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Social Research: Meaning, Nature and Its Utility

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❶Index Journals Outline Wikiversity. Further statistical computations are needed in a study of any complexity.

Elizabeth J. Clark

social worker
Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences

Be sure to provide enough detail to enable the reader can make an informed assessment of the methods being used to obtain results associated with the research problem. The methods section should be presented in the past tense. Results The finding of your study should be written objectively and in a succinct and precise format.

In quantitative studies, it is common to use graphs, tables, charts, and other non-textual elements to help the reader understand the data. Make sure that non-textual elements do not stand in isolation from the text but are being used to supplement the overall description of the results and to help clarify key points being made.

Further information about how to effectively present data using charts and graphs can be found here. Discussion Discussions should be analytic, logical, and comprehensive. The discussion should meld together your findings in relation to those identified in the literature review, and placed within the context of the theoretical framework underpinning the study. The discussion should be presented in the present tense. Conclusion End your study by to summarizing the topic and provide a final comment and assessment of the study.

Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: Competencies for Analysis and Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Bates College; Nenty, H. Basic Inquiry of Quantitative Research. Search this Guide Search. What is Quantitative Research? This guide is for the online class S taught by Jill Chonody. Databases Citations Requesting Materials. Definition Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques.

Characteristics of Quantitative Research Your goal in conducting quantitative research study is to determine the relationship between one thing [an independent variable] and another [a dependent or outcome variable] within a population. The data is usually gathered using structured research instruments. The results are based on larger sample sizes that are representative of the population. The research study can usually be replicated or repeated, given its high reliability.

Researcher has a clearly defined research question to which objective answers are sought. All aspects of the study are carefully designed before data is collected. Data are in the form of numbers and statistics, often arranged in tables, charts, figures, or other non-textual forms.

Project can be used to generalize concepts more widely, predict future results, or investigate causal relationships. Researcher uses tools, such as questionnaires or computer software, to collect numerical data. Explain the data collected and their statistical treatment as well as all relevant results in relation to the research problem you are investigating. Interpretation of results is not appropriate in this section.

Report unanticipated events that occurred during your data collection. Explain how the actual analysis differs from the planned analysis. It also contributes to confusion in the public's understanding about the social work profession. The social policy goals established by the NASW Delegate Assembly serve as the base for social action programs at the federal, state, and local levels.

The legislative agenda changes from year to year in response to emerging issues, but some topics are relatively constant and recurring. The national office includes policy and practice staff, as well as a staff person dedicated to grassroots organizing, and a staff person who manages the Political Action for Candidate Election PACE function.

Many state chapters also have lobbyists on staff or they contract for these services. NASW has the capacity to mobilize its membership across the country and has developed a track record of success on issues of importance to social workers.

NASW is active in electoral politics at both the state and federal levels. Additionally, encouraging social workers to run for elected office is an important focus for NASW. In , NASW initiated the NASW Press, a full-scale publisher that now annually produces five journals in conjunction with Oxford University Press, including the flagship journal Social Work , several reference works, and numerous professional books.

The Encyclopedia of Social Work jointly published with Oxford University Press is available in print and online versions. In the late s, NASW established a national and chapter management information system to allow for better data collection about its membership. While this information was a valuable resource, data about the entire social work workforce was needed, especially for legislative initiatives.

Numerous activities are housed in the Foundation. The Foundation also launched the Social Work Policy Institute SWPI to examine issues that relate to the work of social workers, including how to serve people who have multiple or complex needs and how public agencies and other structures deliver health and human services. Additionally, the Foundation runs the Social Workers Across Nations SWAN program which provides a mechanism for social workers to take part in international social work programs to offer their expertise and skills to serve humanitarian needs within the international community on a voluntary basis and to develop collaborative linkages with organizations in other countries around the world.

The multiyear, multimedia campaign began in and has been developed in partnership with over 60 schools of social work. The goal of the campaign is to promote the social work profession among the general public. The centerpiece of the campaign is http: This important workforce initiative seeks to secure federal and state investments in professional social work to enhance societal well-being.

The full initiative includes 56 NASW Chapter reinvestment plans across the country as well as state and federal legislation that affects professional social workers including the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Social Work Reinvestment Act. Over , letters of support were sent to Congress on behalf of this legislation, and numerous milestones were reached, including the creation of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, a congressionally-approved bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to maintaining and strengthening social work services in the United States.

