Approaches to Social Enquiry : Advancing Knowledge

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-24
  • Publisher: Polity Pr

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Since its initial publication, this highly respected book has provided students with a much needed critical review of the major research paradigms in the social sciences and the logics or strategies of enquiry associated with them. Approaches to Social Enquiry draws together a vast body of literature from the philosophy of science, the philosophy of social science, social theory and research methodology. It focuses on questions such as: How is new social scientific knowledge produced or existing knowledge further developed? What status does this knowledge have and how can this be established? To what extent can the ways of advancing knowledge in the natural sciences be used in the social sciences? What major dilemmas do social researchers face in the development of new knowledge? No other text offers such a clear and accessible, but still rigorous, account of these sometimes complex debates. This second edition has been thoroughly updated to encompass the most contemporary debates about the conduct and underpinnings of social research. More attention is also paid to research practice. In addition, integrated empirical examples have been included to illustrate and extend the philosophical and theoretical discussion. Approaches to Social Enquiry will be invaluable to advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are planning their own research or studying research methods, and to researchers across a wide range of disciplines.

Author Biography

Norman Blaikie was Formerly Professor of Sociology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and Universiti Sains, Malaysia.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Major Choices in Social Enquiry
Research Problem
Research Questions
Research Strategies
Researcher's Stance
Research Paradigms
The Status of Knowledge
Research Paradigms and Research Strategies
Chapter Summary
Further Reading
Major Dilemmas in Social Enquiry
Science and Social Science
Major Dilemmas
The Postmodern Turn
Chapter Summary
Further Reading
Advancing Knowledge Using Four
Research Strategies
Styles of Reasoning
The Inductive Research Strategy
The Deductive Research Strategy
Combining the Inductive and Deductive Strategies
The Abductive Research Strategy
Combining Retroductive and Abductive Strategies
Chapter Summary
Further Reading
Classical Research Paradigms
Critical Rationalism
Classical Hermeneutics
Chapter Summary
Further Reading
Contemporary Research Paradigms
Critical Theory
Social Realism
Contemporary Hermeneutics
Structuration Theory
Chapter Summary
Further Reading
Review and Critique of The Research Paradigms
Research Paradigms Revisited: Ontology and Epistemology
Critique of the Research Paradigms
Review of Some Major Dilemmas
Association between Research Strategies Research Paradigms
Further Reading
Postscript: The Complexity Turn
Characteristics of Complex Systems
Key Ideas
The Reality of the Complex
Complexity and Postmodernism
Complexity and Research
Figures and Tables
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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