The foundations of research.

By: Grix, Jonathan.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Palgrave study guides.Publisher: Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004Description: xiv, 189p. : ill. ; 21 cm.ISBN: 1403921458.Subject(s): Research - Methodologies and Study Skills | Research | Report writing | Dissertations, Academic-Great Britain-Handbooks, manuals, etcDDC classification: 001.4GRI
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This book offers advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students with an accessible introduction to the foundations of research in the human sciences. It covers the tools, terminology and research perspectives that researchers and students will need to know in order to (i) engage in academic debates (ii) successfully complete their long essays, dissertations and theses. A particular strength of this volume is its style: it is written to the student as opposed to just for them. Language is kept as clear as possible, especially when describing the basic assumptions upon which all research is built. MARKET 1: Final year undergraduates across a range of disciplines and postgraduates (MA, MPhil and PhD) MARKET 2: Professional researchers looking for an accessible text on the basics of research

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • List of Figures (p. xi)
  • List of Tables (p. xii)
  • Preface (p. xiii)
  • Introduction (p. 1)
  • The structure of the book (p. 2)
  • 1 The Nature of Research (p. 7)
  • The 'language' of research (p. 8)
  • The nature of research (p. 10)
  • The nature of the doctoral process (p. 11)
  • Why do a PhD? (p. 12)
  • The right place to study (p. 12)
  • Matters of time (p. 14)
  • Familiarise yourself (p. 15)
  • Summary (p. 17)
  • Further reading (p. 17)
  • 2 The 'Nuts and Bolts' of Research (p. 18)
  • The tools of research (p. 18)
  • Model, typology and ideal type (p. 20)
  • Model (p. 20)
  • Typology (p. 21)
  • Ideal type (p. 23)
  • Paradigm (p. 25)
  • Concepts (p. 27)
  • The abuse of concepts (p. 29)
  • Key terms in research (p. 30)
  • Methods (p. 30)
  • Methodology (p. 32)
  • Summary (p. 33)
  • Essential reading (p. 34)
  • Further reading (p. 34)
  • 3 Getting Started in Research (p. 35)
  • Getting started (p. 36)
  • The literature review, research questions and hypotheses (p. 38)
  • The initial 'dip' (stage 1) (p. 40)
  • 'Second' literature review, research questions and hypotheses (stage 2) (p. 41)
  • Full-scale critical literature review (stage 3) (p. 44)
  • Levels of analysis and types of research (p. 47)
  • Levels of analysis (p. 47)
  • The structure and agency problem (p. 48)
  • Types of study (p. 50)
  • Comparative studies (p. 53)
  • Summary (p. 55)
  • Essential reading (p. 56)
  • Further reading (p. 56)
  • 4 The Building Blocks of Research (p. 57)
  • Ontology (p. 59)
  • Epistemology (p. 63)
  • Differing ontological and epistemological views (p. 64)
  • The directional relationship between ontology, epistemology, methodology, methods and sources (p. 65)
  • The 'social capital' debate (p. 69)
  • Summary (p. 74)
  • Essential reading (p. 75)
  • 5 Introducing the Key Research Paradigms (p. 76)
  • Research paradigms (p. 78)
  • The core of positivism (p. 79)
  • The core of interpretivism (p. 82)
  • The core of post-positivism - critical realism (p. 84)
  • Critical realism (p. 85)
  • Summary of research paradigms (p. 87)
  • Key perspectives in research (p. 89)
  • Key perspectives in the 'positivist' tradition (p. 90)
  • Summary: Disciplines, perspectives, discourses and interdisciplinarity (p. 95)
  • Interdisciplinarity or 'post-disciplinarity' (p. 97)
  • Summary (p. 98)
  • Essential reading (p. 99)
  • Further reading (p. 99)
  • 6 The Types and Uses of Theory in Research (p. 100)
  • Introducing theory (p. 102)
  • The traditional view of theory (p. 104)
  • The role of theory in social research (p. 105)
  • Research paradigms and the role of theory (p. 105)
  • The positivist paradigm (p. 106)
  • The (critical) realist paradigm (p. 107)
  • The interpretivist paradigm (p. 108)
  • The post-modernist paradigm (p. 108)
  • Different uses of theory (p. 109)
  • Metatheory (p. 109)
  • Grand or formal theories (p. 110)
  • Middle-range theories (or 'substantive theories') (p. 111)
  • Grounded theory (p. 111)
  • Inductive and deductive theory and research (p. 113)
  • Summary (p. 115)
  • Essential reading (p. 115)
  • Further reading (p. 115)
  • 7 Introducing Research Methods (p. 116)
  • Quantitative research (p. 117)
  • Qualitative research (p. 119)
  • The quantitative-qualitative dichotomy: A false antithesis (p. 121)
  • Methods (p. 125)
  • Introducing methods of enquiry (p. 125)
  • Interview technique (p. 125)
  • Structured interviews (p. 127)
  • Semi-structured and unstructured interviews (p. 127)
  • Group interviews or focus groups (p. 128)
  • Questionnaire (p. 128)
  • The observation technique (p. 129)
  • Documentary analysis (p. 131)
  • The archival technique (p. 131)
  • Documents (p. 132)
  • Discourse analysis (p. 133)
  • Print media (p. 134)
  • Triangulation, mixing methods and data (p. 135)
  • Summary (p. 137)
  • Essential reading (p. 137)
  • Further reading (p. 137)
  • 8 Academic Standards, Plagiarism and Ethics in Research (p. 138)
  • Why worry about academic standards, plagiarism and ethics? (p. 138)
  • Plagiarism (p. 139)
  • Referencing - keeping academic standards (p. 140)
  • Ethics in research (p. 142)
  • Continuum of ethics in research (p. 146)
  • Summary (p. 148)
  • Essential reading (p. 148)
  • Further reading (p. 149)
  • 9 Conclusion: Summary of Key Points (p. 150)
  • Appendix 1 Stages of the Research Process (p. 154)
  • The stages of doctoral research (p. 156)
  • Stage I (p. 159)
  • Stage II (p. 159)
  • Stage III (p. 160)
  • Appendix 2 Glossary of Research Terms (p. 161)
  • Bibliography (p. 179)
  • Index (p. 186)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This 151-page work (plus appendixes) will aid researchers from a variety of academic fields, but it is written primarily from a social science perspective. The two appendixes include a summary of the research process stages and a glossary of research terms. The text is concise, containing eight chapters flanked by an introduction and conclusion; it would serve well as a supplement to a research methods course. Each chapter opens with a bulleted list of what is to come, and closes with a summary and more detailed list of important concepts covered. Essential and further reading lists are also provided. The text is replete with text boxes that provide additional information or examples to enhance the topic being discussed in the main text. Similarly, several research models are shared as appropriate. Finally, the author wisely uses tables when presented data would otherwise be cumbersome in narrative form. The presentation of types/uses of theories (chapter 6) is particularly helpful for beginning researchers, as it offers succinct and simple descriptions of otherwise difficult concepts. The writing style and degree of difficulty is challenging in some places but appropriate for the target audience. Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty and professionals. --Brenda G. Turner, Faulkner University