top-rated free essay

Research Methods in Social Sciences

By dalewale21 Jul 25, 2012 367 Words
PART I
RESEARCH COMMUNITIES IN THE
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Bridget Somekh
Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Erica Burman
Research Institute of Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK Sara Delamont
Department of Sociology, Cardiff University, UK
Julienne Meyer
St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, City University, UK Malcolm Payne
St Christopher’s Hospice, London, UK
Richard Thorpe
Leeds University Business School, UK
The authors would like to thank Fazal Rizvi, Professor in
Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois, USA, and an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University, Australia,
for providing additional material to strengthen the international perspectives in this chapter.
Key features of research in the social
sciences
Bridget Somekh
Research in the social sciences draws on various
long-established traditions. Its origins might, for
example, be said to lie with the Greek philosophers,
Plato and Aristotle, who developed ways of conceptualizing
and categorizing knowledge, truth and human
experience during the fourth century BC.
Fundamentally, social science research is concerned
with people and their life contexts, and with philosophical
questions relating to the nature of knowledge
and truth (epistemology), values (axiology) and being
(ontology) which underpin human judgements and
activities.
Empirical social science research – that is research
which involves the collection of data about people
and their social contexts by a range of methods –
draws heavily upon the traditions and practices of
disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychology,
history and creative arts. Anthropology contributes
a tradition of participant observation and
interviews, field note-taking and heuristic interpretation
of culture. For example, from Geertz we learn
the importance of reading the cultural meanings in
details of behaviour such as winks, and writing about
research using ‘thick description’ to give readers the
experience of ‘being there’ (Geertz, 1973). From
sociology, we learn how social relations are formed
and reproduced. Psychology provides us with an
understanding of human behaviour. History contributes
a tradition of document analysis (the weighing of
evidence in the light of the likely biases of the
informant) and accords importance to contemporary
records, including personal testimony in letters and
note books. The creative arts contribute a tradition of
aesthetics (discernment and judgement of worth) and
accord importance to creativity and imagination in

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Characteristics of Social Science Research

    ...What is Social Science? “Social science is, in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us” (Economic and Social Research Council) Specifically, study of Human behavior (what people do) Characteristics (who people are) Value (what people prefer) Social Scienc...

    Read More
  • social science

    ... Word Count: 1008. Sociology is the study of society (Giddens, 1994 cited in Barry and Yuill, 2012), within social relationships, culture and institutions. This enables studies to analyse important matters and assist with the understanding of an individual within all aspects of life, community, ...

    Read More
  • Social Research Methods

    ...Social Research Methods/Unobtrusive Research http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Social_Research_Methods/Unobtrusive_Research Introduction - Unobtrusive measures are ways of studying social behavior whithout affecting it in the process. Unobtrusive research is simply the methods of studying social behaviorwithout affecting it. - There are th...

    Read More
  • Ethics in Business Research Methods

    ...ETHICS IN BUSINESS RESEARCH Mian Umair Asghar Week 4 Global Institute DHA INTRODUCTION Ethics are norms or standards of behavior that guide moral choices about our behavior and our relationships with others.  The goal is to ensure that no one is harmed or suffers adverse consequences from  INTRODUCTION Begin data collection by explai...

    Read More
  • Social Sciences

    ...Social Sciences What is meant by the term ‘social sciences’? The definition of ‘social sciences’ is a group of academic disciplines that examine society and how people interact and develop as a culture. (Investopedia.com). Social science also highlights study of humanity, including quantitative and qualitative methods. 1. There are n...

    Read More
  • Methods of Research

    ...Methods of Research Jennifer Whitehead CJ490 8/12/14 Professor Price Methods of Research Scientist conducts research on a daily basis. The purpose of this research is exploration, description, explanation, and application. In the area of criminal justice things are getting researched all of the time. Take murder for example, the polic...

    Read More
  • Ethics in Social Science Research

    ... FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL AND STRATEGIC STUDIES 2011/2012 SESSION SEMESTER 2 AUEA 1105 : RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS QUESTION: 5: WHY IS ETHICS IMPORTANT IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH? INTRODUCTION Study in research methodology will educate students how to iden...

    Read More
  • contents of social sciences research proposal

    ...College of social science and law Department of environmental health sciences and technology. Introduction to sociology mid- exam (25%) time allowed; 50mnts NAME----------------------------------------------------------ID NO-----------GROUP--------program--------- GENERAL DIRECTIONS This exam booklet contains four...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.