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Survey Research in the Social Sciences

Survey Research in the Social Sciences

Edited by Charles Y. Glock
John W. Bennett
Charles Y. Glock
Daniel Katz
Fred Massarik
Herbert McClosky
James N. Morgan
Edward A. Suchman
Gustav Thaiss
Martin Trow
Copyright Date: 1967
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 568
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  • Book Info
    Survey Research in the Social Sciences
    Book Description:

    Survey research was for a long time thought of primarily as a sociological tool. It is relatively recently that this research method has been adopted by other social sciences and related professional disciplines. The amount and quality of its use, however, vary considerably from field to field. This volume describes the elementary logic of survey design and analysis and provides, for each discipline, an evaluation of how survey research has been used and conceivably may be used to deal with the central problems of each field.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-841-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xxii)

    Significant breakthroughs in methods of scientific inquiry are remarkably rare. And, when they do arise, they seldom emerge full flower. It takes years, often decades, and sometimes centuries for the full implications of an innovating idea to be understood and more time still for understanding to become commonly shared in the relevant scientific community. Contributions are overlooked at the time of their introduction, only to be rediscovered many years later. Innovations lie fallow because they threaten established ways of doing things, or are resisted because they contradict a “sacred” societal belief. The work of one man is unknown to the...

  4. Survey Design and Analysis in Sociology
    (pp. 1-62)
    Charles Y. Glock

    As this volume attests, survey research has now become a major tool of empirical research in all of the social sciences. No discipline can claim credit for this. Contributions to the development of survey methods have come from many quarters. Yet, defining sociology broadly, there is no other discipline that has adopted survey methods as enthusiastically or used them as extensively. As a result, it is possible to exemplify from sociological applications of survey methods almost the full range of variations in the ways that surveys have been designed and that survey data have been analyzed. Beginning the book with...

  5. Survey Research in Political Science
    (pp. 63-144)
    Herbert McClosky

    The application of survey methods to the study of politics is approximately as old as the study of political behavior. Although they refer to different things—one is a technique for gathering data while the other is an intellectual orientation toward a field of study—the progress of the one has promoted the advancement of the other. Within two decades the survey method has become the most important research procedure in the “behavioral” study of politics, and is being increasingly adopted by “non-behaviorists” as well.

    The growing reliance upon survey analysis in political science is one aspect of a pervasive...

  6. The Practice and Potential of Survey Methods in Psychological Research
    (pp. 145-216)
    Daniel Katz

    Psychology, as the basic discipline which integrates knowledge of man as a biological organism and as a social agent, enjoys tremendous advantages from this central position. It also suffers from its failures to integrate the two logics of research and the two theoretical approaches of the biological laboratory and the social world. Methods are often used inappropriately and the mixture of theoretical concepts is a continuing source of confusion.

    The one logic of research stems from the laboratory. In laboratory experimentation the controls come from the exclusion of some variables, the holding constant of others, and the measurable manipulation of...

  7. Contributions of Survey Research to Economics
    (pp. 217-268)
    James N. Morgan

    The first and simplest contribution of surveys to economics is in estimating economic magnitudes which for some reason cannot be estimated from the available records. Estimates of the overall proportions of income spent by the average workingman’s family on various things are essential if one is to assign weights to the different prices in a cost of living index, yet they cannot be estimated from aggregate consumption figures. The proportion of families with life insurance cannot be estimated from the known number of policies outstanding since some families have many policies. The current incomes of the insured cannot be known...

  8. Survey Research and Sociocultural Anthropology
    (pp. 269-314)
    John W. Bennett and Gustav Thaiss

    This contribution is an essay on the applicability of survey research methods to various anthropological research modalities¹ and includes a review of current anthropological studies in which survey techniques have been used. We exclude from discussion the fields of archeology and physical anthropology, although it must be noted that the basic technique of survey research—the collection of comparable “bits” of information from a sample of a defined universe—has been utilized in these fields for a long time. However, the human populations investigated by archeologists and physical anthropologists are typically defined not in terms of their observable behavior but...

  9. Survey Research and Education
    (pp. 315-376)
    Martin Trow

    Formal education in the United States comprises an immense network of institutions ranging all the way from nursery schools to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, from the one-room schoolhouse to great universities. Yet this huge institutional complex, so important throughout the history of this country and of paramount importance in an increasingly complex society, has been the object of extraordinarily little systematic study by American sociologists.¹

    The relative neglect of education by sociologists (as compared, say, with their attention to political, economic, familial, and even religious institutions) may be ascribed to a number of factors. First, American sociology...

  10. The Survey Method in Social Work: Past, Present, and Potential
    (pp. 377-422)
    Fred Massarik

    This chapter examines the role the survey plays in research in social work—its historical background, current use, and especially its promise for the future. The task is complicated by the fact that rigid boundaries cannot, and should not be drawn around fields of practice or inquiry. Where “social work” leaves off and where other disciplines begin is a matter of some conjecture, although the baselines of social work can be drawn with a measure of success.

    As a working guide, it is convenient to distinguish “social work” from “social welfare.” The former may be regarded as a discipline of...

  11. The Survey Method Applied to Public Health and Medicine
    (pp. 423-520)
    Edward A. Suchman

    Disease is a phenomenon which distributes itself unequally throughout a population. To some extent, chance alone will be the major factor determining both who will be stricken and who will survive. But many more purposive forces enter the picture to increase or decrease the probability of one’s becoming ill and dying. Degree and type of exposure, the organism’s ability to resist, the virulence of the disease-causing agent, the availability and use of preventive measures, the quality of medical care, and other factors combine to produce this differential occurrence of and reaction to disease—and it is the study of these...

  12. Name Index
    (pp. 521-532)
  13. Subject Index
    (pp. 533-543)