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The Foundations of Social Research

The Foundations of Social Research
Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process

First Edition

August 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Choosing a research method can be bewildering. How can you be sure which methodology is appropriate, or whether your chosen combination of methods is consistent with the theoretical perspective you want to take? This book links methodology and theory with great clarity and precision, showing students and researchers how to navigate the maze of conflicting terminology. The major epistemological stances and theoretical perspectives that colour and shape current social research are detailed and the author reveals the philosophical origins of these schools of inquiry and shows how various disciplines contribute to the practice of social research as it is known today.

The March of Science

The Making of Meaning

For and against Culture

The Way of Hermeneutics

Critical Inquiry
The Marxist Heritage

Critical Inquiry
Contemporary Critics and Contemporary Critique

Re-Visioning the Man-Made World

Crisis of Confidence or Moment of Truth?


This book is frequently cited by other authors, however there really is not alternative to reading the original. It is clearly written and deals with complexity in a way that a graduate student should be able to engage with in a critical manner.

Mr John Luker
School of Education and Community, Wrexham Glyndwr University
April 25, 2020

Not adopted for Year 1 - recommended to colleague for potential Year 3 module.

Miss Linda P McGrath
Department of Nursing, Birmingham University
May 19, 2021

Very user friendly to guide students for the basics in research within healthcare.

Mrs Vanessa Grace Wilson
Nursing (Chesterfield), Derby University
April 5, 2020

Amazing book that make the principles of social research accessible

Mr Nick White
Nursing and Midwifery, Sheffield Hallam University
February 26, 2020

This is a great book- I have recommended it to many post graduate students. It's very readable and helps helps anybody studying at this level, to get a manageable explanation of some very complex subjects.

Mrs Julie Rowe
Health and Social Care at Derby, Derby University
August 28, 2019

Crotty's "The Foundations of Social Research" is almost two decades old but still one of the best introductions to the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. It provides a comprehensive approach to rather complex issues and assumptions. A modern classic!

Dr Per Becker
Building and Environmental Technology, Lund University
March 7, 2017

Book is excellent for methodology and theoretical perspectives. Highly recommended for research and especially phenomenology at higher levels of study.

Mr Jason Ready
Vocational Education , Heimdal Vidergående
September 15, 2016

Suitable mainly for Masters and Doctoral students it is a very helpful resource. Those considering using a combination of methods approach may find it particularly beneficial.

Mr Richard Cresswell
Business and Management, Sheffield Hallam University
June 13, 2016

I have come across no less than two dozen text books relating to research foundations and research designs; however, this is by far, one of the best books I have come across on research methods and methodology. The first interesting feature about this book is that It explains various terms and issues relating to the foundation of research in social sciences in plain English which other textbooks may lack. It is truly a great textbook for anyone involved in qualitative research and wanting to understand theoretical underpinnings of research in more details. The chapters have smooth transitions and the book as a whole is also well written. It does not have that complications or dryness you may experience with other text books on similar areas of research. It is an intriguing book in that it opens up many horizons and challenges you to think about the elements of your research and research design. For students who are about to embark on their exploration of their methodology and research paradigms, this is the book to read!

Mr Hussam Rajab
English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University
January 18, 2016

Fascinating reading, giving great insight into the research process and its historical development.

Mr Alex Fenton
Business & Informatics Research Inst, Salford University
February 10, 2016

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ISBN: 9780761961062

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