Certain techniques are especially suited to certain kinds of respondents and information whereas other techniques are virtually inapplicable in such situations. Certain situations and problems require that not one but two or more techniques be used for obtaining the information.

Different forms of the same technique may be used with differing degrees of efficiency and advantage in different situations and settings. The basic distinction in the sampling theory is between the probability sampling design and the non-probability sampling design. While the non-probability sampling design does not afford a basis for making such estimates. It is utilized for reasons of convenience and economy.

The researcher may in certain cases adopt a mode of sampling that combines certain ingredients of the probability and non-probability sampling procedures. In order to ensure that the data are reliable and free from bias, the researcher needs to consider what mode of administering the instruments or tools of data collection would be most desirable in view of the kinds of responses sought and the nature of the objects or persons covered by the study.

The administration of the data generating instruments brings to the fore the need for recording responses or Measurement presents difficulties all its own. Faulty recording of responses, understandably, has serious implications for the ultimate worth of the study. In fact, the recorded responses comprise the data. The researcher proceeds to examine them for completeness, comprehensibility, consistency and reliability. The data collecting phase over, the researcher turns to the task of analysing them.

The process of data-analysis subsumes a number of closely related operations. The overall purpose of data-analysis is to summarize the completed observations in such a manner that they yield answer to the research questions.

Heaps of collected data would not mean anything unless these were organized in manner that conclusions or answers having a bearing on the problem of research can be arrived at. It goes without saying that the concern of analysis of data enters each of the earlier phases of study in a variety of ways. In fact, the analysis-plan of a study is shaped to a considerable extent even before the data are collected.

The broad task of analysing data may be viewed as comprising various specific sub- tasks such as the establishment of analytical categories, the application of these categories to raw data through coding, tabulation and drawing of statistical inferences, etc. A partial obligation relating to the task of analyzing the data requires that the researcher classify the raw data into certain purposeful and usable categories. Classification or categorization facilitates the tabulation operations to be undertaken subsequently.

Coding operation has a reference to the technical procedure by which the data are categorized. Through coding the categories of data are transformed into symbols that may be tabulated and counted.

Editing is a procedure involved in data analysis which is employed to improve the quality of the data for coding. Although in certain cases it is the respondent himself who assigns his response to a particular category e. The researcher has to install safeguards against factors which might operate to make the judgment of the coders unreliable.

With coding, the data are ready for tabulation. Tabulation is a part of the technical procedure involved in the statistical analysis of data. The essential operation involved in tabulation is counting to determine the frequencies or numerical strength of different categories of data. As was just indicated tabulation is just one part of the statistical analysis of data. Further statistical computations are needed in a study of any complexity.

The researcher may need to work out central tendencies, deviations, correlations etc. He may also be required to utilize methods of sampling statistics to safeguard against drawing unjustified inferences.

With this, the stage is now set for restating the initially-stated hypotheses if any were stated explicitly against the generalizations or conclusions drawn on the basis of data with a view to testing their accord with these.

Here retention or discarding of the hypotheses in if any, are formulated is bound to take place. In case an hypothesis fits the findings, the theory or perspective which suggested the hypothesis would be proved. If the hypothesis is disproved, the blow of disproof will pass on to theory which originated the hypothesis.

In some cases, sometimes the blow may not be so severe and the theory may still survive with modification prompted by the research findings. If the researcher had no hypothesis to start with, the generalizations established on the basis of data may be stated as hypotheses to be tested by subsequent researches. If the researcher had not proposed any hypothesis to start with, he might seek to explain his findings on the basis of some theory.

This whole operation is geared to the search for broader meanings of given research findings through seeing linkages between the findings and some existing theory or established knowledge. This is termed as interpretation. The process of interpretation quite often triggers off new questions, prompting in turn further researches.

Although research is a continuous process, as limited to specific problem or issue the researcher has by now nearly reached the end of his journey. But he has an important scientific obligation to fulfill, i. The research exercise is not really complete till such time as the researcher has faithfully reported it. Science is public institution and in the interest of its growth on the right lines, every scientist is duty-bound except in certain situations to make his findings as also the method by which he arrived at these, known to the public.

