What is Social Research?


Concept of Social Research

The youngest of the social sciences that is sociology is also doing a lot of research work. “Sociological research is highly interesting and exciting. Research in sociology is really a kind of systematic detective work. It faces innumerable puzzles and suspicions, withstands disappointments and discouragements, challenges blind faith and hearsay and finally becomes successful in unravelling the mystery that clouds the truth.”
Society is an organized group of persons associated together with shared objectives, norms and values that pertain to the society. People have a social life and social process. Research is a systematic and organized effort to investigate a specific problem that needs a solution. It contributes to the general body of knowledge. It also corrects human knowledge. Social research now can be defined as the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalization, principles or theories resulting in prediction and possibly ultimate control of events in society. It attempts to answer or solve social problems.
§  According to C.A. Moser: “Social research is a systematized investigation to gain new knowledge about social phenomenon and problems.”
§  According to P.V. Young, “Social research is a scientific undertaking which by means of logical methods, aim to discover new facts or old facts and to analyze their sequences, interrelationships, casual explanations and natural laws which govern them.”
§  According to V. Young (Scientific Social Surveys and Research, 1962-44), “Social research may be defined as “a method of studying, analyzing and conceptualizing social life in order to extend, modify, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of a theory or in the practice of an art.
§  According to Kenneth D. Bailey (Methods of Social Research, 1982), “Social research has been concerned with gathering data that can help as answer thee questions about various aspects of society and this can able us to understand society.”
Social research is research conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan. Social research methodologies can be classified along a quantitative/qualitative dimension
Quantitative designs approach social phenomena through quantifiable evidence and often rely on a statistical analysis of many cases (or across intentionally designed treatments in an experiment) to create valid and reliable general claims. Related to quantity.
Qualitative designs emphasize understanding of social phenomena through direct observation, communication with participants, or analysis of texts, and may stress contextual subjective accuracy over generality. Related to quality.

Features of Social Research 

  1. It is directed towards the solution of problems. The ultimate goal is to discover the cause-and-effect relationship between social problems.
  2. It emphasises the development of generalizations, principles or theories that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences.
  3.  It is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence.
  4. It demands accurate observations and descriptions. Researchers may choose from a variety or non-qualitative description of their observations.
  5. It involves gathering new data from primary sources or using existing data for a new purpose
  6. Although social research activities may at time be somewhat random and unsystematic, it is more often characterized by a carefully designed procedure that applies rigorous analysis.
  7. It requires expertise. The researcher knows what is already known about the problem and how others have investigated it.
  8. It strives to the objective and logical applying every possible test to validate the procedure employed, data collected and conclusion reached
  9. It involves the guests for answers to unsolved problems.
  10. It is characterized by the patient and unhurried activity. A researcher must expect disappointment and discouragement as they pursue the answer to a difficult question.

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