SC2145 Social research methods
This course has replaced SC3054 Methods of social research.
Students may bring into the examination hall their own hand held electronic calculator. If calculators are used they must satisfy the requirements listed in Section 3, Assessment for the programme, of the Detailed Regulations.
May not be taken with SC3054 Methods of social research.
Prerequisites (applies to degree students only)
SC1021 Principles of sociology.
The contexts of social research: Social research as a professional activity. The market for social research outputs. The contexts of data collection. Social research and academic sociology. Philosophy and the practice of social research.
The cultural context and ethnocentrism. Developing research proposals in context.
Models and Modelling in Social Research: Ontological and epistemological status of models. Models and researchable questions. Exploratory and Confirmatory approaches to model building. Flexibility in Research Design. The use of models in quantitative and qualitative social research
Concepts in Social Research: Approaches to concept formation in Sociology. Theory and concepts. Induction and deduction. The use of concepts in qualitative and quantitative social research. Coding qualitative data. Operationalising concepts. Complex concepts: property spaces.
Qualitative Social Research: Sources of qualitative data: the interview, focus groups, participant observation and field work methods, documents. Sampling in qualitative social research: grounded theory and theoretical sampling. Analytic induction and qualitative classification analysis. Small N research and case studies: 'thick' description.
Quantitative Social Research: Sources of quantitative data: the social survey, administrative and official statistics. Secondary analysis of survey data. Designing social surveys. Quasi-experimental designs. Units and levels of analysis. Graphics and visualising data. Explanation and causal inference.
Deciphering and Evaluating Social Research Outputs: The components of a social research publication. Identifying components. Reconstructing the research project. Validity in quantitative and qualitative research.