Tricks of the Trade

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226040992
Format: PDF, ePub
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Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables. Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before. Like Writing for Social Scientists, Tricks of the Trade will bring aid and comfort to generations of students. Written in the informal, accessible style for which Becker is known, this book will be an essential resource for students in a wide variety of fields. "An instant classic. . . . Becker's stories and reflections make a great book, one that will find its way into the hands of a great many social scientists, and as with everything he writes, it is lively and accessible, a joy to read."—Charles Ragin, Northwestern University

Tricks of the Trade

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226041247
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables. Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before. Like Writing for Social Scientists, Tricks of the Trade will bring aid and comfort to generations of students. Written in the informal, accessible style for which Becker is known, this book will be an essential resource for students in a wide variety of fields. "An instant classic. . . . Becker's stories and reflections make a great book, one that will find its way into the hands of a great many social scientists, and as with everything he writes, it is lively and accessible, a joy to read."—Charles Ragin, Northwestern University

Telling About Society

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226041263
Format: PDF, Mobi
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I Remember, one of French writer Georges Perec’s most famous pieces, consists of 480 numbered paragraphs—each just a few short lines recalling a memory from his childhood. The work has neither a beginning nor an end. Nor does it contain any analysis. But it nonetheless reveals profound truths about French society during the 1940s and 50s. Taking Perec’s book as its cue, Telling About Society explores the unconventional ways we communicate what we know about society to others. The third in distinguished teacher Howard Becker’s best-selling series of writing guides for social scientists, the book explores the many ways knowledge about society can be shared and interpreted through different forms of telling—fiction, films, photographs, maps, even mathematical models—many of which remain outside the boundaries of conventional social science. Eight case studies, including the photographs of Walker Evans, the plays of George Bernard Shaw, the novels of Jane Austen and Italo Calvino, and the sociology of Erving Goffman, provide convincing support for Becker’s argument: that every way of telling about society is perfect—for some purpose. The trick is, as Becker notes, to discover what purpose is served by doing it this way rather than that. With Becker’s trademark humor and eminently practical advice, Telling About Society is an ideal guide for social scientists in all fields, for artists interested in saying something about society, and for anyone interested in communicating knowledge in unconventional ways.

The Craft of Research Fourth Edition

Author: Wayne C. Booth
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022623987X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique. The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem. Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.

Writing for Social Scientists How to Start and Finish Your Thesis Book Or Article Large Print 16pt

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459605551
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures - most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them - often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer's block. Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Becker's message is clear; in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat. It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its ''publish or perish'' atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a ''the way in which'' when a simple ''how'' will do - all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impediments - or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hours - we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the ''literature.''In this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated, Writing for Social Scientists will provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.

Readings in Methodology

Author: Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo
Publisher: African Books Collective
ISBN: 286978483X
Format: PDF, Docs
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One of the weaknesses of research in Africa is the little consideration that is given to questions of epistemology and methodology. What we see is the trivialization of research protocols which, consequently, are reduced to fantasy prescriptions that detach social studies from universal debates over the validity of science rather than an interrogation of research procedures induced by the complexity of social dynamics. As a result, social sciences have become an imitative discourse and a recital of exotic anecdotes without perspectives. Knowledge production therefore loses any heuristic bearing. It is on the basis of this reality that attempts to correct this tendency have been made in this book by discussing the methodological foundation of social science knowledge. This volume is a collection of papers presented during methodological workshops organized by CODESRIA. Its objective is to revitalize theory and methodology in field work in Africa while contributing to the creation of a critical space hinged upon the mastery of epistemological bases which are indispensable to any scientific imagination. Far from being a collection of technical certainties and certified methods, this book interrogates the uncertain itinerary of the process of social logics discovery. In that sense, it is a decisive step towards a critical systemization of ongoing theories and practices within the African scientific community. The reader can, therefore, identify the philosophical, historical, sociological and anthropological foundations of object construction, field data exploitation and research results delivery. This book explains the importance of the philosophical and social modalities of scientific practice, the influence of local historical contexts, the different usages of new investigative tools, including the audiovisual tools. Finally, the book, backed by classical theories, serves as an invitation toward considering scientific commitment to African field research from a reflective perspective.

Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes Second Edition

Author: Robert M. Emerson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226206866
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Robert M. Emerson, Rachel I. Fretz, and Linda L. Shaw present a series of guidelines, suggestions, and practical advice for creating useful fieldnotes in a variety of settings, demystifying a process that is often assumed to be intuitive and impossible to teach. Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written. A good ethnographer, they demonstrate, must learn to remember dialogue and movement like an actor, to see colors and shapes like a painter, and to sense moods and rhythms like a poet. This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995. As a result, they have updated the race, class, and gender section, created new sections on coding programs and revising first drafts, and provided new examples of working notes. An essential tool for budding social scientists, the second edition of Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes will be invaluable for a new generation of researchers entering the field.

Waves and Forms

Author: Basile Zimmermann
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262029057
Format: PDF, Docs
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An examination of the relationship between technical objects and culture in contemporary China, drawing on concepts from science and technology studies.

Learning From Strangers

Author: Robert S. Weiss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439106983
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Learning From Strangers is the definitive work on qualitative research interviewing. It draws on Robert Weiss's thirty years of experience in interviewing and teaching others how to do it. The most effective interviews, says Weiss, rely on creating cooperation -- an open and trusting alliance between interviewer and respondent, dedicated to specific and honest accounts of both internal and external events. Against the eclectic background of his work in national sample surveys, studies based on semi-structured interviewing, and participant observation, Weiss walks the reader through the method of qualitative interview studies: sample selection, development of an interview guide, the conduct of the interview, analysis, and preparation of the data. Weiss gives examples of successful and less successful interviews and offers specific techniques and guidelines for the practitioner.

What About Mozart What About Murder

Author: Howard S. Becker
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616652X
Format: PDF
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In 1963, Howard S. Becker gave a lecture about deviance, challenging the then-conventional definition that deviance was inherently criminal and abnormal and arguing that instead, deviance was better understood as a function of labeling. At the end of his lecture, a distinguished colleague standing at the back of the room, puffing a cigar, looked at Becker quizzically and asked, “What about murder? Isn’t that really deviant?” It sounded like Becker had been backed into a corner. Becker, however, wasn’t defeated! Reasonable people, he countered, differ over whether certain killings are murder or justified homicide, and these differences vary depending on what kinds of people did the killing. In What About Mozart? What About Murder?, Becker uses this example, along with many others, to demonstrate the different ways to study society, one that uses carefully investigated, specific cases and another that relies on speculation and on what he calls “killer questions,” aimed at taking down an opponent by citing invented cases. Becker draws on a lifetime of sociological research and wisdom to show, in helpful detail, how to use a variety of kinds of cases to build sociological knowledge. With his trademark conversational flair and informal, personal perspective Becker provides a guide that researchers can use to produce general sociological knowledge through case studies. He champions research that has enough data to go beyond guesswork and urges researchers to avoid what he calls “skeleton cases,” which use fictional stories that pose as scientific evidence. Using his long career as a backdrop, Becker delivers a winning book that will surely change the way scholars in many fields approach their research.