A Matter of Record : Documentary Sources in Social Research
This book begins with an overview of the nature of social research and the variety of methods which can be used. Scott identifies the various types of evidence useful in such research, and argues that a similar logic is found in each. The specific methodological features of documentary research are introduced through an appraisal grid for the analysis of documentary evidence.
- Paperback | 200 pages
- 157 x 228 x 15mm | 376g
- 15 Jan 1991
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Back cover copy
This important and original new textbook gives an introduction to the use of documentary sources in social research. It will be an excellent companion to courses in research methods in the social sciences and history and a reference text for those beginning research on documentary sources. The book begins with an overview of the nature of social research and the variety of methods which can be used. Scott identifies three types of evidence useful in such research - physical evidence, personal evidence and documentary evidence. He argues that the logic of research is common to each type of evidence, but that each involves specific methodological issues. An appraisal grid for the analysis of documents is presented, showing the criteria which must be used in evaluating documentary sources. In the following chapters these criteria are applied to the variety of documentary sources available to the social researcher: census data and official statistics; government publications; directories and yearbooks; personal diaries; letters, etc. Examples from actual research are given throughout. `A Matter of Record' is a comprehensive and practical guide to methods in social research. Its publication will be welcomed by teachers and students in a wide range of subjects.
Table of contents
1. Social Research and Documentary Sources 2. Assessing Documentary Sources 3. The Use of Documents in Social Research 4. The Official Realm: Public and Private 5. Administrative Routines and Situated Decisions 6. Explorations in Official Documents 7. The Public Sphere and Mass Communications 8. Personal Documents undergraduates and academics in sociology, history, geography, humanities; some general readership among amateurs in family history and local history
About John C. Scott
John Scott is a reader in sociology at the University of Leicester, where he has taught since 1976. He is the author of 'Directors of Industrya (1984) and 'Corporations, Classes and Capitalisma (1979)