Chapter Two: Linking methods with theory

In this chapter, we’ll explore the connections between paradigms, social theories, and social scientific research methods. We’ll also consider how our analytic, paradigmatic, and theoretical perspective might shape or be shaped by our methodological choices. In short, we’ll answer the question of what theory has to do with research methods.

Chapter Outline

  • 2.1 Micro, meso, and macro approaches
  • 2.2 Paradigms, theories, and how they shape a researcher’s approach
  • 2.3 Inductive and deductive reasoning

Content Advisory

This chapter discusses or mentions the following topics: suicide; policing; teen dating violence; laws regulating rape, sodomy, and child sexual abuse; gang communication styles; racism, policing, and lynching; domestic violence and sexual harassment; substance abuse; and child maltreatment, neglect, and family reunification.


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