Chapter

Surveying the social world: assembling knowledge as a basis for action

David Byrne

in Applying social science

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424518
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301486 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424518.003.0004
Surveying the social world: assembling knowledge as a basis for action

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This chapter surveys the social world and develops the arguments presented in relation to the main areas of policy and practice in which applied social science has been deployed by picking up examples of existing issues, good and bad practices, and interesting methods. It focuses both on the ways in which the social sciences have established knowledge and on the nature of that knowledge. It devotes in part to an examination of work in the tradition of Mass Observation and of its considerable potential for applied social research. It demonstrates that qualitative surveys can generate quantitative data with reference to how qualitative inspection reports can be used to generate quantitative attributes in the form of classifications, which can then be used to explore causality through systematic case comparison.

Keywords: social world; policy and practice; social sciences; knowledge; Mass Observation; applied social research; qualitative surveys; quantitative attributes; causality; systematic case comparison

Chapter.  7205 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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