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The Practice of Research

How Social Scientists Answer Their Questions

Edited by Shamus Khan and Dana R. Fisher

Publication Date - 29 July 2013

ISBN: 9780199827411

224 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most student-oriented methods reader to use first-person accounts to describe the actual research experience


This unique reader for research methods courses looks at how social scientists ask and answer questions. The Practice of Research presents a practical guide to doing research by excerpting well-known studies by some of the most distinguished social science researchers in the field today. The excerpts represent nine methodological approaches and are accompanied by reflections where authors reveal how they resolved some of the challenges that face almost all research projects.

Contributors include:

* Jessica Brown, University of Houston
* Shelley Correll, Stanford University
* Eszter Hargittai, Northwestern University
* Michael T. Heaney, University of Michigan
* Steven Hitlin, University of Iowa; J. Scott Brown, Miami University; and Glen H. Elder, Jr., University of North Carolina
* Ziad Munson, Lehigh University
* Mario Luis Small, University of Chicago

The personal reflections written by authors of each excerpted paper were prepared specifically for this volume. Focusing on the experience of actually doing research, The Practice of Research illustrates methods in action. This volume lets students not just read exemplary papers, but also gives students access to these authors as they personally narrate their practical solutions to common research challenges.

About the Author(s)

Shamus Khan is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. He is the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School (2011).

Dana R. Fisher is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland. She is the author of Activism, Inc. (2006) and National Governance and the Global Climate Change Regime (2004).

Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    Introduction: The Practice of Research
    1. Experimentation
    Constraints into Preferences: Gender, Status, and Emerging Career Aspirations
    Reflection by Shelley Correll
    2. Survey Research
    Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the "Net Generation"
    Reflection by Eszter Hargittai
    3. Survey Research, Analyzing Social Networks
    Partisans, Nonpartisans, and the Antiwar Movement in the United States
    Reflection by Michael T. Heaney
    4. Field Observation/Ethnography
    How Elite Students Think about "The Staff"
    Reflection by Shamus Khan
    5. Field Interviewing
    Running an Outsourced Canvass
    Reflection by Dana R. Fisher
    6. Research Using Available Data
    Racial Self-Categorization in Adolescence: Multiracial Development And Social Pathways
    Reflection by Steven Hitlin, Scott Brown, and Glen Elder Jr.
    7. Research Using Available Data/Historical Analysis
    Islamic Mobilization: Social Movement Theory and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
    Reflection by Ziad Munson
    8. Research Using Available Data/ Content Analysis
    "Close Your Eyes and Think of England": Pronatalism in the British Print Media
    Reflection by Jessica Brown
    9. Multiple Methods/Mixed Methods
    Why Organizational Ties Matter for Neighborhood Effects: A Study of Resource Access through Childcare Centers
    Reflection by Mario Luis Small
    Glossary of Terms

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