Buckingham ; Philadelphia : Open University Press, 1993.
x, 193 pages ; 23 cm

"The aim of this book is to bridge the gap between theory and methods in social research. It is written in a clear, accessible style and will equip students with an in-depth understanding of the subject. The book has been carefully designed with the reader in mind and is divided into two parts. Part 1 examines the issues and Part 2, the methods used in social research. The topics covered in Part 1 include perspectives which help students understand the aims and practice of social research - positivism, idealism, critical research and feminisms; the relationship between theory and data; and the place of values and ethics in the research process." "These important issues are then directly linked to Part 2 of the book which includes chapters on official statistics, the use and design of questionnaires, the method of participant observation, successful documentary research, methods and process of interviewing, and comparative research." "Each of the methods chapters follows a common structure to promote an understanding of the place, process and analysis of social research methods. Complete with questions at the end of chapters, it will enable the reader not just to engage in empirical work, but to have the confidence and ability to reflect upon research practice and be aware of the various methods available for data analysis. Whilst it is specifically designed as a complete course of study for sociology and social policy students, it will also be of value to those who wish to reconsider or clarify the relationship between current social, political and theoretical issues in general and the practice of research in particular."