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What is Social Research Definitions
Social Research is the invention of modern social scientists. History of Modern research techniques is no longer than 150 years • The Republic by Socrates (2000 years), Book talks about various social phenomena and interpreted in philosophical and political context , Divided public in to three categories :Gold, Sliver, bronze • Thales (640-550 BC) Founder of empirical research (observation natural events
• • •

Aristotle (384-322 BC) scientific research, Plato (speculation and mysticism)

• Greek Philosopher influenced European scholars and scientists
Research is an ORGANIZED and SYSTEMATIC way of FINDING ANSWERS to QUESTIONS. SYSTEMATIC process because there is a definite set of procedures and steps are involved. Which research must follow to get the most accurate results? ORGANIZED in that there is a structure or method in going about doing research. It is a planned procedure, not a spontaneous one. It is focused and limited to a specific scope. FINDING ANSWERS is the end of all research. Whether it is the answer to a hypothesis or even a simple question, research is successful when we find answers. Sometimes the answer is no, but it is still an answer. QUESTIONS are central part of research. If there is no question, then the answer is of no use. Research is focused on relevant, useful, and important questions. Without a question, research has no focus, drive, or purpose.

Everywhere, our knowledge is incomplete and problems are waiting to be solved. We address the void in our knowledge and those unresolved problems by asking relevant questions and seeking answers to them. The role of research is to provide a method for obtaining those answers by

hypothesis. 2. This process. Research requires a clear articulation of a goal. Research is guided by the specific research problem. which is frequently called research methodology. Research originates with a question or problem. 7. Research accepts certain critical assumptions. Research usually divides the principal problem into more manageable subproblems. 6. Research follows a specific plan of procedure. • • • careful study and investigation for the purpose of discovering and explaining new knowledge 2 : the collecting of information about a subject A systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. or a greater understanding of a phenomenon.inquiringly studying the evidence within the parameters of the scientific method. experimentation. question. 3. the resolution of a problem. Research requires the collection and interpretation of data in attempting to resolve the problem that initiated the research. Research is a process through which we attempt to achieve systematically and with the support of data the answer to a question. Research Motives      Educational: to educate and inform public Personal: To promote academic status as researcher Political: To provide support to political plans Enhance credibility among researchers and sponsors Identified cultural and behavior problems and their solution . The application of the scientific approach (observation. or hypothesis. 4. 5. communication) to the study of a problem or question. has seven distinct characteristics: 1.

• Good for politicians not for social scientist • Nornativism: based on norms.sponsored preferred findings by researchers. objectivity or value neutrality is unattainable • The Middle View: Objectivity should be observed in same stages: data collection. Example how valid the research on the effects of smoking on cancer if it is conducted by researchers of tobacco companies? How credible are the findings of a study carried out by a factory saying that the waste produced dumped in the nearby lake pose no threat to environment? Research can be used for promotion. to make predictions To develop or test theory To understand human behavior and actions Explain social reality To suggest solution to social problem To empower and liberate people. Who is Research sponsored. should be research not reformer. not philosopher • The researcher personal values. should be neutral observer not analysis. Objectivity Quantitative research • Value neutrality . Government influence the research by offer finding for some Example wife abuse is top priority. biases. social conditions. ideological influence Who control the research outcome? Important question: government or interest groups Qualitative research values are really important Findings affect the public life. affect credibility of researcher. • Inter-coder reliability Politics of Social Research • • • • • • • • Research finding depends upon many factors: academics. judgments should be kept out of research. issues/topics and ignore the others Types of Social Research . Planning of research. politics. while husband abuse is low priority research. Sponsor Prohibit researcher to publish results of the research. independent data results Qualitative research • Employed two or more researchers to reach same results.make social research possible To explain social life by providing reliable. valid and well documented information To evaluate the status of social issues and their effect on society.Aims • • • • • • • • To explore social reality.

Applied Research • Related to social and policy studies Example: Social impact studies: media’s impact on public. and that such knowledge can only come from conformation of theories through strict scientific method • • • • • Measure objective facts Focus on variables Value free Statistical analysis Researcher detached 2. Basic Research Purpose of gaining knowledge. advanced understanding about social world. use statistical analysis Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge. evaluation research (Teaching evaluation by The Office of Assessment and Institutional Research). sexual behavior studies. helping in supporting or rejecting existing theories 3. recognized need may be met. behavior analysis studies 5.. Qualitative Research • Non quantitative data analysis . fashion trends.1.. cost benefit analysis • Applied research is aimed at gaining knowledge or understanding to determine the means by which a specific. action research. . strict research design. • Original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge but is directed primarily towards a specific. Longitudinal Analysis • Study of sample more than one occasion • Example panel studies and trend studies. practical aim or objective 4. Quantitative Research Based on the principles of positivism and neoposotivisim. quantitative measurements are required.

In the human sphere this normally translates into gathering ‘deep’ information and perceptions through inductive. income. However.• • • • • • Number of methodological approaches drive result through social interactionism Construct social reality Focus on interactive process Values are present Researcher is involved Situational factors The purpose of the phenomenological approach is to clarify the specific. to identify phenomena through how they are perceived by the actors in a situation. whoever is conducting the research must comply with strict research requirements in order to obtain the most accurate figures/results possible. discussions and participant observation. qualitative methods such as interviews. Descriptive Research Most common form of research. immigrants groups. commonly used in exploratory studies • Providing background information • Describe social events • This research is the most commonly used and the basic reason for carrying out descriptive research is to identify the cause of something that is happening. construction workers. this research could be used in order to find out what age group is buying a particular brand of cola. women. Phenomenology is concerned with the study of experience from the perspective of the individual… 6. Sex Workers 8. if the research is to return useful results. • 7. and representing it from the perspective of the research participant(s). whether a company’s market share differs between geographical regions or to discover how many competitors a company has in their marketplace. For instance. age. Classification Research • Classify groups. Comparative Research .

Exploratory Research • When limited information is available about subject • Use of library research. Explanatory Research 11. Comparison Exploratory Research . • “Greater media exposure leads to greater media influence” • 10. • Qualitative research usually based on this type of research Explain social relation. comparison of Chinese and Pakistani married couples etc 9. cultures. • Testing Theory.• Compare two samples. 1986 The applications of facts findings to practical problem solving in a social situation • Community Practice •  Researchers used more than one type of methods to prove their hypothesis  Combination approach usually effective and provide more accurate results. their understanding of these practices. Action Research Action research is simply a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own practices. Comparison between Pakistani and American women. and the situations in which the practices are carried out. Carr and Kemmis. • Theory Testing Research Theory Validity testing • “Frustration leads aggression” • “Female are more planned buyer than male” 12.

-Become familiar with the basic facts -Create a general mental picture of conditions -Formulate and focus question for future research Generate new Ideas -Determine the feasibility of research -Develop the technique of measuring data Descriptive Research -provide a detail and highly accurate picture -locate new data contradict past data -Create set of categories and or classify types -classify sequence of stages -Document a casual process or mechanism -Report on the background or context of a situation Explanatory Research -Test a theory prediction or principle -Elaborate and enrich a theory’s exploitation -Extend a theory to new issues or topics -Support or refute an explanation or perdition -Link issues or topics with a general principle -determine which of the several explanations is best .