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Researching Social Life

Researching Social Life

Fourth Edition
Edited by:
Additional resources:

December 2015 | 624 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Paul Stoneman and Nigel Gilbert breathe new energy into this classic bestselling textbook providing clear, relevant advice and extensive coverage of all the research methods you need to understand today’s society.

Packed full of examples from across the social sciences, Researching Social Life sets out all of the challenges and opportunities of interpreting and conducting research with qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods.

The book follows the chronology of a typical research project, from initial conception through to the collection, management and analysis of data; it also includes material on how best to write up and disseminate your research. This pragmatic approach mirrors the reality of conducting research and allows the handpicked, internationally renowned contributors to embed real case studies from their own research in each chapter.

The student-oriented pedagogy is carefully woven throughout the book and further supported by a cutting-edge website. Key tools include:

  • In-depth worked examples
  • Case studies
  • Discussion questions
  • Checklists
  • Annotated further reading
  • Practical top tips for doing research.

With unparalleled breadth and depth this trusted and respected textbook is an essential guide for anyone engaging with social research.

Geoff Cooper and Robert Meadows
Conceptualising Social Life
Nigel Gilbert
Research, Theory and Method
Nicola Green and Paul Stoneman
Formulating and Refining a Research Question
Karen Bullock and Daniel McCarthy
Conducting Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences
Paul Stoneman and Ian Brunton-Smith
Quantitative Research
Paul Hodkinson
Grounded Theory and Inductive Research
Victoria D. Alexander, Hilary Thomas, Ann Cronin, Jane Fielding and Jo Moran-Ellis
Mixed Methods
Christina Silver
Participatory Approaches to Social Research
Mike McGuire
Evaluation Research
Linda Hantrais
International Comparative Research
Janet Boddy
The Ethics of Social Research
Patrick Sturgis
Designing and Collecting Survey Samples
Charles Leddy-Owen
Questionnaire Design
Thomas J. Scotto
Measuring Attitudes
Nigel Fielding and Hilary Thomas
Qualitative Interviewing
Ann Cronin
Focus Groups
Nigel Fielding
Christine Hine
The Internet and Research Methods
Jane Fielding
Coding and Managing Data
Paul Stoneman
Analysing Survey Data
Ann Lewins
Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS)
Alexander Seal
Thematic Analysis
Sarah Earthy, Alexandra Cuncev and Ann Cronin
Narrative Analysis
Andrew King and Lorraine Locke
Applying Conversation Analysis and Membership Categorisation Analysis to Qualitative Data
Victoria D. Alexander
Analysing Visual Materials
Christine Hine
Digital Social Research
Nigel Gilbert
Writing about Social Research
Paul Stoneman and Nigel Gilbert
The Impact of Social Research

'Researching Social Life remains the classic, essential guide to social research methods with updated and innovative chapters brought together by a superb team of editors and contributors'. Lisa Dikomitis, Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull, UK.

Lisa Dikomitis
Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull. UK

'This is an excellent and easily accessible compendium of essential research techniques in the social sciences. It is a comprehensive introduction to the field of qualitative social research and a faithful companion during the first steps into empirical research'. Tino Mietz, Faculty of Humanities, Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen, Germany.

Tino Mietz
Eberhard Karls Universitat Tubingen, Germany

'Unlike other method texts, this one tells students in clear, readable language how to conduct research in the real world. Students will appreciate the global perspective and the intuitive organization of the book'. Leeda Copley, Department of Sociology, Gerontology and Substance Abuse Studies, University of Central Oklahoma, US. 

Leeda Copley
University of Central Oklahoma, US

This text is recommended as an introduction for students who are new to social research,the structure, content and style are excellent. I particularly like how each section and chapter builds on the former creating cohesive thread. The content comprehensively covers the wide range of research methods that students might wish to use making links between quantitative and qualitative methods apparent. Furthermore I really like the way most chapters end with a project, allowing the reader to practice the aforementioned theory.

Miss Christine Ann Lewis
Professional Development , Edge Hill University
April 20, 2016

A useful text for students/researchers think of adopting participatory approaches or visual methodologies

Mrs Ann-marie Steele
Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
September 15, 2016

This edition, once again, provides some excellent discussion of a wide range of topics. The presentation is student friendly with helpful recommended activities at the end of each chapter.

Jamie Harding
Social Sciences, Northumbria University
July 4, 2016

Appropriate as a supplementary text for a masters level course on digital research methods, demonstrating how longstanding research methods are relevant/have been affected by digital.

Dr Bex Lewis
MMU Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University
April 20, 2016

This is a good and comprehensive general research methods text book. It is one of the books that I use in developing lecture notes.

Dr Angela Julie Sorsby
School of Law, Sheffield University
June 22, 2016

For Dissertation students, this is a very useful guide to social research methods, with additional online support and links. It helps students design their research, manage and analyse the data, and provides some useful guidelines on how to write up their research.

Dr Jana Javornik
School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
June 21, 2016

This is a useful guide to social research methods, which students in this Year 2 course will need for their work.

Dr Jana Javornik
School of Law and Social Sciences, University of East London
June 21, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1: Conceptualising Social Life