The aim of this paper is to present basic concepts in the research methodology of social sciences. First, the established, traditional, naturalistic view and the more recent, interpretive, humanitarian view of social research will be presented, whereas the basic assumptions of the naturalistic and humanitarian/interpretive "example" will be pointed out. A distinction will be made between qualitative and quantitative research, and research design issues will be commented on. Furthermore, the main stages of qualitative and quantitative research and some common data collection tools will be analyzed. Any issues of access to the field will be reviewed, along with issues of validity and reliability, whereas the ethical aspects of a research will be examined. In conclusion, there will be a brief reference to quality data analysis software and, in particular, to N-Vivo and ATLAS.ti.
Full text: Introductory concepts in social science research methodology 900 KB