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The Foundations of Social Research
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The Foundations of Social Research
Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process

First Edition


October 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Choosing a research method can be bewildering. How can you be sure which methodology is appropriate, or whether your chosen combination of methods is consistent with the theoretical perspective you want to take? This book links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology. The major epistemological stances and theoretical perspectives that colour and shape current social research are detailed and the author reveals the philosophical origins of these schools of inquiry and shows how various disciplines contribute to the practice of social research as it is known today.


 
Introduction
 
Positivism
The March of Science

 
 
Constructionism
The Making of Meaning

 
 
Interpretivism
For and against Culture

 
 
Interpretivism
The Way of Hermeneutics

 
 
Critical Inquiry
The Marxist Heritage

 
 
Critical Inquiry
Contemporary Critics and Contemporary Critique

 
 
Feminism
Re-Visioning the Man-Made World

 
 
Postmodernism
Crisis of Confidence or Moment of Truth?

 
 
Conclusion

Choosing a research method can be bewildering. How can you be sure which methodology is appropriate, or whether your chosen combination of methods is consistent with the theoretical perspective you want to take? This book links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology.


The book provides a comprehensive overview and does well at demystifying the research philosophy. I have recommended it to my level 7 students for their dissertation project.

Mrs Nicole Gould
York Business School, York St John University
March 25, 2024

This book is frequently cited by other authors, however there really is not alternative to reading the original. It is clearly written and deals with complexity in a way that a graduate student should be able to engage with in a critical manner.

Mr John Luker
School of Education and Community, Wrexham Glyndwr University
April 25, 2020

Not adopted for Year 1 - recommended to colleague for potential Year 3 module.

Miss Linda P McGrath
Department of Nursing, Birmingham University
May 19, 2021

Very user friendly to guide students for the basics in research within healthcare.

Mrs Vanessa Grace Wilson
Nursing (Chesterfield), Derby University
April 5, 2020

Amazing book that make the principles of social research accessible

Mr Nick White
Nursing and Midwifery, Sheffield Hallam University
February 26, 2020

This is a great book- I have recommended it to many post graduate students. It's very readable and helps helps anybody studying at this level, to get a manageable explanation of some very complex subjects.

Mrs Julie Rowe
Health and Social Care at Derby, Derby University
August 28, 2019

Crotty's "The Foundations of Social Research" is almost two decades old but still one of the best introductions to the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. It provides a comprehensive approach to rather complex issues and assumptions. A modern classic!

Dr Per Becker
Building and Environmental Technology, Lund University
March 7, 2017

Book is excellent for methodology and theoretical perspectives. Highly recommended for research and especially phenomenology at higher levels of study.

Mr Jason Ready
Vocational Education , Heimdal Vidergående
September 15, 2016

Suitable mainly for Masters and Doctoral students it is a very helpful resource. Those considering using a combination of methods approach may find it particularly beneficial.

Mr Richard Cresswell
Business and Management, Sheffield Hallam University
June 13, 2016

For instructors

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