In addition to hundreds of new references features new to this edition include: a comprehensive introduction to qualitative methods including a review of existing computer applications for collecting and analyzing data; the latest information about the use of computers and online research techniques, including the use of the Internet to locate actual research instruments and journal articles; updated coverage on new scales, internal and external validity, and new analytic techniques with extensive references on each; abstracts, citations and subject groupings by measurement tool of the last five years of the American Sociological Review, Social Psychology Quarterly, and the American Journal of Sociology; extensive coverage of how to prepare manuscripts for publication, including a list of all journals covered by Sociological Abstracts along with the editorial office address and URL for each entry; new coverage of ethical issues; expansion of social indicators to include international coverage; discussion of the importance of policy research with presentation and discussion of specific models as an adjunct to both applied and basic research techniques; and the addition of an index to facilitate the reader's ability to quickly locate a topic.

The Impact of Sociological Theory on Empirical Research

The Impact of Sociological Theory on Empirical Research

Few researchers in the social sciences would doubt that their basic and empirical research have an important and complex and almost symbiotic relationship. For example, Robert K. Merton, in the excerpt that follows this section, describes the impact that theories can have on empirical research and says that the “notion of directed research implies that, in part, empirical inquiry is so organized that if and when empirical uniformities are discovered, they have direct consequences for a theoretic system.”

Note the functions of theory that Merton sets forth. The researcher must often formulate ...

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