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.


The goal of social research is to find answers to the mysteries of social life. These mysteries are social in that they pertain to more than a few people. In contrast to psychiatrists or clinical social workers who work to understand the characteristics and problems of unique individuals in unique situations, social researchers explore the common characteristics, experiences, and problems of types of people and types of situations. So, for example, social researchers believe that when they talk with a few students about their experiences with technology, they are learning something about how students in general relate to technology. When researchers examine the Facebook postings of specific college men, they believe learning something about those particular men will tell us something about college ...

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