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An Invitation to Social Research

An Invitation to Social Research

November 1998 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How does one study social and cultural phenomena? Just what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative analysis? What is the relationship between social research and society? These are just some of the questions addressed in this succinct and engaging introduction to social research. By comparing the work of the academic researcher to that of the detective in terms of how they gather clues, weigh up the facts, and present them as evidence, An Invitation to Social Research takes the mystery out of social science research. Furthermore, by contextualizing the historical and intellectual development of the sociological imagination, author Pertti Alasuutari enables students to integrate their knowledge of social theory, social history, and social structure into a coherent conception of contemporary social research. Filling the gap between introductory sociology texts and practical how-to research methods books, An Invitation to Social Research will be welcomed by all beginning social science and cultural studies students.

Detective Stories and Social Research
Sociological Imagination
What Made It Possible?

Observations, Deductions and Clues
The Quantifying Method
Ethnographic Research
Observer or Participant?
Studying the Structure of Social Reality
From the Study of Cultural Products to Narrative Analysis
From Surveys to In-Depth Interviews and Conversations
Detective Stories and Sociological Literature

`Courses in research methods can be dull, technical exercises. The particular merit of Alasuutari's book is that it conveys

contemporary ideas about social research in a lively and interesting way. Using the original parallel between detective stories and research, he draws the beginning student into a forceful argument based upon compelling examples. Just as Peter Berger's Invitation to Sociology provided the best, singly-authored introduction to social theory a generation ago, so Alasuutari's An Invitation to Social Research sets a standard for a new generation of students' - David Silverman, Goldsmiths College

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ISBN: 9780761957379