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How to Critique Journal Articles in the Social Sciences

ISBN-10: 1452241341
ISBN-13: 9781452241340
Edition: 2014
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Description: This book encourages students to adopt a particular mindset towards journal articles. This mindset recognizes the many strengths of social research-especially its advantages over ordinary ways of knowing things. At the same time, this mindset  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/27/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 136
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

This book encourages students to adopt a particular mindset towards journal articles. This mindset recognizes the many strengths of social research-especially its advantages over ordinary ways of knowing things. At the same time, this mindset remains keenly aware that research is inevitably flawed. Rather than naively assuming that good research simply produces The Truth, or cynically asserting that research is hopelessly biased and futile, this book attempts to instil in readers a critical perspective-one that appreciates the strengths and the weaknesses of any piece of scholarship. After adopting this perspective, students should find journal articles less intimidating-and hopefully a lot more interesting.

Scott R. Harris (Ph.D., University of Oregon) is Professor of Sociology at Saint Louis University, where he teaches courses on Emotions, Family, Research Methods, Social Psychology, and Contemporary Theory.� He is the author of two books on conceptualization and measurement:� What Is Constructionism? (which received the Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction) and The Meanings of Marital Equality.� He also co-edited Making Sense of Social Problems (with Joel Best) and co-authored Stargazing:� Celebrity, Fame, and Social Interaction (with Kerry Ferris).� He has reviewed articles for numerous journals and edited a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.� Currently he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sociology Compass.

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Author
Social Research Versus Ordinary Ways of Knowing
Ordinary Human Inquiry
Six Differences Between Ordinary Human Inquiry and Social Science
Conclusion
What Is a Journal Article?
Journal Articles Versus Articles Published in Popular Outlets
Journal Articles Versus Chapters in Books
Where Can Scholarly Articles Be Found? The Diverse Landscape of Academic Journals
What Gets Published in Academic Journals? Other Scholarly Work Besides Empirical Research Articles
And Finally, What Do Conventional Articles Look Like? The Typical Format of the Standard Journal Article
Conclusion
Defining Key Terms
Defining Concepts in Everyday Life
Defining Concepts in Journal Articles
Two Reasons Why Concepts Can Be Criticized
Conclusion
Literature Reviews
Finding Imperfections in Literature Reviews
Conclusion
Measurement
Operationalization in Everyday Life
Scholars' Measurements Are (Usually) Better Than Laypersons'
Critiquing Measures
Conclusion
Sampling
Three Reasons Researchers Usually Do a Better Job With Sampling
How to Find Imperfections in Researchers' Samples
Conclusion
Analysis
The Analytical Strengths of Social Research
Finding Analytical Weaknesses in Social Research
Conclusion
Ethics
Ethics in Everyday Life: Casual Snooping and Gossip
Ethical Practices That Set Social Research Above Ordinary Human Inquiry
Finding Imperfections in Researchers' Ethics
Conclusion
Politics
Critiquing Authors' Politics
Conclusion
Why Read Journal Articles-and Think Critically About Them?
Not the Last Word
References
Author Index
Subject Index

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