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Case Study Method

by Martyn Hammersley Dr Peter Foster Mr Roger Gomm

This is the most comprehensive guide to the current uses and importance of case study methods in social research. The editors bring together key contributions from the field which reflect different interpretations of the purpose and capacity of case study research. The address issues such as: the problem of generalizing from study of a small number of cases; and the role of case study in developing and testing theories. The editors offer in-depth assessments of the main arguments. An annotated bibliography of the literature dealing with case study research makes this an exhaustive and indispensable guide. `This is a worthwhile book which will be useful to readers. It collects together key sources on a topic which is a "hardy perennial", guaranteeing its relevance for academics, researchers, and students on higher level methods programmes. The editorial contributions are by well-known authorities in the field, are carefully-constructed, and take a clear position. I would certainly want this book on my shelf' - Nigel Fielding, University of Surrey

Ethics in Qualitative Research

by Martyn Hammersley Anna Traianou

All social researchers need to think about ethical issues. Their salience has recently been increased by the pressures of ethical regulation, particularly in the case of qualitative research. But what are ethical issues? And how should they be approached? These are not matters about which there is agreement. Ethics in Qualitative Research explores conflicting philosophical assumptions, the diverse social contexts in which ethical problems arise, and the complexities of handling them in practice. The authors argue that the starting point for any discussion of research ethics must be the values intrinsic to research, above all the commitment to knowledge-production. However, the pursuit of inquiry is rightly constrained by external values, and the book focuses on three of these: minimising harm, respecting autonomy, and protecting privacy. These external values are shown to be far from unequivocal in character, often in conflict with one another (or with the commitments of research), and always subject to situational interpretation and practical judgment. Nevertheless, it is contended that in the present challenging times it is essential that qualitative researchers uphold research values. Martyn Hammersley is Professor of Educational and Social Research at The Open University. Anna Traianou is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London.

The Limits of Social Science

by Martyn Hammersley

What forms of knowledge can social science claim to produce? Does it employ causal analysis, and if so what does this entail? What role should values play in the work of social scientists? These are the questions addressed in this book. They are closely interrelated, and the answers offered here challenge many currently prevailing assumptions. They carry implications both for research practice, quantitative or qualitative, and for the public claims that social scientists make about the value of their work. The arguments underpinning this challenge to conventional wisdom are laid out in detail in the first half of the book. In later chapters their implications are explored for two substantive areas of intrinsic importance: the study of social mobility and educational inequalities; and explanations for urban riots, notably those that took place in London and other English cities in the summer of 2011.

Methodology: Who Needs It?

by Martyn Hammersley

The literature on social science methods and the issues surrounding them has grown massively and continues to increase. Yet many social scientists are ambivalent about methodology. For some, it plays a central, perhaps even an all-encompassing, role; while, for others, it is desirable only in small amounts, or indeed is regarded as an irrelevance, as a distraction from actually doing research. In this book, Hammersley argues that, in large part, this reflects and is part of a wider problem: the gradual decline of a previously influential academic model of inquiry. This has occurred as a result of ideological challenges and the erosion of the institutional conditions that support academic work. He defends this model, spelling out the demands it places upon social scientists, and examining such issues as the proper role of methodology, the nature of objectivity, the false idea that social scientists should be intellectuals or social critics, the dialectic of academic discussion, the ethics of belief, and the limits of academic freedom. More broadly, he also questions the role of the social research within society and what it means to be a social scientist in the 21st century. Hammersley's book is engagingly written and controversial. It tackles the major issues of contemporary social research methodology head on and is an essential read for anyone with an interest in this field.

The Myth of Research-Based Policy and Practice

by Martyn Hammersley

Martyn Hammersley's provocative new text interrogates the complex relationship between research, policymaking and practice, against the background of the evidence-based practice movement. Addressing a series of probing questions, this book reflects on the challenge posed by the idea that social research can directly serve policymaking and practice. Key questions explored include: - Is scientific research evidence-based? - What counts as evidence for evidence-based practice? - Is social measurement possible, and is it necessary? - What are the criteria by which qualitative research should be judged? The book also discusses the case for action research, the nature of systematic reviews, proposals for interpretive reviews, and the process of qualitative synthesis. Highly readable and undeniably relevant, this book is a valuable resource for both academics and professionals involved with research.

Questioning Qualitative Inquiry

by Martyn Hammersley

Is qualitative research in crisis? In Questioning Qualitative Inquiry Martyn Hammersley raises fundamental questions about the current state of qualitative social research. He examines some of the changes that have taken place within it over the past fifty years, suggesting that the move away from natural science as a model, and towards an appeal to literature and art, involves rejection of key principles that are essential to research of any kind. Hammersley argues that, in important respects, qualitative inquiry has not lived up to the claims originally made on its behalf, and that more recent developments have worsened the situation. Insufficient attention has been given to the problems surrounding leading ideas like thick description, analytic induction, and constructionism. The argument is pursued through discussion of the work of influential writers - such as Clifford, Geertz, Denzin and Lincoln - and by detailed examination of concrete issues, like the value of interview data, the rationales for discourse and conversation analysis, the role of rhetoric in research reports, and the nature of assessment criteria. At a time when qualitative inquiry is coming under renewed challenge in some quarters, the task of addressing the methodological problems it faces has become urgent. These essays on current developments and debates are essential reading for anyone interested in the future of qualitative research.

Understanding Research with Children and Young People

by Martyn Hammersley Dr Martin Robb Rosie Flewitt Alison Clark

How do views about children shape research concerned with their lives? What different forms can research with children take? What ethical issues does it involve? How does it impact on policy and practice, and on the lives of children themselves? This book helps you to understand how research is designed and carried out to explore questions about the lives of children and young people. It tackles the methodological, practical and ethical challenges involved, and features examples of actual research that illustrate: Different strategies for carrying out research Common challenges that arise in the research process Varying modes of engagement that researchers can adopt with participants and audiences; and The impact that research can have on future studies, policy and practice.

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