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Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation


Congratulations to Daniel F. Chambliss, winner of the ASA Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Prize for 2018.

The new Sixth Edition of Making Sense of the Social World continues to be an unusually accessible and student-friendly introduction to the variety of social research methods, guiding undergraduate readers to understand research in their roles as consumers and novice producers of social science. Known for its concise, casual, and clear writing, its balanced treatment of quantitative and qualitative approaches, and its integrated approach to the fundamentals, the text has much to offer both novice researchers and more advanced students alike. The authors use a wide variety of examples from formal studies and everyday experiences to illustrate important principles and techniques.

New to this Edition

  • Failure (and success) of pre-election polls in the 2016 Presidential election 
  • The use and abuse of data from social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • When does research on underprivileged populations become cultural appropriation? (based on the controversy over Alice Goffman’s ethnographic studies in Philadelphia)
  • The debate over inclusion of U.S. citizenship questions on the 2020 Census
  • The growth of new video techniques by researchers, and dramatically expanded use of web-based surveys (both by professionals and by students)
  • Addition of material on methods widely used by student researchers, such as content analysis and "grounded theory" ethnography 
  • New vignettes on Research That Matters, Research in the News, and Careers and Research, to enhance the relevance of the book to undergraduates
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