The concept of “chaos”, and chaos theory, though it is a field of study specifically in the field of mathematics with applications in physics, engineering, economics, management, and education, has also recently taken root in the social sciences. As a method of analyzing the way in which the digital age has connected society more than ever, chaos and complexity theory serves as a tactic to tie world events and cope with the information overload that is associated with heightened social connectivity. The Handbook of Research on Chaos and Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences explores the theories of chaos and complexity as applied to a variety of disciplines including political science, organizational and management science, economics, and education. Presenting diverse research-based perspectives on mathematical patterns in the world system, this publication is an essential reference source for scholars, researchers, mathematicians, social theorists, and graduate-level students in a variety of disciplines.
Author: Philip Haynes
Release Date: 2015-03-24
Genre: Business & Economics
The application of complexity theory to management and the social sciences has been a key development in theory and practice over the last decade. This approach questions the possibility of finding universal methods of practice, and proposes a pragmatic and humanistic management style that evolves out of a reflective method. The focus is on practitioners observing patterns of similarity and being adaptable in decision-making. Bringing complexity theory into management reveals the importance of organizational culture and effective communication because people, their values and their objectives are at the heart of this method. Information technology provides a framework for complex communication and knowledge use, but it cannot replace highly developed professional negotiations and cooperation. This book argues that the complexity of the public service world limits the usefulness of classical and rational scientific management approaches such as New Public Management. Excessive marketization threatens a collaborative approach and overly rigid approaches to performance management and strategic management can be dysfunctional. Managing Complexity in the Public Services 2nd Edition advances a method of management practice that copes with the stark realities of the complex and unpredictable public policy world. It develops pragmatic management practices from action research that will be valuable to both academics and practitioners. The result is a new value-based practice for the post-crisis public service world.
Author: Bent Flyvbjerg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012-04-19
"Real Social Science presents a new, hands-on approach to social inquiry. The theoretical and methodological ideas behind the book, inspired by Aristotelian phronesis, represent an original perspective within the social sciences, and for the first time this volume gives readers a set of studies exemplifying what applied phronesis looks like in practice. The reflexive analysis of values and power gives new meaning to the impact of research on policy and practice. Real Social Science is a major step forward in a novel and thriving field of research. This book will benefit scholars, researchers, and students who want to make a difference in practice, not just in the academy. Its message will make it essential reading for students and academics across the social sciences"--
Author: Akan Malici
Release Date: 2018-08-13
Genre: Political Science
Nothing rings truer to those teaching political science research methods: students hate taking this course. Tackle the challenge and turn the standard research methods teaching model on its head with Political Science Research in Practice. Akan Malici and Elizabeth S. Smith engage students first with pressing political questions and then demonstrate how a researcher has gone about answering them, walking them through real political science research that contributors have conducted. Through the exemplary use of a comparative case study, field research, interviews, textual and interpretive research, statistical research, survey research, public policy and program evaluation, content analysis, and field experiments, each chapter introduces students to a method of empirical inquiry through a specific topic that will spark their interest and curiosity. Each chapter shows the process of developing a research question, how and why a particular method was used, and the rewards and challenges discovered along the way. Students can better appreciate why we need a science of politics—why methods matter—with these first-hand, issue-based discussions. The second edition now includes: Two completely new chapters on field experiments and a chapter on the textual/interpretative method. New topics, ranging from the Arab Spring to political torture to politically sensitive research in China to social networking and voter turnout. Revised and updated "Exercises and Discussion Questions" sections. Revised and updated "Interested to Know More" and "Recommended Resources" sections.
Author: Andrew H. Van de Ven
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2007-05-24
Genre: Business & Economics
A guide for organizational and social research in business studies and the social sciences, providing a clear framework for research design and methodology. It will be an invaluable tool for academics, researchers, and graduate students across the social sciences concerned with rigorous and relevant research in the contemporary world.
Author: Tim May
Release Date: 2010-11-22
Genre: Social Science
What are the critical gaps in thinking about reflexivity and social research? How is reflexive practice shaped by the contexts and cultures in which researchers work? How might research practice respond to twin demands of excellence and relevance in the knowledge-based economy? Thinking reflexively about the inter-relationships between social research and societal practices is all the more important in the so-called knowledge economy. Developing reflexive practices in social research is not achieved through applying a method. Where and how researchers work is fundamental in shaping the capacities and capabilities to produce research as content and context lie in a dynamic interaction. This book not only provides a history of reflexive thought, but its consequences for the practice of social research and an understanding of the contexts in which it is produced. It provides critical insights into the implications of reflexivity through a discussion of positioning, belonging and degrees of epistemic permeability in disciplines. It is also highly innovative in its suggestions for ways forward in research practice through the introduction of active intermediaries. Overall, the book offers an exciting new position on reflexive research that will generate much debate through its successful achievement of two difficult feats: providing essential reading for orientations on reflexivity and social research in the twenty-first century and making a landmark contribution to thinking and practice in the field. Social Research and Reflexivity is suitable for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and social researchers in general across a number of disciplines including geography, social research, management and organizations; economics, urban studies, sociology, social policy, anthropology and politics, as well as science and technology studies.
