Do It Yourself Social Research, Third Edition

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2011-07-15
  • Publisher: Routledge

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With the rapid growth of collaborative, indigenous, and community-based research, one of the key challenges researchers face is finding an effective way of involving non-researchers in the research process. Do It Yourself Social Research has been a best-selling methodology guide for action research projects and community groups in Australia for almost three decades. Always emphasizing the importance of a spirit of inquiry, it demystifies the research process, covering where to start, how to manage a research project, what methods, techniques and resources to use, and interpretation, analysis and reporting. This third edition has been thoroughly revised, adding the use of narrative and dialogue in research, rich research design, and what digital technology can (and can't) contribute to the research process. With its hands-on, no-nonsense approach, Do It Yourself Social Research is an essential resource for community groups, college students, and other novice researchers in health, social welfare, education and related areas.

Author Biography

Yoland Wadsworth is a path-breaker in methodology and use of social research in health, community and human services. She is Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University; Principal Fellow in the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, University of Melbourne, and Distinguished Fellow in the Action Research Center, University of Cincinnati. She is also author of Everyday Evaluation on the Run and Building in Research and Evaluation: Human inquiry for living systems.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the first editionp. v
Preface to this editionp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Who and what this book is forp. 1
Who is it for?p. 2
What you want it forp. 2
Some examples of those who might find this book usefulp. 3
What you thought of firstp. 4
Some common apprehensions about Research with a capital 'R'p. 5
Before You Start
What is social research?p. 9
What is knowledge and how do we know?p. 10
Why do we agree?p. 12
The rules of the research gamep. 13
To summarisep. 25
Where to Start
Why do you want to do it?p. 26
The parties to the research: ethical considerationsp. 28
Clarifying the purposes of the researchp. 30
To summarisep. 33
How to Tackle It
Managing, timing, budgeting and some common mistakes to avoidp. 35
Think about timingp. 36
Think about the resources you havep. 39
Now think about overall managementp. 41
Finally, think about moneyp. 43
To summarisep. 43
Designs, Methods and Techniques
How to go about 'finding out'p. 44
Research Designp. 44
Getting a good research designp. 46
This is what the group's research design looked like …p. 53
Designs and realitiesp. 57
Further action and unfoldingp. 58
And now for your own research design …p. 58
Methods for 'Finding Out'p. 58
Introduction: Some general methodologiesp. 58
Identifying purposes, clarifying issues and values, and goal-setting proceduresp. 62
Individual interviewsp. 67
Group interviewsp. 75
Narrative, dialogue and recursive questioningp. 78
Questionnaires and interview schedulesp. 80
Samplingp. 95
Participating and observing (fieldwork)p. 99
Audiovisual methodsp. 101
Written records, accounts and diariesp. 102
Case studiesp. 103
Social indicatorsp. 103
Surveysp. 105
Use of computersp. 106
Community needs studiesp. 109
Evaluationp. 111
Action research as an integrating methodologyp. 113
Other Resources
Other resources aroundp. 116
Fundingp. 116
Experienced researchersp. 127
The literaturep. 131
Statisticsp. 135
The internetp. 142
Working Out What You Found Out
Interpretation and organising ideasp. 143
Interpretationp. 144
Analysis and synthesisp. 145
Saying What You Found Out
Getting your findings into actionp. 153
What we want to achievep. 155
Who we want to tellp. 156
Why we want to tell themp. 156
How to convey our findingsp. 156
The written reportp. 157
Telling and showingp. 160
When to present findingsp. 162
What about follow-up?p. 163
Keeping goingp. 164
Some examples of good do it yourself social researchp. 165
The examplesp. 166
The Knox Women's Research Group project: 'What have you been doing all day'p. 167
The Footscray local government Children's Needs Studyp. 168
The Nursing Federation's Let's Communicate study of child health care community nursingp. 169
Improving a country rail line using a passenger surveyp. 170
A chronic disability organisation's research and development with its clientsp. 172
Translations of some common research languagep. 175
Short bibliography of more or less accessible research texts for further readingp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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