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GLB5020 Social Science Research Methods: Home

Course Description

This course demystifies how social scientists from various disciplines generate knowledge about the world and the rationale for their choices on the research design. 

Recommended Books

Basic Content Analysis

This book is an introduction to content analysis methods from a social science perspective. Readers are expected to have basic knowledge in research methods and in data analysis or social statistics. Chapter 1 briefly introduces what content analysis method is and what purposes it serves. Chapter 2 describes the central idea of content analysis method in detail. Chapter 3 presents a wide range of techniques, with its focus on computer-aided content analysis. Chapter 4 presents the methodological problems in the following categories: measurement, indication, representation, and interpretation. The Appendix discusses several programs for text analysis and includes information on hardware compatibility and software sources.

Q Methodology

This book is aimed to describe Q methodology and its techniques. Its contents cover methodological principles, samples and cases, statistical analysis, and subjective-science postscript. The distinctions between Q-methodological research approach based on the measurement and study of subjective phenomena and R-methodological research approach based on the correlation of objective traits are also taken seriously in this book. According to the author, the primary purpose of undertaking a Q study is to discern people’s perceptions of their work from the vantage point of self-reference, and Q projects typically employ small number of respondents, even in-depth studies of single cases.

Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference

This book seeks to identify causal connections and to understand their generality. It describes ways in which testing causal propositions can be improved in specific research projects and ways to improve generalizations about causal propositions, with emphasis on field experimentation and on human behavior in nonlaboratory settings. Contents of the book cover experiments and generalized causal inference, statistical conclusion validity and internal validity, construct validity and external validity, quasi-experimental designs, quasi experiments, regression discontinuity designs, randomized experiments, practical problems, generalized causal inference, and a critical assessment of this book’s assumptions.

The Practice of Social Research

This book was initially written as a methodology textbook for sociology courses, but has been increasingly used in the fields of psychology, public administration, urban studies, education, communications, social sciences, and political science. Part One examines the fundamental characteristics and issues that make science- defined as a method of inquiry by Babbie- different from other ways of knowing things. Part Two deals with the posing of proper scientific questions, the structuring of inquiry. Part Three presents various observational techniques available to social scientists. Part Four discusses the analysis of social research data and examines the steps that separate observation from the final reporting of findings.

Recommended Databases