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Types of Social Research

Research is anything which is done by the people to know about something in a detailed manner. Research can be done in any field and is carried out by experts by thorough investigation and studies of the topic. “Sociological research is highly interesting and exciting. Research in sociology is really a kind of systematic detective work.

It faces innumerable puzzles and suspicions, withstands disappointments and discouragements, challenges blind faith and hearsays and finally becomes successful in unraveling the mystery that clouds the truth.”

Social research is a growing field and this is carried out by the social scientists of the economy. Under social research scientists carry out research on two basis (Luann Barnes 2005). The basis on which the research is carried out by the scientists under social research is-

  • Qualitative techniques
  • Quantitative techniques

Under quantitative techniques, the data collective is done on the basis of numbers and the statistical data surveyed and found out. It is wholly based on the data which is found in the number form or which can be expressed in quantitative terms. Under the qualitative measures of the data, the data which is collected is based on the psychology of the people and their interests which cannot be expressed in the numerical form. The qualitative data is generally based on the quality and cannot be determined or converted in the quantitative data (Rapaport 2000).

The scientists doing research use various methods and techniques while conducting the social research. To prove the authenticity of the data and to see whether the data is easily transmitted and comprehended by the people, various coding tools and encrypted methods are also used by the scientists while forming the reports of the research (Myers 2009). The scientists use a number of different methods like sampling, census, survey, programming, etc. to express the data on which they have researched.

There are certain written and stated statements which clearly show why research should be carried out in a good way. The reason for the social research to take place is to it shows the difference between what people believe and what is shown (Snow 2000). It keeps the reality in check and helps the people know the truth. But research in science and social ways are a long and tiring job and wants a lot of survey and it is a common practice that the things research turned out to be fraud in these areas (Festinger 2009).

The various types of methods under the social research can be bifurcated under 3 categories, namely the qualitative techniques, the quantitative techniques and then the mixed techniques.

Statistical or the quantitative techniques

  • Cluster analysis
  • Correlation and association
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Regression analysis
  • Social network analysis
  • Social sequence analysis
  • Surveysand questionnaire
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Survey research
  • Quantitative marketing research 
  • Analytic induction
  • Case study
  • Ethnography
  • Life history
  • Morphological analysis
  • Most significant change technique
  • Participant observation
  • Textual analysis
  • Unstructured interview
  • Archival research
  • Content analysis
  • Longitudinal study
  • Focus group
  • Historical method
  • Semi-structured interview
  • Structured interview
  • Triangulation (social science) 

There are many social research institutes all over the world which operate. These institutes facilitate research on social science and help to take the study further. Some of these institutes are- Institute of Social Research (Germany), New School for Social Research (New York), TARKI Social Research Institute, Budapest (Hungary), etc (Yin 2008).

Social research is done keeping in mind the various objectives of the economy. The research hence done for the society can be termed as social research as it helps in facilitating and coming to terms with the things going across the economy. Hence, the various objectives kept in mind while carrying out a social research by the scientists’ are-

  • It helps in manipulation of the data, the symbols used and other things by the scientists which help in easy check and study by them and hence deriving various conclusions.
  • The major aim is generalization. The generalizing of the things help in deriving a common like or dislike or a pattern and to know such things the manipulation of data and symbols is done to derive the proper conclusion and generalize a particular thing.
  • Social research also helps in verifying the old facts on which the laws had been made and the policies had been formed. It helps in knowing whether the old facts, on which the decisions have been made for the present and future, hold any truth or no(Vaus 2001).
  • It also helps in increased knowledge about something. The research done helps in acquiring new facts and helps in increasing the knowledge. This acquired knowledge helps in bridging the gap between the observations and the decisions to be taken for the society.
  • Also helps in acquiring knowledge and bifurcating them on basis that which can be used for theoretical knowledge and which one can be used for the practical knowledge.

