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In this textbook, Derek Layder offers a better understanding of the links between theory and research, and provides an analysis of the relationship between the two. He develops clear usable strategies to encourage theory development in the practical context of social research, and introduces a new approach - adaptive theory - which can be used to generate new theory as well as develop existing theory in conjunction with empirical research. Layder concludes by providing an outline of new rules of sociological method that show how adaptive theory can be put into practice.
Sociology & anthropology.
Since its initial publication, this highly respected book has provided students with a much needed critical review of the major research paradigms in the social sciences and the logics or strategies of enquiry associated with them. Approaches to Social Enquiry draws together a vast body of literature from the philosophy of science, the philosophy of social science, social theory and research methodology. It focuses on questions such as: How is new social scientific knowledge produced or existing knowledge further developed? What status does this knowledge have and how can this be established? To what extent can the ways of advancing knowledge in the natural sciences be used in the social sciences? What major dilemmas do social researchers face in the development of new knowledge? No other text offers such a clear and accessible, but still rigorous, account of these sometimes complex debates. This second edition has been thoroughly updated to encompass the most contemporary debates about the conduct and underpinnings of social research. More attention is also paid to research practice. In addition, integrated empirical examples have been included to illustrate and extend the philosophical and theoretical discussion. Approaches to Social Enquiry will be invaluable to advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are planning their own research or studying research methods, and to researchers across a wide range of disciplines.
With its unique modelling and mapping of social processes, Investigative Research offers an alternative approach to social research. This book guides you through the theoretical grounding and rules you need to effectively combine the evidence-based explanations of social behaviour and distinctive strategies of data collection associated with investigative research. It helps you answer key investigative questions like: How are models and maps of social reality crucial to the formulation of research problems and questions? What are the main phases, challenges, and theories of investigative research? How does investigative research compare with other research approaches, like surveys, case studies, grounded theory, and mixed methods? How can you control the quality and validity of your investigative research? With its clear focus on investigative research exploration, description, and explanation, this book gives you the solid building blocks needed to manage and integrate the theoretical and practical issues in your work.
Social Theory and Social Practice is a unique effort at applied social theory. Hans L. Zetterberg believes that social research has now advanced so far that social scientists can give advice without being restricted to new research projects. They can use previously proven theories as the basis for sound practical recommendations. This approach has profound implications in the application of social science to problems in business management, labor strife, government decision-making, in such areas as education, health and human welfare. It remains a pioneering discourse for practitioners of social research and social policy. Zetterberg gives a searching review of the various ways in which social practitioners attempt to use the accumulated knowledge of social science. He proceeds with a compact summary of the knowledge of the academicians of social science, noting that practitioners are often unaware of much useful academic knowledge. The process by which this knowledge is transformed into practical advice is spelled out in detail, and is illustrated with examples from an actual consultation about problems faced by an art museum that wanted to increase its audience. Chapter 1 identifies the problem; chapter 2, "The Knowledge of Social Practitioners," outlines practitioners' reliance on scientific knowledge; chapter 3, "The Knowledge of Social Theorists," discusses sociological terms and sociological law; chapter 4, "The Practical Use of Social Theory through Scholarly Consultants," explores the actual specificity of social theory and its uses, while the concluding chapter examines the uses of consultants, covering some prerequisites for the successful use of applied science. The book rejects the widespread view that in order to put social science to use, we have to popularize its content. Zetterberg's approach is rather to translate a client's problem into a powerful theoretical statement, the solution to which is calculated and then presented to the client as down-to-earth advice. This volume will be of immediate interest to scholars in the field of social theory; to consultants and practitioners who give advice on social problems and policy decisions; and to executives who use advice from social scientists.

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