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Approaches to Social Enquiry
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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

INTRODUCTION

1 MAJOR CHOICES IN SOCIAL ENQUIRY

Introduction

Research Problem

Research Questions

Research Strategies

Researcher’s Stance

Research Paradigms

The Status of Knowledge

Research Paradigms and Research Strategies

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

2 MAJOR DILEMMAS IN SOCIAL ENQUIRY

Introduction

Science and Social Science

Major Dilemmas

The Postmodern Turn

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

3 ADVANCING KNOWLEDGE USING FOUR RESEARCH STRATEGIES

Introduction

Styles of Reasoning

The Inductive Research Strategy

The Deductive Research Strategy

Combining the Inductive and Deductive Strategies

The Abductive Research Strategy

Combining Retroductive and Abductive Strategies

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

4 CLASSICAL RESEARCH PARADIGMS

Introduction

Positivism

Critical Rationalism

Classical Hermeneutics

Interpretivism

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

5 CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH PARADIGMS

Introduction

Critical Theory

Ethnomethodology

Social Realism

Contemporary Hermeneutics

Structuration Theory

Feminism

Chapter Summary

Further Reading

6 REVIEW AND CRITIQUE OF THE RESEARCH PARADIGMS

Introduction

Research Paradigms Revisited: Ontology and Epistemology

Critique of the Research Paradigms

Review of Some Major Dilemmas

Association between Research Strategies Research Paradigms

Conclusion

Further Reading

POSTSCRIPT: THE COMPLEXITY TURN

Introduction

Origins

Characteristics of Complex Systems

Key Ideas

The Reality of the Complex

Complexity and Postmodernism

Complexity and Research

Conclusion

REFERENCES

Notes

Figures and Tables

About the Author

Norman Blaikie was Formerly Professor of Sociology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and Universiti Sains, Malaysia.

Reviews

"Literature on the philosophy of social science often seems aloof from the practical wrangling over theoretical and methodological issues directing social research. Books attempting to bridge this gap are rare, so much credit is due Blaikie for providing one."

Sociological Research Online "The repertoire of social research grows wider by the day. Substantive topics multiply, the technical apparatus mushrooms, paradigms proliferate and clash. And the potential for confusion in the beginner’s mind grows apace. Norman Blaikie’s Approaches to Social Enquiry has always been the most trustworthy student guide through the methodological quagmire, and this new edition confirms his reputation as the supreme explicator of social inquiry."
Ray Pawson, University of Leeds
"Norman Blaikie's book is an accessible, clear, and reliable introduction for the social research student to the extraordinarily complex set of issues and decisions in which the practicing researcher necessarily becomes entangled. This is an exceptional book, especially for its sympathetic presentation of positions and its wide range."
Stephen Turner, University of South Florida

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