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Social Research Methods

Fourth Edition

Alan Bryman

Publication Date - March 2012

ISBN: 9780199588053

808 pages
10.4 x 7.7 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $72.95

Presents students with an updated guide to the principle techniques and methodology in the field of Social Research


In the fourth edition of this lively and engaging textbook, Alan Bryman presents students with an updated and all-encompassing guide to the principle techniques and methodology in the field of social research.

Adopting a coherent and student-friendly format, the book offers an encyclopaedic introduction to social research methodology, and considers a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods to help students identify and evaluate the best approach for their research needs. Building on the success of the previous editions, this book is concerned with the ways that social researchers approach their craft. Bryman guides the reader through all aspects of the research process including formulating objectives, choosing research methods, securing research participants, as well as advice on how to effectively collect, analyse and interpret data and disseminate those findings to others. This fourth edition features a new "supervisor experience" feature, which offers helpful tips from the supervisor's perspective on successful research, as well as a new chapter which tackles the sampling issues faced by qualitative researchers in a more consolidated fashion than in previous editions. Substantial updates have also been made to the existing material, particularly the internet research section, which has been fully revised to accommodate the extensive developments in this area.

Online supplements

For students:
* A student researcher's toolkit, providing guidance and advice on every aspect of social research
* Student experience podcasts
* Self-marking multiple choice questions for revision
* Annotated web links to useful articles, reviews, models and research guides
* A guide to using Excel in data analysis

For instructors:
* A lecturer's guide including lecture outlines, reading lists and teaching activities
* A suite of customisable PowerPoint slides
* Figures and tables from the text
* Case studies


  • A new 'supervisor experience' feature has been added for the fourth edition, giving a supervisor's perspective on the research process to provide helpful tips for successful research projects.
  • A new chapter one sets the scene for the rest of the book by outlining some basic issues relating to social research methods and easing the reader into the subject.
  • A new chapter on sampling in qualitative research examines the sampling issues faced by qualitative researchers in a more consolidated fashion than in previous editions.
  • The internet research chapter has been substantially updated in order to reflect the significant developments in this area.

About the Author(s)

Alan Bryman is Professor of Organisational and Social Research at the University of Leicester.

Previous Publication Date(s)

May 2008
January 2004
January 2001

Table of Contents

    Part One
    1. The nature and process of social research
    2. Social research strategies
    3. Research designs
    4. Planning a research project and formulating research questions
    5. Getting started: Reviewing the literature
    6. Ethics and politics in social research
    Part Two
    7. The nature of quantitative research
    8. Sampling
    9. Structured interviewing
    10. Self-completion questionnaires
    11. Asking questions
    12. Structured observation
    13. Content analysis
    14. Secondary analysis and official statistics
    15. Quantitative data analysis
    16. Using SPSS for Windows
    Part Three
    17. The nature of qualitative research
    18. Sampling in qualitative research
    19. Ethnography and participant observation
    20. Interviewing in qualitative research
    21. Focus groups
    22. Language in qualitative research
    23. Documents as sources of data
    24. Qualitative data analysis
    25. Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis: using NVivo
    Part Four
    26. Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
    27. Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research
    28. E-research: Internet research methods
    29. Writing up social research

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