurs. The second and third clusters focus on data and inference. These clusters engage concretely with steps of the research process, including decisions about designing research, generating data, making inferences. Throughout the chapters, Pause and Reflect open-ended questions provide readers with the space for further inquiry into research concepts and how they apply to life. Research Scenario features in each chapter offer new perspectives on major research topics from leading and emerging voices in methods. Moving from this dialogic perspective to more actionable advice, You and Research features offer students concrete steps for engaging with research. Take your research into the world with Making Sense of Social Research Methodology: A Student and Practitioner Centered Approach.

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
Chapter 1: Our Research Story: A Prelude
Paths Toward Research

 
Making Implicit Explicit: Our Intentions and Assumptions

 
About Reading This Book

 
 
CLUSTER 1 • UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: MAKING SENSE OF UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS
Roots and Branches

 
 
Chapter 2: How Do We Know? That Is the Question
Musing Upon the Everyday: Enquiring Minds Want to Know

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: The Meaning of “Research”

 
Research Scenario: Researching Through Collective Values: The Feminist Research Collective

 
Synthesis: An Open Dialogue

 
 
Chapter 3: Research, Identity, and Relational Processes
Musing Upon the Everyday: The Presentation of Self

 
Research Scenario: A Collaborative Action Research Project

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 4: Ethical Considerations Across the Spectrum of  Research
Musing Upon the Everyday: What Would You Do?

 
Narratives and Conceptual Interludes: On Being Ethical in Research Practices

 
Research Scenario: Marginalia: Sara McClelland

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 5: Knowledge and Meaning in Research
Musing Upon the Everyday: Understanding Meaning

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: Different Ways of Knowing

 
Research Scenario: My “Fat Girl Complex”

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 6: Sociopolitical Conditions of Research
Musing Upon the Everyday

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes

 
Research Scenario: Making a Difference as a Researcher

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 7: Validity in the Context of Research
Musing Upon the Everyday: Validity in (Mis)understanding

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: Do We Really Know the Truth?

 
Research Scenario: Validity and Assessment: David Rutkowski

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
CLUSTER 2 • WHAT IS THE MEANING OF “DATA”?
Roadmap

 
 
Chapter 8: What Am I Looking For?
Revisiting Research and Identity in the Context of Data

 
Musing Upon the Everyday: Solving Problems That Matter to Us

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: A Researcher and Their Organizing

 
Research Scenario: Studying a Rare Condition: Jenny Downs

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 9: Defining Data
Musing Upon the Everyday: How Much Should I Pay for My First Home?

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes

 
Research Scenario: The Effects of Power on Ethnographic Research: Ke Li

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 10: Generating and Acquiring Data
Musing Upon the Everyday: How Should I Make That Lasagna?

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: A Day in the Life of a Researcher

 
Research Scenario: Making Choices About Data Generation

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 11: How Do I Know I Have “Enough” Data? How Do I Know I Have “Good” Data?
Musing Upon the Everyday: How Did the Lasagna Turn Out?

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: Creating the Perfect Recipe

 
Research Scenario: Evaluating the Data Generation and Acquisition Process

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
CLUSTER 3 • HOW DO WE CONCEPTUALIZE “INFERENCE”?
Connecting the Dots

 
 
Chapter 12: Understanding Inference as a Process
Musing Upon the Everyday: The World of Iris

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes I: Making Sensible Interpretations

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interlude II: Applying the Insights of Critical Pragmatism to Social Research

 
Research Scenario: Understanding and Serving Today’s College Students. The Problem of Basic Needs Insecurity: Katharine Broton

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 13: Description and Inference in the Research Sphere
Musing Upon the Everyday: The Process of Making Choices

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: What to Make of the GRE?

 
Research Scenario: Making Decisions

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 14: Making Inferences About Trends and Experiences
Musing Upon the Everyday: Obesity Is Contagious

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: Making Inferences That Matter

 
Research Scenario: Youth Encounter Programs in Israel: Karen Ross

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 15: Writing Up Research
Musing Upon the Everyday

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes

 
Research Scenario: Double Writing in Participatory Action Research: Meagan Call-Cummings

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 16: Coming Back Full Circle: Implications of the Inferential Process
Musing Upon the Everyday: What Is in My Food?

 
Narrative and Conceptual Interludes: Research Impact— for What, for Whom, and by Whom?

 
Research Scenario: Extrapolating Social Change From Research: Positionality, Iterativity, and Envisioning: Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams

 
Synthesis: Points for Reflection

 
 
Chapter 17: Postlude
 
Appendix A: Statistical Tests Used to Establish Causal Inferences
 
Appendix B: Statistical Tests Used to Establish Correlational Inferences
 
Appendix C: Getting Clarity About the Vision of Your Class Project
 
Appendix D: A Generic Rubric for Evaluating Empirical Research Articles
 
Glossary of Terms
 
About the Contributors
 
References

Supplements

Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include PowerPoint slides and an Instructor's Manual.

I preferred the Creswell book

Dr John Fisher
Criminology, Univ Of Texas-Permian Basin
April 13, 2021

Looking for a different book

Dr Linda Loubert
Economics Dept, Morgan State University
March 4, 2021

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506378688
£64.99