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Real Research
Research Methods Sociology Students Can Use

Second Edition


February 2019 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Real Research: Research Methods Sociology Students Can Use is an innovative text that takes a holistic approach to the subject by discussing each step in the research process within the context of a particular method. With no generalizations about concepts that apply to only some research methods but not others, students can jump into the first research method within the first two weeks of class. After an overview of data collection in the first chapter, subsequent chapters focus on eight specific quantitative and qualitative methods most frequently used in sociology. The Second Edition includes a new chapter on focus groups, updated “Real Research” profiles of individuals using research methods in a wide range of careers, and examples of common student errors to streamline learning.


 
Acknowledgments
 
Chapter 1: Introduction
What Is Empirical Social Research?

 
Why Is Research Important?

 
Methods of Data Collection

 
Quantitative and Qualitative Research

 
Basic and Applied Research

 
The Components of Research

 
Reading This Text

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 2: Interviewing
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Ethics

 
Sampling

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 3: Observation and Ethnography
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Ethics

 
Sampling

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 4: Surveys
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Sampling

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 5: Secondary Data Analysis
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Sampling

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 6: Existing Statistics Research
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Sampling

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 7: Content Analysis
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Sampling

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 8: Experiments for Evaluation Research
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Choosing a Study Design

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Sampling

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Evaluating the Quality of Data and Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Chapter 9: Focus Groups
Methodology

 
Theory

 
Research Questions

 
Literature Review

 
Sampling

 
Conceptualizing and Operationalizing

 
Ethics

 
Preparing for Data Collection

 
Data Collection

 
Analysis

 
Presenting the Results

 
Summary Points

 
 
Appendix A: Reviewing the Literature
Types of Sources

 
Searching the Literature

 
Reading Scholarly Articles

 
Writing a Literature Review

 
Plagiarism

 
 
Appendix B: Writing a Research Proposal
Title

 
Introduction and Literature Review

 
Research Question

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Implications

 
Timeline

 
Budget

 
Style

 
Guidelines and Formatting

 
A “Seamless Whole”

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

I like several things about this text, including its accessibility (in terms of content), the emphasis on real research, the focus on ethics and the price point. That said, it doesn't cover a sufficient breath of research methods to make it a stand alone text for an International Studies course in methods. I will probably use a course pack or open access materials the next time I teach the class.

James Biles
International Studies, City College Of New York
May 29, 2019

Sample Materials & Chapters

1: Introduction

2: Interviewing


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