Reporting the research, to be sure, requires an order of skills somewhat different from those needed in the earlier phases of research. The chief purpose of a report is communication with an audience.

It is expected that the research report will enlighten the readers on the following aspects: The social research often necessitates the services of any persons or categories of person; each person or category of persons is specially trained and skilled in a particular aspect of the research process. For example, a large- scale research programme involves various categories of persons such as investigators, samplers, coders, etc.

He is, so to say, the brain behind the project and articulates the specialized operations to get to the solution of the problem. We have, in describing the major steps, opted for a model of inquiry in which the researcher scientist alone has to perform all those operations but the research process detailed above is equally applicable to inquiries in which many specialized categories of persons are involved as collaborators.

Quite a few fruitful analyses of the process of inquiry have been made and as a result, our understanding of inquiry is now expanded. Those analysing an inquiry from the point of view of science have generally conceived as problem solving process.

Social scientists looking at the process of inquiry as a complex of interactions between individuals and environment have come to view it as a communicative process. Ackoff has offered a model representing the process of inquiry which illustrates both its problem solving and communicative phases. We will do well to remember that these four communicants need not be four distinct individuals, rather they refer to four communicative roles.

All four roles may be performed by a single person. Regardless of the number of people involved, one or hundreds, these roles are present in every inquiry.

The communicative operations involving these four roles may be depicted in a diagrammatic form as under: This formulation of the communication aspects of inquiry also serves a very useful purpose in pointing out the potential sources of research error. It is clear that each of these roles may be a possible source of error. The diagrammatic representation makes it quite clear that the problem solving phases of inquiry are: It is not difficult to see that the communication and the problem solving aspects of research exhibit the very same pattern that was presented in the preceding pages.

This means that new knowledge like the new-born baby, holds great potential of worth and maturity. Also like the new-born child, it gives us pleasure. It gives us satisfaction of knowing the unknown.

This points to a value that the scientist is committed to, i. The obvious function of research is to add new knowledge to its existing store, but its power of cleansing our minds of cliches and removing the rubbish of inapplicable theory are equally notable. Scientific research is a cumulative process.

It is also a rejective process, especially in social sciences … understanding can be advanced not only by gains in knowledge but also by discarding outworn assumptions. A social researcher is interested in the discovery and interpretation of social processes, patterns of behaviour, similarities and dissimilarities that apply to typical social phenomena and social systems, generally.

That is the social researcher is concerned with types and classes of social situation, persons or groups of which the unit he is studying at the time, is a specimen or an instance. His facts are selected and related according to their intrinsic nature and the susceptibility to organization into a logical system. The social scientist assumes that all knowledge is potentially useful in the end.

It must be remembered, however that science and society have a two way relationship. There is a give and take between science and social conditions. Science helps to create social conditions; social conditions recharge the accumulators of science. In concrete developmental parlance the major possibilities of utilizing social science research may be identified as under: The observed and hidden dimensions of the problem thrown up by such studying may be expected to proffer certain measure of foresight to planners to deal with the problem effectively.

These researches conceivably, may help the planner to anticipate the consequences and cost of alternative strategies which may be pressed into operation for achieving the settled goals.

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MEANING OF SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH In a very broad sense, social work research is the application of research methods to solve problems that social workers confront in the practice of social work.4/4(4).

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Social research Meaning and definition Social research now can be defined as the systematic and This research work of professors, scholars and other researchers devoted to generate new knowledge in particular area of their interest can be called fundamental research. Basic.

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Social Work Research: Meaning, Importance and Scope 3 A method is a system of explicit rules and procedures. Thus methodologically an approach to acquire. Essay on the Meaning and Definition of Social Research – Not only in the field of physical science but also in the realm of social sciences are researches taking place. The youngest of the social sciences that is sociology is also doing a lot of research work. “Sociological research is highly.

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Social research is a research conducted by social scientists following a systematic plan. Statistical sociological research, and indeed the formal academic discipline of sociology, began with the work of Émile Durkheim (–). While Durkheim rejected much of the detail of Comte's philosophy. ADVERTISEMENTS: After reading this article you will learn about Social Research: 1. Meaning of Social Research 2. Nature of Social Research 3. Steps 4. Utility 5. Benefits. Meaning of Social Research: ‘Social Research’ is again a broad term having a reference to different kinds of scientific inquiries conducted in the field of social .