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    Principles of Sociological Inquiry – Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

    (28 reviews)

    Amy Blackstone, University of Maine

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9781453328897

    Publisher: Saylor Foundation

    Language: English

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    Reviewed by Sosanya Jones, Associate Professor, Howard University on 1/31/22

    The book does a fairly good job of covering a lot of topics in the research design process for both qualitative and quantitative research. I think it could have been more expansive in the coverage and discussion about the role of paradigm,... read more

    Reviewed by Christina Pratt, Professor, Pace University on 7/25/21

    Good basic coverage of interpretive and qualitative methods; explanatory and quantitative methods; mixed methods; scant content on innovative approacheds to online surveys, big data; understanding behavior through smartphones; technology and... read more

    Reviewed by Florencia Gabriele, Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts Bay Community College on 6/29/21

    The book would benefit from an index and glossary. The material is easy to find despite lacking an index and the book follows a logical order and the material becomes more complex as the book progress. read more

    Reviewed by Kay Flewelling, Adjunct Faculty, University of San Diego on 5/3/21

    This is an easy-to-read description and introduction to principles of sociological inquiry. Blackstone is adept at explaining critical social science research terminology as she places these in context with other disciplines. The introduction to... read more

    Reviewed by Yang Cheng, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University on 4/2/21

    I reviewed the topics such as quantitative methods and qualitative methods, Chapter 2: Linking Methods With Theory, research ethics... The author did contain different topics in this book. If the author could provide more examples of quantitative... read more

    Reviewed by Antwan Jones, Associate Professor, The George Washington University on 12/16/20

    The textbook covers a large amount of material that introduces the reader to research methods. One of the weak points of the book is a lack of discussion on how to conduct a literature review. This information can obviously be supplemented, but it... read more

    Reviewed by Linda McCarthy, Professor, Greenfield Community College on 6/29/20

    I have not reviewed or used other methods books, but this book includes what I would expect. I imagine most students would need more guidance on how to analyze data, whether it be quantitative or qualitative. I appreciate that Blackstone includes... read more

    Reviewed by Walter Carroll, Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater State University on 6/10/20

    This book appears reasonably comprehensive although the absence of coverage on network analysis is a weakness. Some recent textbooks have begun to cover this important approach. I would also have liked to see more coverage on data archives. For... read more

    Reviewed by Colleen Wynn, Assistant Professor, University of Indianapolis on 5/27/20

    This text is quite comprehensive for an introductory methods course. It nicely covers both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. I appreciate the use of sociological examples both historical and contemporary. Of course, since this edition is... read more

    Reviewed by Yvonne Braun, Professor, University of Oregon on 11/27/19

    I generally really liked this methods book and can imagine using it in an undergraduate methods course. It covers the main sections that most of us would expect to see in a methods text. The text needs a table of contents with breakdowns by... read more

    Reviewed by Fatima Sattar, Assistant Professor of Sociology , Augustana College on 7/30/19

    The text does a great job covering a range of qualitative and quantitative methods. I did not see an index or glossary. The text would benefit from adding both and/or a list of terms students should be familiar with at the end of each chapter. It... read more

    Reviewed by Rae Taylor, Associate Professor, Loyola University New Orleans on 4/24/19

    The text covers all the areas a research methods textbook should, in an easily digestible way. read more

    Reviewed by DeAnn Kalich, Professor and Head, University of Louisiana at Lafayette on 3/31/19

    I like the approach used here because I agree qualitative and quantitative methods are complementary rather than competing. Many methods books divide these out rather than synthesizing; I find that Blackstone has done an excellent job of weaving... read more

    Reviewed by Sarah Quick, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Cottey College on 8/2/18

    This book, in general, is comprehensive in that it covers research questions, the research process and design types, major methods or data collection strategies, and ethics from a sociological perspective. It is very accessible for undergraduate... read more

    Reviewed by Bernadine Brady, Lecturer, National University of Ireland, Galway on 2/1/18

    This text provides a very comprehensive introduction to Research Methods. In my opinion, it covers much of the content required on an undergraduate social science methods course, and is of particular value for sociology students. The value of... read more

    Reviewed by Joanna Hunter, Assistant Professor, Radford University on 2/1/18

    There isn't a glossary at the end of the book, or a list of bolded terms with definitions at the end of each chapter, which would greatly improve its navigability. My experience is that when students see a bolded term, they expect a list of them... read more

    Reviewed by Jessica Ganao, Associate Professor, North Carolina Central University on 2/1/18

    The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary. I especially like Chapter 14, as this something that I often assume students understand but they really do struggle with it. read more

    Reviewed by Molly Dondero, Assistant Professor, American University on 2/1/18

    Overall, I found the book to be fairly comprehensive. It touches on the main topics covered in an undergraduate sociological methods course, as well as some additional topics such as the chapter on “Research Methods in the Real World.” In general,... read more

    Reviewed by Susan Calhoun-Stuber, Chair, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Colorado State University Pueblo on 2/1/18

    The book is a comprehensive social science research methods text. It includes expected topics and some additional attention to some subjects. There is not index or glossary but the chapter titles would guide readers to appropriate topic areas. read more

    Reviewed by Helen McManus, Adjunct Professor, Librarian, George Mason University on 6/20/17

