Home > Tricks of the trade: how to think about your research while you're doing it.

Becker, Howard S (1998) Tricks of the trade: how to think about your research while you're doing it. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a researcher and teacher, Howard Becker now brings to students and researchers the many valuable techniques he has learned. Tricks of the Trade will help students learn how to think about research projects. Assisted by Becker's sage advice, students can make better sense of their research and simultaneously generate fresh ideas on where to look next for new data. The tricks cover four broad areas of social science: the creation of the "imagery" to guide research; methods of "sampling" to generate maximum variety in the data; the development of "concepts" to organize findings; and the use of "logical" methods to explore systematically the implications of what is found. Becker's advice ranges from simple tricks such as changing an interview question from "Why?" to "How?" (as a way of getting people to talk without asking for a justification) to more technical tricks such as how to manipulate truth tables.

Becker has extracted these tricks from a variety of fields such as art history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy; and his dazzling variety of references ranges from James Agee to Ludwig Wittgenstein. Becker finds the common principles that lie behind good social science work, principles that apply to both quantitative and qualitative research. He offers practical advice, ideas students can apply to their data with the confidence that they will return with something they hadn't thought of before.


Item Type
Book
Publication Type
International, Book
Date
1998
Call No
RF2.2
Pages
xi, 33
Publisher
University of Chicago Press
Place of Publication
Chicago
ISBN
0 226 04124 7
Keywords
research, qualitative research method
Notes
includes index, bibliographical references
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB 2012 (Available)

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