Studying Cities and City Life : An Introduction to Methods of Research book cover
1st Edition

Studying Cities and City Life
An Introduction to Methods of Research

ISBN 9781315817637
Published December 8, 2016 by Routledge
256 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Studying Cities and City Life is a textbook designed to provide an introduction to the major methods of obtaining data for use when analysing cities and social life in cities. Major chapters focus upon best practices in:

  • field studies (participant observation)
  • natural experiments and quasi-experiments
  • surveys employing probability and non-probability samples
  • secondary analyses of previously published documents.

A separate chapter examines a full range of questionnaires and interviews. Each chapter includes discussion of several case studies, and recently published research employing the method being discussed. This discussion highlights the issues and choices made by investigators in actual studies conducted in cities throughout the world.

This unique book is designed for use in research methods courses that primarily enroll students majoring in Urban Sociology, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, Urban Planning, and related areas.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part One: Initial Considerations

1.1. The Limitations Of Personal Experience

1.2. Scientific Research Methods

1.3. Theory and Research

1.4. Research Designs: An Overview And Preview

Part Two: Research Ethics

1.5. Ethical Constraints

1.6. Subject Protections

1.7. Neutrality

18. Giving Back to the Community

2. Ethnographic Field Studies

Part One: Historical and Theoretical Background

2.1. Historical Field Studies

2.2. The Place of Theory

2.3. Part Two: Conducting Field Studies

2.4. The Participant-Observer Continuum

2.5. Gaining Access

2.6. Sampling

2.7. Writing Field Notes

2.8. Terminating A Field Study

2.9. Assessing Data Quality

Analyzing Ethnographic Data

3. Experimental Design

3.1. Experiments Introduced

3.2. Contrasting Experiments and Ethnographic Studies

3.3. Experimentation In Social Science

3.4. Causal Inference

3.5. Experimental Designs

3.6. Assigning Subjects To Experimental Conditions

3.7. Internal And External Validity

4. Sample Surveys

4.1. History of Urban Sampling Studies

4.2. Sampling: Basic Terms

4.3. Sample Accuracy

4.4. Types Of Samples

4.5. Reaching Respondents

4.6. Nonresponse Bias

5. Obtaining Data, Part One

5.1. Interviews

5.2. Questionnaires

5.3. Observation

6. Obtaining Data, Part Two

6.1. Multi-Methods

6.2. Mixed Methods

6.3. Secondary Sources

6.4. Special Analyses

7. Measurement, Reliability And Validity

7.1. Concepts And Indicators

7.2. Reliability

7.3. Validity

8.  The Research Report

8.1. Section Headings

8.2. Writing Style


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Mark Abrahamson is Professor of Sociology (Emeritus) at the University of Connecticut.


"This book provides an accessible and engaging introduction to the wide range of methods used in urban research. Students will benefit from the author’s ability to convey complex ideas succinctly and with clarity, and understanding is aided by numerous relevant examples drawn from classical and contemporary literature." - Graham Crow, Professor of Sociology and Methodology, University of Edinburgh