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The Practice of Research How Social Scientists Answer Their Questions



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Oxford University Press
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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.

Author Biography

About the Editors

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
Chapter 1: Experimentation
Constraints into Preferences: gender, status, and emerging Career Aspirations
Reflection by Shelley Correll
Chapter 2: Survey Research
Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the "Net Generation"
Reflection by Eszter Hargittai?
Chapter 3: Survey Research, Analyzing Social Networks
Partisans, Nonpartisans, and the Antiwar Movement in the United States
Reflection by Michael Heaney
Chapter 4: Field Observation/Ethnography
How Elite Students Think about "The Staff"
Reflection by Shamus Khan
Chapter 5: Field Interviewing
Running an Outsourced Canvass
Reflection by Dana R. Fisher
Chapter 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.
Chapter 7: Research Using Available Data/Historical Analysis
Islamic Mobilization: Social Movement Theory and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
Reflection by Ziad Munson
Chapter 8: Research Using Available Data/ Content Analysis
"Close Your Eyes and Think of England": Pronatalism in the British Print Media
Reflection by Jessica Brown
Chapter 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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