By Norman Blaikie
What simple wisdom and talents do amateur researchers in social technological know-how require? How can scholars be helped to over-come `symbol phobia' or `figure blindness'? This beneficiant and continuously insightful e-book is designed for social researchers who want to know what methods to exploit below what conditions, in useful learn tasks. It accomplishes this with no requiring an in-depth realizing of statistical idea, but additionally avoids either trivializing systems or resorting to `cookbook' suggestions. one of the key positive factors of the booklet are:- Accessibility- association of the extensive, usually bewildering array of tools of knowledge research right into a coherent and simple scheme of category: kinds of research and degrees of dimension- Demystification - the 1st bankruptcy unpacks in most cases taken-for-granted suggestions reminiscent of `analysis', `data' and `quantitative'- situation of equipment in actual study problemsThe e-book is a effective creation to the idea and perform of quantitative equipment. it is going to fast determine itself as crucial interpreting for college students doing social study during the social sciences.`With this publication Norman Blaikie keeps his attractiveness because the prime rapporteur and raconteur of social examine method. With many different introductory texts, info research turns into simply an workout unto itself, and scholars (sometimes) discover ways to struggle through the motions with out quite understanding why. After operating with Blaikie's textual content, amateur researchers will comprehend why quantitative inquiry is critical' - Ray Pawson, college of Leeds
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Extra resources for Analyzing Quantitative Data: From Description to Explanation
Knowledge of this reality can be obtained by establishing a bridge to it by the use of concepts and their measurement. Concepts identify aspects of the reality and instruments are designed to collect data relevant to the concepts. In this way, data are supposed to represent aspects of, or what is going on in, some part of reality. Only those aspects that can be measured are regarded as relevant to research. This tradition is associated with positivism and critical rationalism, and its data-gathering procedures are mainly quantitative.
It consists of mutual knowledge – meanings, cultural symbols and social institutions. Social reality is the symbolic world of meanings and interpretations. It is not some ‘thing’ that may be interpreted in different ways; it is those interpretations. However, because these meanings are intersubjective, that is, they are shared, they both facilitate and constrain social activity. With these ontological assumptions, knowledge of social reality can only be achieved by collecting social actors’ accounts of their reality, and then redescribing these accounts in social scientific language.
You have to have a measuring instrument, such as a long ruler or tape measure, before a person’s height can be established. We can describe people as being ‘tall’, ‘average’ or ‘short’. Such ordinal-level categories allow us to compare people’s height only in very crude terms. Adding numbers to the categories, say ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’, neither adds precision to the measurement nor does it allow us to assume that the intervals between the categories are equal. Alternatively, we could line up a group of people, from the tallest to the shortest, and give them numbers in sequence.
Analyzing Quantitative Data: From Description to Explanation by Norman Blaikie