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.

Summary: Thinking About Social Research Design

The topic of this book, research design, is only one component of social research. Research design is like an architectural drawing. Once the drawing is made, the structure can be built. Research design is the plan and the plan must be implemented, meaning data must be generated and then analyzed. While quality research depends upon design and implementation and data analysis, the importance of design should not be minimized: Nothing else matters if the research design is flawed. Although there are differences in how various subcommunities of researchers define the detailed characteristics of high-quality social research design, there are no disagreements that design must be adequate or findings will be not valid, as evaluated through naturalist criteria or ...

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