Understanding Research for Social Policy and Practice: Themes, Methods and Approaches

Understanding Research for Social Policy and Practice: Themes, Methods and Approaches

Paperback Understanding Welfare: Social Issues, Policy and Practice

Edited by Saul Becker, Edited by Alan Bryman

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  • Publisher: Policy Press
  • Format: Paperback | 423 pages
  • Dimensions: 180mm x 240mm x 25mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 9 June 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Bristol
  • ISBN 10: 1861344031
  • ISBN 13: 9781861344038
  • Sales rank: 813,140

Product description

It is vital for students, policy makers and practitioners engaged in social policy related fields to understand the importance and place of research and how to interpret and use research findings. They also need to know how to effectively carry out and report good quality research of their own. This landmark book, the first of its kind, will enable them to meet all of these challenges. Comprehensive in scope, and written by experts in a thoroughly accessible and engaging style, the book combines theoretical and applied discussions to provide the essential one-stop guide to research for social policy and practice. Understanding research for social policy and practice: conveys the excitement, importance and methodological diversity of social policy research; provides readers with appropriate knowledge to help them interpret and assess the research of others and to conduct high quality research; combines lively and informed discussion of key issues, methods and approaches with practical hands-on guidance and advice; shows how and why social policy research should form a key foundation for future policy and practice. This book is essential reading for students of social policy, social work, sociology, criminology, nursing and other applied social sciences; their teachers; and policy makers and practitioners who would like to improve their use of research evidence and conduct research of their own.

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Author information

Saul Becker is Professor of Social Policy and Social Care and Alan Bryman is Professor of Social Research in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. Both have extensive experience of conducting and disseminating social policy research and of teaching research methods and approaches. The editors are joined by an expert panel of contributors, all of whom are active in research and are internationally known and respected in their fields.

Review quote

"This book is an essential resource for those involved in building research awareness and skills amongst social work students and practitioners." Ann Davis, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Birmingham. "Becker and Bryman have successfully combined the virtues of a strong core text with a multi-authored handbook, providing a comprehensive and accessible overview for students, researchers and users of research. The main text is peppered with expert short case studies, which make the issues come alive, often introducing original and critical reflections. While being realistic about the political limitations on the impact of policy research, it demonstrates repeatedly its value and importance in promoting social justice and welfare." Professor Norman Ginsburg, Department of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University. "This exciting new series will be essential reading for students across a range of subjects and courses who need to gain a comprehensive understanding of welfare issues. It is evidence of the continuing commitment of the Social Policy Association to support the development of learning and teaching in Social Policy and related fields." Pete Alcock, Professor of Social Policy and Administration, University of Birmingham

Table of contents

Contents: Introduction; Chapter One: Research for social policy and practice: Introduction; Social policy and professional practice; Policy research; Research, policy and practice; Evidence and knowledge; Modelling the policy research process; Chapter Two: Formulating research ideas and questions: Introduction; Formulating research ideas; Writing a literature review; Evaluating sources for a literature review; The role of theory in social policy research; Chapter Three: Methodological issues and approaches in social policy research: Introduction; Quantitative and qualitative research; Approaches; Using existing research; Themes; Chapter Four: Quantitative research: Introduction; Fundamentals of quantitative research; Methods for collecting and coding quantitative data; The analysis of quantitative data; Chapter Five: Qualitative research: Fundamentals of qualitative research; Qualitative research methods and sources of qualitative data; The analysis of qualitative data; Chapter Six: Managing social policy research: Introduction; The effective management of policy research; Codes of ethics; Managing particular research methods; Managing policy researchers; Managing safety in policy research; Managing confidentiality in policy research; Managing budgets and budgetary constraints; Managing funders' constraints; Chapter Seven: Disseminating social policy research: Introduction; Dissemination as part of the research process; How to write up policy research; Ten questions to inform dissemination; Making a difference.