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Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation, 2nd Edition



Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation, 2nd Edition

Norman Blaikie

ISBN: 978-0-745-69936-3 June 2015 Polity 352 Pages


Norman Blaikie's popular and accessible text on preparing research designs and proposals for students in the social sciences has been fully revised and updated, taking in the burgeoning literature in the field.

The author places particular emphasis on the formulation of research questions and the selection of appropriate research strategies to answer them. He argues that other design decisions, such as the selection of data sources and methods of data collection and analysis, must be made in the light of the particular assumptions associated with each research strategy. As well as reviewing these assumptions, the book includes:

  • a new section on the use of mixed methods
  • additional material on the use of case studies
  • an expanded discussion of the relationship between theory and research; and
  • annotated suggestions for further reading and detailed point summaries at the end of each chapter

The basic requirements for research designs and research proposals are laid out at the beginning of the book, followed by discussion of the major design elements, and the choices that need to be made about them. Four sample research designs at the end of the volume illustrate the application of the research strategies.

Designing Social Research will continue to be an invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students planning their own research. The new edition dovetails with Blaikie's Approaches to Social Enquiry and together the two books offer an innovative and comprehensive guide to research for social scientists.

List of Figures and Tables.



1 Preparing Research Designs.

2 Designing Social Research,

3 Research Questions and Purposes.

4 Strategies for Answering Research Questions.

5 Concepts, Theories, Hypotheses and Models.

6 Sources and Selection of Data.

7 Methods for Answering Research Questions: Data Gathering and Analysis.

8 Sample Research Designs.





"The revised edition of this valuable guide to designing research in the social sciences maintains its hallmark qualities: it is clearly organized yet broad ranging, and identifies the key issues which all robust social science research must confront while sharpening its approach to some of the most intractable and perennial research design questions. Above all, it is readable, versatile and intuitively applicable."
Randall Germain, Carleton University

"Blaikie's book is a manifesto for rigorous and successful design in social research, showing how forms of logic are actually used to produce new knowledge. It is a rich reference volume for every aspect of research design, accessing with clarity the complex and important terrains of research methodology. This is an invaluable resource. Read it twice - at least!"
Erica Hallebone, RMIT University

  • New and updated edition of a respected book that introduces and examines a whole range of research strategies for students of the social sciences
  • Encompasses a wide range of literature from a variety of related fields and directs this literature to answering fundamental methodological questions in the social sciences
  • No other text off ers such a clear and accessible, but still rigorous, account of the sometimes complex choices and debates around research methods
  • Includes helpful sample research designs based on environmental issues and questions