Choosing a research method can be bewildering. How can you be sure which methodology is appropriate, or whether your chosen combination of methods is consistent with the theoretical perspective you want to take?
The Foundations of Social Research links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology. The major epistemological stances and theoretical perspectives that colour and shape current social research are detailed: positivism, constructionism, interpretivism, critical inquiry, feminism and postmodernism. Crotty reveals the philosophical origins of these schools of inquiry and shows how various disciplines contribute to the practice of social research as it is known today.
The Foundations of Social Research is essential reading for new and experienced researchers, students and professionals, in the social and health sciences.
' .a wonderful piece of writing, expounding the philosophical and theoretical considerations of the research process for social researchers in a clear, fair minded and friendly way.'
Clive Seale, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: the research process
2 Positivism: the march of science
3 Constructionism: the making of meaning
4 Interpretivism: for and against culture
5 Interpretivism: the way of hermeneutics
6 Critical inquiry: the Marxist heritage
7 Critical inquiry: contemporary critics and contemporary critique
8 Feminism: re-visioning the man-made world
9 Postmodernism: crisis of confidence or moment of truth?
Michael Crotty was lecturer in education and research studies in the Department of Public Health at The Flinders University of South Australia.