In Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, Blackstone stresses the importance of understanding research methods in order to pursue an advanced degree. As an active researcher herself, Blackstone is acutely aware of the need for a balanced approach of both qualitative and quantitative methods of sociological inquiry. Therefore, the three overriding objectives of this textbook are Relevance, Balance, and Accessibility. Blackstone emphasizes the relevance of research methods to the everyday lives of its readers and undergraduate students.
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Table of Content
Chapter 1: Introduction
Research Methods for Everyday Life
How Do We Know What We Know?
Different Sources of Knowledge
Ontology and Epistemology
Science, Social Science, and Sociology
The Science of Sociology
Specific Considerations for the Social Sciences
Why Should We Care?
Consuming Research and Living With Its Results
Research as Employment Opportunity
Design and Goals of This Text
Chapter 2: Linking Methods With Theory
What’s Theory Got to Do With It?
Micro, Meso, and Macro Approaches
Sociology at Three Different Levels
Paradigms, Theories, and How They Shape a Researcher’s Approach
Paradigms in Social Science
Inductive or Deductive? Two Different Approaches
Inductive Approaches and Some Examples
Deductive Approaches and Some Examples
Revisiting an Earlier Question
Chapter 3: Research Ethics
Ethics in Sociological Research
Research on Humans
Human Research Versus Nonhuman Research
A Historical Look at Research on Humans
Institutional Review Boards
Specific Ethical Issues to Consider
Protection of Identities
Ethics at Micro, Meso, and Macro Levels
The Practice of Science Versus the Uses of Science
Doing Science the Ethical Way
Using Science the Ethical Way
Chapter 4: Beginning a Research Project
Choosing a Topic
Starting Where You Already Are
How Do You Feel About Where You Already Are?
What Do You Know About Where You Already Are?
Is It Empirical?
Is It Sociological?
What Is Sociology?
What Is Not Sociology?
Is It a Question?
Sociologists as Paparazzi?
Some Specific Examples
Field Trip: Visit Your Library
Chapter 5: Research Design
How to Design a Research Project
Goals of the Research Project
Exploration, Description, Explanation
Idiographic or Nomothetic?
Applied or Basic?
Qualitative or Quantitative? Some Specific Considerations
Units of Analysis and Units of Observation
Components of a Research Project
Searching for Literature
Reviewing the Literature
Additional Important Components
Chapter 6: Defining and Measuring Concepts
Measurement, Conceptualization, and Operationalization
What Do Social Scientists Measure?
How Do Social Scientists Measure?
Concepts and Conceptualization
A Word of Caution About Conceptualization
Putting It All Together
Complexities in Measurement
Levels of Measurement
Indexes, Scales, and Typologies
Chapter 7: Sampling
Who or What?
Populations Versus Samples
Sampling in Qualitative Research
Types of Nonprobability Samples
Sampling in Quantitative Research
Types of Probability Samples
A Word of Caution: Questions to Ask About Samples
Who Sampled, How Sampled, and for What Purpose?
Chapter 8: Survey Research: A Quantitative Technique
Why Survey Research?
Survey Research: What Is It and When Should It Be Used?
Pros and Cons of Survey Research
Strengths of Survey Method
Weaknesses of Survey Method
Types of Surveys
Designing Effective Questions and Questionnaires
Asking Effective Questions
Analysis of Survey Data
From Completed Questionnaires to Analyzable Data
Chapter 9: Interviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
Why Interview Research?
Interview Research: What Is It and When Should It Be Used?
Qualitative Interview Techniques and Considerations
Conducting Qualitative Interviews
Analysis of Qualitative Interview Data
Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Interviews
Quantitative Interview Techniques and Considerations
Conducting Quantitative Interviews
Analysis of Quantitative Interview Data
Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative Interviews
Issues to Consider for All Interview Types
Location, Location, Location
Chapter 10: Field Research: A Qualitative Technique
Why Field Research?
Field Research: What Is It and When to Use It?
Pros and Cons of Field Research
Strengths of Field Research
Weaknesses of Field Research
Choosing a Site
Choosing a Role
Writing in the Field
Writing out of the Field
Analysis of Field Research Data
From Description to Analysis
Chapter 11: Unobtrusive Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
Why Unobtrusive Research?
Unobtrusive Research: What Is It and When to Use It?
Pros and Cons of Unobtrusive Research
Strengths of Unobtrusive Research
Weaknesses of Unobtrusive Research
Unobtrusive Data Collected by You
Analysis of Unobtrusive Data Collected by You
Analyzing Others’ Data
Reliability in Unobtrusive Research
Chapter 12: Other Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
Why Additional Methods?
Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
Chapter 13: Sharing Your Work
Research as Public Activity
Deciding What to Share and With Whom to Share It
Sharing It All: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Knowing Your Audience
Presenting Your Research
Writing Up Research Results
Chapter 14: Reading and Understanding Social Research
Sociology in Everyday Life
Reading Reports of Sociological Research
Being a Responsible Consumer of Research
Media Reports of Sociological Research
Sociological Research: It’s Everywhere
Chapter 15: Research Methods in the Real World
Applying What You’ve Learned
Doing Research for a Living
Policy and Other Government Research
Doing Research for a Cause
Revisiting an Earlier Question: Why Should We Care?
Understanding Yourself, Your Circumstances, and Your World
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