    This review considers this book's usefulness for a political science qualitative methods course. Political science programs typically require only quantitative methods training, therefore I am approaching this text with a distinct student... read more

    Reviewed by Matthew DeCarlo, Assistant Professor, Radford University on 4/11/17

    This book covers all of the important concepts in an introductory research methods text. Some of the more advanced concepts (e.g. types of validity and reliability) are cut out of this textbook, which is a choice I understand. Students are often... read more

    Reviewed by Mikaila Arthur, Associate Professor, Rhode Island College on 4/11/17

    There is no index or glossary. The chapter on theory provides many useful explanations, but never focuses on the question of what theory or why it is an important part of sociological research. The chapter on research ethics is better. though in... read more

    Reviewed by Alexa Smith-Osborne, Professor, University of Texas at Arlington on 4/11/17

    This text's comprehensiveness, in combination with simple language suited to first exposure to the topic, is one of the chief strengths of the book. However, community-based participatory action research methods were not included in this text,... read more

    Reviewed by Robert Liebman, Professor, Portland State University on 2/8/17

    Text is comprehensive in two senses: it covers what is standard in Research Methods texts and it serves the author’s focus on teaching research design/methods to prepare students for undertaking a research project (or doing a research proposal). ... read more

    Reviewed by Anna Berardi, Professor, George Fox University on 2/8/17

    This text is comprehensive in scope and depth of content. The HTML version is extremely effective in helping the reader identify material as listed in the ToC. The PDF and DOCx versions are difficult to manage and do not have an attached ToC. read more

    Reviewed by Noelle Chesley, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on 1/7/16

    I find the text to be very comprehensive. I think it covers most of the topics and subtopics one would expect to see in an undergraduate sociology research methods text. However, within topics, this text may not cover details as comprehensively as... read more

    Reviewed by Alison Bianchi, Associate Professor, University of Iowa on 1/7/16

    This textbook covers all of the research methods needed for an undergraduate level research methods course. I have specific concerns that I will address in the "accuracy" section, but overall I am pleased with this book. I have used it in one... read more

    Reviewed by Susan Burke, Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma on 1/12/15

    I used two online textbooks for my Fall 2014 course and this Blackstone text was far more comprehensive than the other one. It contained either chapters or short sections on nearly everything that I wanted to cover with the course, although for... read more

    Table of Contents

    • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • Chapter 2: Linking Methods With Theory
    • Chapter 3: Research Ethics
    • Chapter 4: Beginning a Research Project
    • Chapter 5: Research Design
    • Chapter 6: Defining and Measuring Concepts
    • Chapter 7: Sampling
    • Chapter 8: Survey Research: A Quantitative Technique
    • Chapter 9: Interviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
    • Chapter 10: Field Research: A Qualitative Technique
    • Chapter 11: Unobtrusive Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
    • Chapter 12: Other Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
    • Chapter 13: Sharing Your Work
    • Chapter 14: Reading and Understanding Social Research
    • Chapter 15: Research Methods in the Real World

    Ancillary Material

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    About the Book

    The author of Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, Amy Blackstone, started envisioning this textbook while sitting in her own undergraduate sociology research methods class. She enjoyed the material but wondered about its relevance to her everyday life and future plans (the idea that one day she would be teaching such a class hadn't yet occurred to her).

    Now that she teaches the research methods course, she realizes that students today wonder the very same thing. While the importance of understanding research methods is usually clear to those students who intend to pursue an advanced degree, Amy wanted to write a text that would assist research methods teachers in demonstrating to all types of students the relevance of this course.

    In addition, Amy Blackstone's experience as an active researcher who uses both qualitative and quantitative methods made her acutely aware of the need for a balanced approach in teaching methods of sociological inquiry.

    Together, Amy Blackstone's experiences as a student, researcher, and teacher shape the three overriding objectives of Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Relevance, Balance, and Accessibility.

    Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods emphasizes the relevance of research methods for the everyday lives of its readers, undergraduate students.Each chapter describes how research methodology is useful for students in the multiple roles they fill:

    1. As consumers of popular and public information
    2. As citizens
    3. As current and future employees. Connections to these roles are made throughout and directly within the main text of the book

    Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods also provides balanced coverage of qualitative and quantitative approaches by integrating a variety of examples from recent and classic sociological research. The text challenges students to debate and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches.

    Finally, one of the most important goals Amy had for Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods was to introduce students to the core principles of social research in a way that is straightforward and engaging. As such, the text reflects public sociology's emphasis on making sociology accessible and readable. No one can validate that claim more than a teacher or student. So, take a look for yourself today and review Principles of Sociological Inquiry: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods by Amy Blackstone to see if its approach toward relevance, balance, and accessibility are right for your course and students.

    About the Contributors


    Amy Blackstone is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Maine. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, her research includes studies of workplace harassment, childfree adults, and activism in the breast cancer and anti-rape movements. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and edited volumes including Gender & Society, Law & Society Review, American Sociological Review, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Blackstone has served as a Consulting Editor for Contexts, the American Sociological Association’s public-interest magazine. She is currently a member of the Social Science Research Group on the University of Maine’s National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, for which she examines faculty satisfaction and the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty in particular. Blackstone enjoys her work with numerous undergraduate research assistants and student clubs. In 2011 she received the University of Maine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching/Advising. Blackstone received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Minnesota and her B.A. in Sociology at Luther College.

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