Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

W. Lawrence Neuman  
Total pages
July 2013
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Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
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Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods is a highly regarded text that presents a comprehensive and balanced introduction to both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research with an emphasis on the benefits of combining various approaches.


  • Presents a more balanced coverage of qualitative and quantitative methods than any other book on the market, and illustrates how the greatest benefit often comes from combining various approaches.
  • Discusses the social and historical context of research, and teaches students to recognise ethnocentric perspectives and the assumptions, values, and beliefs of their own society.
  • In chapter 1, there are separate descriptions and examples of the steps in the research process for quantitative and qualitative approaches, to underscore some of the fundamental differences.
  • Chapter 3, “Theory and Research,” helps students with no prior coursework in social theory understand the importance of theory and its connection to research.
  • Contains many explanatory diagrams and interesting examples drawn from scholarly literature.
  • Incorporates feminist and postmodernist theories in the “Meaning of Methodologies” chapter (Ch. 4).
  • Covers 'Writing a literature review' and 'Ethics' early in Chapter 5.
  • Concludes with a chapter on writing a research report.
  • Appendix on Evaluation Research help students see how to apply research in practical settings.
  • The Chapter on Survey Research (Ch. 10) covers the latest technology, including computer-assisted interviewing and Web surveys.
  • The politics of research are discussed in the context of writing a literature report (Ch. 16).
  • Key terms are called out and defined in boxes at the bottom of the pages where they appear, for easier study and review.

New to this Edition

  • Updated discussion of social research’s diverse epistemological underpinnings with debates from recent works incorporated
  • Updated discussion of survey research, including Total Survey Error Approach, and survey interviewing, including cognitive interviewing.
  • Expanded discussion of experimental research and centrality of theory in experimental studies
  • Several chapters now begin with a study that is referred to throughout the chapter as an illustration
  • Organization of in-text boxes into major types and improved graphic diagrams
  • More emphasis on study reporting-presentation and researcher roles as a part of the overall process of doing social research.
  • About 2/3 of example studies have been replaced with more recent research.
  • MyResearchKit--Social Research Methods 7E can be packaged with MyResearchKit, at no additional cost. MyResearchKit includes:
    • Multiple choice practice test questions
    • Flashcards of key terms
    • Short research exercises (previously in the workbook)
    • SPSS data sets - included in MyResearchKit - are used in some of the research exercises
    • Social Explorer - census data from 1790 - present
    • A “Social Research in the News” blog
    • Writing tutorial - covers documenting sources, avoiding plagiarism, and various kinds of writing assignments (literature reviews, abstracts, research proposals, etc.)
    • MySearchLab- a search engine for retrieving scholarly research articles from hundreds of academic journals

Table of Contents

  • Part I Foundations
  • Chapter 1 Why Do Research?
  • Chapter 2 What Are the Major Types of Social Research?
  • Chapter 3 Theory and Research
  • Chapter 4 The Meanings of Methodology
  • Chapter 5 How to Review the Literature and Conduct Ethical Studies
  • Part II Planning and Preparation
  • Chapter 6 Strategies of Research Design
  • Chapter 7 Qualitative and Quantitative Measurement
  • Chapter 8 Qualitative and Quantitative Sampling
  • Part III Quantitative Data Collection and Analysis
  • Chapter 9 Experimental Research
  • Chapter 10 Survey Research
  • Chapter 11 Nonreactive Research and Secondary Analysis
  • Chapter 12 Analysis of Quantitative Data
  • Part IV Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
  • Chapter 13 Field Research and Focus Group Research
  • Chapter 14 Historical-Comparative Research
  • Chapter 15 Analysis of Qualitative Data
  • Part V Communicating with Others
  • Chapter 16 Writing the Research Report and the Politics of Social Research

Back Cover

This highly regarded text present a comprehensive and balanced introduction to both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research, emphasizing the benefits of combining various approaches. Dozens of new examples from actual research studies help illustrate concepts and methods.


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. '