David de Vaus' classic text Surveys in Social Research provides clear advice on how to plan, conduct and analyse social surveys. It emphasises the links between theory and research, the logic and interpretation of statistics and the practices of social research. This sixth edition has been completely revised and updated, and contains new examples, data and extensive lists of web resources.
As well as explaining how to conduct good surveys, de Vaus shows how to become a critical consumer of research. He argues that the logic of surveys and statistics is simply an extension of the logic we use in everyday life; analysis, however, requires creativity and imagination rather than the application of sterile mechanical procedures. The prime goal of research should be to gain accurate understanding and, as a researcher, use methods and techniques which enhance understanding. De Vaus advocates researchers use the method, rather than letting the method use you.
Surveys in Social Research is essential reading for students and researchers working with surveys. It assumes no background in statistical analysis, and gives you the tools you need to come to grips with this often challenging field of work.
Praise for earlier editions of Surveys in Social Research
‘This excellent book presents a lucid and comprehensive overview of all the contemporary issues in the development of surveys in social research … The resources make this book valuable for novices but also a great addition to the library of more experienced researchers.’ —Journal of Family Studies
‘De Vaus helps to demystify survey research by breaking down the process into manageable components. This is perhaps the greatest strength – he encourages the reader to tackle and understand "statistical research" rather than shy away.’ —Social Security Journal
‘… one of the most comprehensive and accessible texts on survey research available.’ —The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology
‘By concentrating on one method and providing a sound working knowledge of how to do good surveys, de Vaus indeed achieves a distinctive balance …’ —Canadian Journal of Sociology
Part I: The Scope of Survey Research 1. The Nature of Surveys 2. Theory and Social Research 3. Formulating and Clarifying Research Questions Part II: Collecting Survey Data 4. Developing Indicators for Concepts 5. Ethics and Data Collection 6. Finding a Sample 7. Constructing Questionnaires 8. Administering Questionnaires Part III: Setting Up the Data for Analysis 9. Coding 10. Preparing Variables for Analysis 11. Building Scales Part IV: Analysing Survey Data 12. Overview of Analysis 13. Univariate Analysis 14. Bivariate Analysis: Nominal and Ordinal Variables 15. Bivariate Analysis for Interval-Level Variables 16. Elaborate Bivariate Relationships 17. Multivariate Analysis 18. Putting It into Practice: A Research Example. Glossary. Bibliography