Understanding Social Research

The aim of this book is to introduce novice researchers to the world of social science research. Unlike some of the other ‘worlds’ to which you have become accustomed, the world of science may constitute an unknown and therefore somewhat threatening world. All of these factors may lead one to conclude that such a world is quite inaccessible to the ordinary person. However, we will show you that the world of science and of scientific inquiry is inhabited by ordinary people who have learned certain practices and acquired certain knowledge and skills, that are – if not fully transparent – at least not totally mysterious. This book will introduce you to the distinctive features of the world of social science. You will see that scientists are committed to the very specific values of truth, objectivity, impartiality and honesty. They do things in very specific ways and tend to follow procedures which, at first glance, might seem unnecessarily repetitive. They are very protective of certain standardised practices (one can even call them rituals ) such as making their research public (they usually abhor secrecy), submitting their research to evaluation by their peers and placing a high premium on honesty and integrity (rejecting plagiarism).

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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