Sociological research methods are a key component of teaching and courses at all levels, yet courses often fail to catch light for lack of effective student books or provoke smouldering resentment from students at misplaced enthusiasm for recondite statistics.
Gerry Rose's new book should go a long way to remedy these problems. It is a complete teaching course with a clear rationale and a distinctive approach to the topic, unblemished by epistemological or prescriptive polemic. Its method is to present through the analysis of twelve pieces of published research reprinted in the book the systematic deciphering of research in relation to the key issues of methodology.
The first nine discursive chapters discuss the main research methods topics - including concepts and indicators, sampling, data analysis and the relationship of theory to evidence - balancing the problems of quantitative data with the treatment of qualitative data and fieldwork studies. The papers - shortened articles from British, US and Australian journals - are put through the methodological hoops any=d systematically compared and assessed. Additionally, each chapter is provided with a full set of exercises and the book also includes a glossary of terms.
This straightforward and business-like book will be welcomed by all teachers and professional sociologists and also by social researchers who are concerned with examining or preparing research reports. Even authors and journal editors will find it provoking and useful.