Social Research – Definition, Steps and Objectives

Definitions of Social Research The term ‘social research’ has been defined by different scholars differently. The few definitions are as follows: Prof. C.A. Moser defined it as “systematized investigation to give new knowledge about social phenomena and surveys, we call social research”. Rummel defined it as “it is devoted to a study to mankind in his social environment and is concerned with improving his understanding of social orders, groups, institutes and ethics”. M.H. Gopal defined it as “it is scientific analysis of the nature and trends of social phenomena of groups or in general of human behavior so as to formulate broad principles and scientific concepts”. Mary Stevenson defined it as “social research is a systematic method of exploring, analyzing and conceptualizing social life in order to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aid in the construction of a theory or in the practice of an art. AContinue reading

In-Depth Interviewing Techniques

In-depth interview is an intensive and searching interview aiming at studying the respondent’s opinion, emotions or convictions on the basis of an interview guide. Conducting an in-depth interview requires much more training on inter-personal skills than structured interview. This deliberately aims to elicit unconscious as well as extremely personal feelings and emotions. In-depth interview is generally a lengthy procedure designed to encourage free expression of affectively charged information. It requires probing. The interviewer should totally avoid advising or showing disagreement. Of course, he should use encouraging expressions like “uh-huh” or “I see” to motivate the respondent to continue narration. Some times the interviewer has to face the problem of affections, i.e. the respondent may hide expressing affective feelings. The interviewer should handle such situation with great care. Many researchers don’t know how to conduct an in-depth interview well. Here are some tips for conducting more effective in-depth interviews. Start theContinue reading

The Case Method in Research

Case study method is one of the methods of investigation. Originally case method was used in medicine. The physician used to maintain a record of treatment and health conditions of each patient. Each such record pertains to a ‘case’. The peculiarities of each ‘case’ are known as well as generalities of all cases together. The cause-effect relationship is established and exceptions there to are also noted down. The basic unit of case study is a case – a particular one of its kind. It may be a single business unit or a whole group of business units in an area or a single producer or a group of producers or a single consumer or a group of consumers and so on. When a group is involved, that group is treated as one unit, with whatever phenomenon found in one group member is taken as a phenomenon of the group asContinue reading

Inductive and Deductive Research Approach

Inductive Research Approach Induction is concerned with first obtaining data, discovering the truth and establishing relationships regarding the particular cases concerned. If these are found correct and operating, these are generalized Induction lays stress on establishment of the material truth of matters pertaining to the universe or population based on sample observations. In mathematics, the proof for the Binomial Theorem is based on induction method. A study of, say, a dozen, randomly chosen family run businesses reveals that the decision-making process is centralized and less transparent. And, it may be concluded that decision process is centralized and less transparent in the case of family-run businesses. Induction involves, moving-to the ‘unobserved’ many from the ‘observed’ few. There are a few types of induction. Perfect induction and intuitive induction are these. Perfect induction involves establishing a universal proposition by an exhaustive enumeration of all the instances of the category covered byContinue reading

Sampling Methods in Research

Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of an unbiased or random subset of individual observations within a population of individuals intended to yield some knowledge about the population of concern, especially for the purposes of making predictions based on statistical inference. Sampling is an important aspect of data collection. There are two basic approaches to sampling: probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling. A probability sampling scheme is one in which every unit in the population has a chance (greater than zero) of being selected in the sample, and this probability can be accurately determined. The combination of these traits makes it possible to produce unbiased estimates of population totals, by weighting sampled units according to their probability of selection. Example: We want to estimate the total income of adults living in a given street. We visit each household in that street, identify all adults living there, andContinue reading

Steps Involved in Drafting a Research Report

A research report must be well drafted so that it is seriously taken by others and all that have to be said are well said. Reader orientation, purpose orientation, time orientation, technology orientation, etc are all needed. The steps in writing a research report are presented below. 1. Organization of Thought Organization of thought as to how the report be presented is the most fundamental starting point in the journey of preparation of a research report. Ideas come before the mind eye. These are thought over again and a frame of presentation is planned. This plan does not in itself constitute style, but it is the foundation. 2. Acquaintance with the Research Full acquaintance with research is needed. This is facilitated by notes. It is desirable to make notes on separate cards or slips called form-facet. Accuracy and Adequacy are required – The second facet of mastery over notes consistsContinue reading