Author: Nick Frost
Release Date: 2009-04-22
Genre: Social Science
"These two authors are always worth reading for their breadth and originality. Their new book offers a timely and stimulating analysis of modern children's services" David Berridge, Professor of Child and Family Welfare, University of Bristol "Clear yet thorough; practical yet politically insightful; complicated yet coherent ... this book will appeal to those who want to get an overview of the territory, but also to those who wish to drill down deeper and understand the theoretical underpinning of government policies" Martin C Calder, Honorary Research Fellow, Sheffield Hallam Univeristy This is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview and critical analysis of children's social care in England following the introduction of Every Child Matters and the 2007 Children's Plan. Up-to-date and accessible, the book examines the key issues surrounding child care policy, politics and legislation, and the implications they have for practice. The book is organised into three sections: - From Children's Departments to Departments of Children's Services analyses the historical and political changes in the children's service since 1948. - Different Service Areas provides a critical review of the main service areas, including safeguarding and child protection. - Current Issues and Future Prospects considers the main challenges and future prospects for children's social care. Essential reading for those studying child social care on programmes in social work, childhood studies and social policy, the book will also interest postgraduates and practitioners in child care.
Is social research political? Should it be political? What are the implications of the politicization of social research? Recent years have seen a growing range of challenges to the idea that research should be governed by the principle of value neutrality. Critical, feminist, antiracist and postmodernist analyses have argued that social research is intrinsically political. In this stimulating and often controversial book, Martyn Hammersley weighs the arguments offered in support of these positions. He considers the fundamental issues that the debate raises about the nature of social research, its political dimensions and its contemporary relevance. At the same time he provides a robust defence of value neutrality as a constitutive principle of social research, and makes a reassessment of the role of research in modern societies. Praise for The Politics of Social Research For anyone interested in the nature of social research, who has enough grasp of the issues to access the text, this book is a must' - "British Journal of Educational Psychology "All in all Hammersley has produced a text which provides us with much to think about. As I have said, certain chapters will, no doubt, attract considerable debate. Almost all of the chapters could stand alone but the broad political theme used to bring chapters and topics together works well almost always' - "Local Government Studies "Not only is Hammersley a leading exponent of sociological research, he is also a key writer and thinker on the problems of undertaking research. This collection, some of which has been published elsewhere and some not, therefore is a welcome addition to the literature on social research... interesting and well-argued' - "Disability and Society "
Narrative research has become a catchword in the social sciences today, promising new fields of inquiry and creative solutions to persistent problems. This book brings together ideas about narrative from a variety of contexts across the social sciences and synthesizes understandings of the field. Rather than focusing on theory, it examines how narrative research is conducted and applied. It operates as a practical introductory guide, basic enough for first-time researchers, but also as a window onto the more complex questions and difficulties that all researchers in this area face. The authors guide readers through current debates about how to obtain and analyse narrative data, about the nature of narrative, the place of the researcher, the limits of researcher interpretations, and the significance of narrative work in applied and in broader political contexts.
Author: Hans L. Zetterberg
Release Date: 2018-04-24
Genre: Social Science
Social Theory and Social Practice is a unique effort at applied social theory. Hans L. Zetterberg believes that social research has now advanced so far that social scientists can give advice without being restricted to new research projects. They can use previously proven theories as the basis for sound practical recommendations. This approach has profound implications in the application of social science to problems in business management, labor strife, government decision-making, in such areas as education, health and human welfare. It remains a pioneering discourse for practitioners of social research and social policy. Zetterberg gives a searching review of the various ways in which social practitioners attempt to use the accumulated knowledge of social science. He proceeds with a compact summary of the knowledge of the academicians of social science, noting that practitioners are often unaware of much useful academic knowledge. The process by which this knowledge is transformed into practical advice is spelled out in detail, and is illustrated with examples from an actual consultation about problems faced by an art museum that wanted to increase its audience. Chapter 1 identifies the problem; chapter 2, "The Knowledge of Social Practitioners," outlines practitioners' reliance on scientific knowledge; chapter 3, "The Knowledge of Social Theorists," discusses sociological terms and sociological law; chapter 4, "The Practical Use of Social Theory through Scholarly Consultants," explores the actual specificity of social theory and its uses, while the concluding chapter examines the uses of consultants, covering some prerequisites for the successful use of applied science. The book rejects the widespread view that in order to put social science to use, we have to popularize its content. Zetterberg's approach is rather to translate a client's problem into a powerful theoretical statement, the solution to which is calculated and then presented to the client as down-to-earth advice. This volume will be of immediate interest to scholars in the field of social theory; to consultants and practitioners who give advice on social problems and policy decisions; and to executives who use advice from social scientists.
Author: Michael Sheppard
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Social Science
This accessible introduction provides social work students and practitioners with the knowledge they need both to evaluate research and to apply it to their own practice. Exploring a range of research methodologies, the author discusses the strengths and limitations of each and shows the reader how to identify the assumptions underlying them.
Author: Roger Tarling
Release Date: 2008-09-16
Genre: Social Science
This book explains the principles and theory of statistical modelling in an intelligible way for the non-mathematical social scientist looking to apply statistical modelling techniques in research. The book also serves as an introduction for those wishing to develop more detailed knowledge and skills in statistical modelling. Rather than present a limited number of statistical models in great depth, the aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the statistical models currently adopted in social research, in order that the researcher can make appropriate choices and select the most suitable model for the research question to be addressed. To facilitate application, the book also offers practical guidance and instruction in fitting models using SPSS and Stata, the most popular statistical computer software which is available to most social researchers. Instruction in using MLwiN is also given. Models covered in the book include; multiple regression, binary, multinomial and ordered logistic regression, log-linear models, multilevel models, latent variable models (factor analysis), path analysis and simultaneous equation models and models for longitudinal data and event histories. An accompanying website hosts the datasets and further exercises in order that the reader may practice developing statistical models. An ideal tool for postgraduate social science students, research students and practicing social researchers in universities, market research, government social research and the voluntary sector.