Research Basics: Design to Data Analysis in Six Steps offers a fresh and creative approach to the research process based on author James V. Spickard’s decades of teaching experience. Using an intuitive six–step model, readers learn how to craft a research question and then identify a logical process for answering it. Conversational writing and multi–disciplinary examples illuminate the model’s simplicity and power, effectively connecting the “hows” and “whys” behind social science research. Students using this book will learn how to turn their research questions into results.

Ethnography: Exploring Cultural and Social Scenes

Type of Data

Data Collection Method

Exploring Scenes

Acts, behavior, or events

Cultural knowledge

Hidden social patterns

Ethnography (participant observation)




Grounded Theory


It was a quiet October day when I first walked into the San Francisco branch of the Church of World Messianity—the U.S. outpost of one of the 700 or so new religions founded in Japan in the 20th century.1 One of my friends was studying to become a minister. I wanted to see what the group was like.

The church was located in the southwestern part of the city, in a small house that the group used for holding services. I knocked, and a kindly Japanese American woman answered the door. She said, “I see you have come to receive johrei.” I didn’t know what ...

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