NEW TO THIS EDITION: Discussion of the philosophy of science as the underlying foundation of methodological thinking includes naturalism and constructionism. Expanded focus on research ethics and the importance of samples in social research helps researchers produce higher quality research that adheres to common standards. Explicit attention is given to both designing research and evaluating the research of others. KEY FEATURES: An interdisciplinary approach with examples in criminology/criminal justice, sociology, political science/international relations, and social work gives readers a range of ways to comprehend the material. A balanced account of theoretical perspectives provides students with an unbiased and informed presentation of the material. An emphasis on conveying the logic and general principles of social research design is reflected in minimal technical details for maximum clarity.
Ititled this chapter Foundations because it is about the building blocks of social research design. The foundations of social research are much like the foundations of buildings: They often are invisible yet they are the base upon which all else is built. In this chapter, I will discuss three such foundations of social research. These are (1) the components of all social research (data, concepts, and theory), (2) the relationships among these components (logic), and (3) philosophies of science (naturalism, constructionism). I will conclude this chapter with the topic of methodological diversity. We live in an era where there are many, often competing, images of social research. Multiple visions encourage far more creativity than in past eras which has many positive consequences. Yet ...