Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-04-10
  • Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
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“You might think that dancing doesn’t have a lot to do with social research, and doing social research is probably why you picked this book up in the first place. But trust me. Salsa dancing is a practice as well as a metaphor for a kind of research that will make your life easier and better.”

Savvy, witty, and sensible, this unique book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science. In this volume, Kristin Luker guides novice researchers in:

-knowing the difference between an area of interest and a research topic

-defining the relevant parts of a potentially infinite research literature

-mastering sampling, operationalization, and generalization

-understanding which research methods best answer your questions

-beating writer’s block

Most important, she shows how friendships, nonacademic interests, and even salsa dancing can make for a better researcher.

“You know about setting the kitchen timer and writing for only an hour, or only 15 minutes if you are feeling particularly anxious. I wrote a fairly large part of this book feeling exactly like that. If I can write an entire book 15 minutes at a time, so can you.”

‘’Luker's book offers a startlingly original and unorthodox take on how to teach research methods, and is funny accessible, and inviting too. It gives a down to earth view of how knowledge evolves, how good research questions gel, and how to go about creating a research design. I cannot wait to be able to assign it to my students.’’-Michele Lamont, Harvard University

‘’An irreverent and engaging mixture of memoir, history of research methods, and 'how to' manual, Luker's book is chock full of helpful suggestions to turn an idea (even a half baked idea) into a meaningful and rigorous research project. The conversational style, the witty style, and the metaphors sprinkled through the pages make the ideas come alive.’’-Rebecca Klatch, University of California, San Diego

Author Biography

Kristin Luker is Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Salsa Dancing? In the Social Sciences?p. 1
What's It All About?p. 22
An Ode to Canonical Social Sciencep. 40
What Is This a Case of, Anyway?p. 51
Reviewing the Literaturep. 76
On Sampling, Operationalization, and Generalizationp. 99
Getting Down to the Nitty-Grittyp. 129
Field (and Other) Methodsp. 155
Historical-Comparative Methodsp. 190
Data Reduction and Analysisp. 198
Living Your Life as a Salsa-Dancing Social Scientistp. 217
What to Do If You Don't Have a Casep. 229
Tools of the Tradep. 233
Special Resources for Specific Methodsp. 236
Sample Search Logp. 242
Notesp. 243
Bibliographyp. 285
Author's Notep. 311
Acknowledgmentsp. 312
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences! July 12, 2011
This is a great textbook; the advice is to work smarter not harder. Easy to read and very helpful. This unique textbook is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science. The book came when I needed it. The book was in great condition considering it's a used textbook. The information in the book was awesome. The price of the textbook was a reasonable. I plan on buying more textbooks from the seller.
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Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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