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Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation, 3rd Edition



Designing Social Research: The Logic of Anticipation, 3rd Edition

Norman Blaikie, Jan Priest

ISBN: 978-1-509-51741-1 February 2019 Polity 312 Pages


Designing Social Research is a uniquely comprehensive and student-friendly guide to the core knowledge and types of skills required for planning social research.

The authors organize the book around four major steps in social research – focusing, framing, selecting and distilling – placing particular emphasis on the formulation of research questions and the choice of appropriate 'logics of inquiry' to answer them. The requirements for research designs and proposals are laid out at the beginning of the book, followed by a discussion of key design issues and research ethics. Four sample research designs on environmental issues illustrate the role of research questions and the application of the four logics of inquiry, and this third edition includes new material dedicated to social research in a digital, networked age.

Fully revised and updated, Designing Social Research continues to be an invaluable resource to demystify the research process for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Together with the authors' Social Research: Paradigms in Action and Blaikie's Approaches to Social Enquiry, it offers social scientists an informative guide to designing social research.

  • Introduction
  • 1 About the book
  • 2 Preparing Research Designs
  • 3 Four Research Design Tasks
  • 4 Research Ethics
  • Part 1: Focussing
  • 5 Research Questions and Purposes
  • Part 2: Framing
  • 6 Logics for Answering Research Questions
  • Part 3: Selecting
  • 7 Concepts, Theories, Hypotheses and Models
  • 8 Types, Forms, Sources and Selection of Data
  • Part 4: Distilling
  • 9 Methods for Answering Research Questions: Data Gathering, Generation, Reduction and Analysis
  • Researching Networked Worlds
  • 10 Design Considerations
  • 11 Ethics Considerations
  • Illustrations
  • 12 Sample Research Designs
  • Postscript
The new edition:
- is fully revised and updated
- includes new material dedicated to social research in a digital, networked age
- discusses the research implications of internet resources and activities
- includes a chapter on research ethics
- uses research examples throughout the text
- adds further diagrams and figures making it very user-friendly
- cross-references the other titles in this series, Approaches to Social Enquiry (ASE) and Social Research Paradigms in Action (SRPA) 

‘A masterclass in the logic of anticipation when designing social research. Blaikie and Priest explain the choices to be made – and, oh so important, why those decisions need thoughtful planning in advance. I can’t recommend it enough.’
Rosalind Edwards, University of Southampton, Co-director of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods

‘This book reviews the key principles of research design and strategy in ways that blend theoretical sophistication with practical strategic advice: a winning formula. If you produce your research design using this book, and if you really engage with the key issues that Blaikie and Priest write so authoritatively about, you can’t go wrong.’
Jennifer Mason, University of Manchester