In 1991 the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) published "Postgraduate Taining Guidelines". Throughout the document emphasis is placed on the need for universities to make postgraduate research students aware of the methodological issues that affect their work.; This text explores the relationship between knowledge, methodology and research practice across the broad spectrum of the social sciences in langage that is accessible to researchers at all levels of their research careers. It follows the themes that there is no single practice or correct methodology, and that the diversity and variety in terms of methodology and disciplinary focus are a sign of the sophistication and complexity of the proceses of social research. The text examines socio-cultural contexts of social research and relates them to contemporary shifts in focus such as feminism, critical theory and postmodernism. The importance of selecting the research methodology most appropriate to the subject discipline concerned is emphasized.