Key Concepts in the Philosophy of Social Research
- Malcolm Williams - University of Cardiff, UK
SAGE Key Concepts series
Philosophy of Research | Social Research Methods | Sociological Research Methods
“This is a splendid book, providing a readable and reliable guide to a very large range of topics and literature... the author brings together, as few of us can, the details of research methodology and practice with broader philosophical perspectives and approaches.”
- William Outhwaite, Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University
"We need researchers who are philosophically informed rather than philosophically obsessed or philosophically oppressed. With this book Malcolm Williams strikes the exact balance."
- Ray Pawson, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds
The book covers everything from core research methods, to ethical concerns and an exploration of the metaphysics of social life, with each entry providing:
- Clear definitions
- Engaging real world examples
- Up-do-date suggestions for further reading
- Informative cross-referencing
- Lists of key thinkers.
This is a splendid book, providing a readable and reliable guide to a very large range of topics and literature. It covers the basics, while providing very substantial amounts of reliable guidance to those who want to pursue these issues further. A particular strength is the way in which the author brings together, as few of us can, the details of research methodology and practice with broader philosophical perspectives and approaches.
Newcomers to social research are often bemused by the plethora of different philosophical principles upon which it is based. Worse still, they are often press-ganged into the belief that they must uphold the ‘one true paradigm’ and slay all others before they enter the field. What they actually need is a lucid overview, which describes in an even-handed way the many concepts and perspectives on offer. We need researchers who are philosophically informed rather than philosophically obsessed or philosophically oppressed. With this book Malcolm Williams strikes the exact balance.
This book is a real treat: the writing is unusually good, there is interesting and insightful content, and the coverage is broad. Social scientists regularly make philosophical assumptions; Williams' book will help them do so in a conscious and sophisticated way.
The book serves as a very good orientation pool for master and PhD-students to define their theoretical outline for their research objectives.
It provides a useful overview of key concepts students often struggle to get to grips with
It provides a splendidly succinct and readable introduction to the key theoretical and methodological principles that underpin research in the social world. Ideal for undergraduate students taking their first steps into the landscape of social research, and indispensable to the tutor who wishes to avoid sounding precious, like Gollum, in illuminating the way. Appearance is a different matter altogether.
This is an incredibly useful book for undergraduate students, unfamiliar with the philosophy of social science. My students have found Williams' short essays on difficult concepts to be extremely clear and helpful.
An excellent introduction to complex philosophical social research concepts. Gives students, who are new to research, an accessible text to help them grapple with the terminology and meaning.
A useful introduction to the ontological and epistemological problems of social research.
A very good starting place for students who are just about to start a research project. A must have for those who straggles with understanding different philosophical paradigms.