Objectives of Social Research

Social science has a lot of scope in the emerging economies of the world and also takes a major chunk of place in the already developed economies (Cargan 2007). The scope of social research is wide and it helps in coming to various conclusions and forming many notions and helps in facilitating a lot of things. Certain points to show the extent and scope of social research are-

  • To know about the demographic changes, the methods and statistical tools to facilitate research in each particular area.
  • Social science’s one of the branch is developmental study. Hence, development study, to plan the economy in a better way, and know about the human geography is one of the objectives to facilitate social research.
  • Social research also facilitates economic, management and business study and to know about the logistics, accounts, laws, etc. involved in the commerce area.
  • Helps in knowing about the political and social history and also helps in helps in forming social, political and legal relations.
  • Helps in knowing about the psychology and sociology of the people of each area and it facilitates technological study and forming legal and social laws(Shepphard 2004).

Social Research helps in knowing the various solutions for the problems and also helps in deriving and coming to the conclusions for these problems. There are hence two objectives, the utilitarian and the academic objectives. The remedies for the problems prevailing in the economy are also derived at while conducting social research at various places by the scientists all over the world in different economies. 

The theory attached to facilitate social research is the theory in which systematic and detailed explanation for the things observed that are related to the people of the area are studied and then derived. The theory cannot be taken as a fact but a process which is carried out differently at each pace by different scientists, the theory can be challenged and adapted and molded by the scientists according to their will and hence because of the flexibility where at one place this helps in deducing correct things on the other hand it leads to various frauds which raise a number of questions (Sieber 2012).

The social research conducted can be both positive and negative. That means it can prove to be a success story or turn out to be a fraud. To make the social research success and see that the correct decisions are arrived at and that the research conducted is correct it is necessary to conduct research in the early stages only. The areas where social science has gained success are the areas where the proper research after dicing the whole of the area is done and the studies were conducted in the early and beginning phases of the starting of the problems. Some of the areas where the social research has gained success are while determining the poverty in various places all over the world. The research which shows the number of people (children and adults) who are dealing with poverty is a successful study. Social research has also helps in knowing the level of employment, the lack of education prevalent, and also to know the low level of income generation at some places.

The issues which arise while conducting the social research lead to frauds and also leading to the failure of the whole research conducted. Some of the arrears and the issues which emerge are the following. The inaccurate observations done which do not comply with the data, the flawed time series taken while conducting the research (which proves to be of no use while conducting the study and deriving the research later on), the observations done are biased and are selective and done with the ease, the illogical reasoning and comprehending the data wrongly, etc. are some of the major problems because of which the research done leads to errors and hence deriving the wrong conclusions. The major failures projects which have proved to be a failure are- the Reproducibility Project, launched in 2011, has led to crisis of identity in psychology. The Replication study showed bad copy problems, the Reproducibility Project showed issues related to psychology and the use of easy methods led to wrong indication and results.


Hence, social science is a growing field and the scientists from all over the world are looking forward to use it to make the economies better and to increase the efficiency of the economy by increasing the data collected about the world and zeroing in the areas of concern and the areas where the problems arise in the economy.

Cargan, L 2007, Doing Social Research, McGraw Hill, London.

Festinger, L,RH,&SS 2009, When prophecy fails, Pinter & Martin Ltd, GBR., New York.

Luann Barnes, JHLHAJHPTRKRGHYAMP 2005, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research., viewed 14 July 2017, <>.

Myers, MD 2009, Qualitative Research in Business & Management, Sage Publications, New York.

Rapaport, K,BBR 2000, 'Personality and attitudinal characteristics of sexually coercive college males ', Journal of Abnormal Psychology, vol 93 (2), pp. pp. 216-221.

Shepphard, M 2004, Appraising and Using Social Research in the Human Services, Sage Publications, London.

Sieber, J 2012, The Ethics of Social Research: Surveys and Experiments - Page 141, London.

Snow, D,&AL 2000, Down on their luck, University of California Press, USA.

Vaus, D 2001, Research Design in Social Research, New York.

Yin, RK 2008, Case Study Research, , Sage Publication, USA.

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