We use various methodologies, techniques and tools to draw conclusions, determine facts and discover problems that we can use in the design process.
Social research is a type of scientific research aimed at discovering regularities in social life through systematic observation and drawing conclusions. Social research differs from other empirical research by focusing on the observation and analysis of processes and phenomena occurring in society, rather than on the study of empirical data. Therefore, social research is not measurable. The aim of social research is to observe, describe and explain the regularities accompanying social life or, in the case of changes in these regularities, to explain them.1
What is the nature of social research?
Social researchers, who are looking for regularities in social life, try to interpret people’s collective behavior. Based on their observations and conclusions, they create theories that intend to explain the nature of group life or some community. Therefore, they do not deal with the nature of individual life, because the individual as such is rarely the subject of interest in social sciences.2 Social research is directly related to the interpretation of variables and the relationships between them. Variables, in turn, are logically grouped values. In the case of social research, variables are sets of interrelated values and attributes (properties or characteristics). Social theories are formulated in the language of variables, and people are involved in them only as “carriers” of these variables.3
There are many paths you can take in social studies. These may be exploratory studies, explanatory descriptive studies, or a combination of these types. Planning the research project is crucial because it reflects the subsequent stages of conducting the study. In general, a social research plan is no different from a natural science research plan.4
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What is the research process in social studies?
- Conceptualization – specifying the meaning of concepts and variables used in the study.
- Formulating hypotheses – preparing questions that the study should answer, on the basis of which research hypotheses are developed, which are the assumptions of the presumed relationships.
- Selecting a research method – in this step, you need to define the method of conducting the research. See the research methods and types of research we use.
- Selection of the population and research sample – identifying the units that are the subject of the study and determining the number of study participants.
- Observations – the process of collecting data that will be subject to analysis and interpretation.
- Data processing – organizing and preparing collected data for analysis.
- Data analysis – analyzing the collected data and preparing conclusions.
- Application – preparing a report on the research results and their empirical evaluation.5