Basics of Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

W. Lawrence Neuman  
Total pages
July 2013
Related Titles


Preparing students to do research and understand what research can do.

Basics of Social Research helps students understand what research can and cannot do, become better consumers of research, and learn why properly conducted research is important.

This text teaches students to be better consumers of research results and understand how the research enterprise works, preparing them to conduct small research projects. Upon completing this text, students will gain an awareness of the capabilities and restrictions of research, and learn why properly conducted research is important. Using clear, accessible language and examples from real research, this text discusses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research, emphasizing the benefits of combining various approaches.


  • Shows students that social research is a highly important enterprise, and one that is not beyond their abilities.
  • Uses examples from real research in major studies to show students the origins of the findings and information used in textbooks or the media. (ex. p. 295)
  • Emphasises that social research is not a matter of following fixed procedures and routines, but something that requires creativity, mature judgment, personal integrity, and a commitment to free and open inquiry.
  • Adapted from Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches by Lawrence Neuman. The text covers the same topics as Social Research Methods but with less technical detail. Material from this edition on the historical development of social research, philosophical assumptions for doing research in particular ways, and more sophisticated data gathering and analysis techniques has been largely eliminated.

New to this Edition

  • Examples - Two-thirds of the examples are new to help further student interest. (ex. p. 291)
  • Boxes - help reinforce concepts that students may find challenging. (ex. 319)
  • Role of the Researcher — The text has been rewritten to allow the student to see him or herself in the active role of conducting a study, while retaining the text's goal to build the student's understanding of how doing a specific study fits with the broader principles of qualitative and quantitative social science. (ex. p. 293)
  • MySearchLab with eText can be packaged with this text.
    • MySearchLab provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
    • eText – Just like the printed text, you can highlight and add notes to the eText or download it to your iPad.
    • Assessment – Chapter quizzes and flashcards offer immediate feedback and report directly to the gradebook.
    • Writing and Research – A wide range of writing, grammar and research tools and access to a variety of academic journals, census data, Associated Press newsfeeds, and discipline-specific readings help you hone your writing and research skills.

Table of Contents

  • Part I: Foundations
  • Chapter 1: Doing Social Research  
  • Chapter 2: Theory and Social Research  
  • Chapter 3: Ethics in Social Research  
  • Chapter 4: Reviewing the Scholarly Literature and Planning a Study  
  • Chapter 5: Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement  
  • Chapter 6: Qualitative and Quantitative Sampling  
  • Part II: Conducting Quantitative Research  
  • Chapter 7: Survey Research  
  • Chapter 8: Experimental Research  
  • Chapter 9: Nonreactive Research and Secondary Analysis   
  • Chapter 10: Analysis of Quantitative Data  
  • Part III: Conducting Qualitative Research
  • Chapter 11: Field Research and Focus Group Research  
  • Chapter 12: Historical-Comparative Research  
  • Chapter 13: Analysis of Qualitative Data  
  • Part IV: Research Reports
  • Chapter 14: Writing the Research Report  


W. Lawrence Neuman James is professor of sociology and Asian Studies coordinator at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His M.A. and Ph.D. were earned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has authored seven books and published 35 articles and book chapters, which have appeared in Social Problems, Sociological Inquiry, Social Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, Critical Asian Studies, Teaching Sociology, The Journal of Contemporary Asia, Sociological Quarterly, and other journals . He is a former president of the Wisconsin Sociological Association. Neuman has received his university’s highest award for research, the Chancellor's Award for service to students with disabilities, as well as the the Wisconsin Sociological Association's Outstanding Service Award, and the College of Letters and Sciences awards for outstanding teaching, excellence in research, and outstanding service.