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Social Research: Issues and Debates

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor Tim May (University of Sheffield) explores several important issues in social research, and the debates which surround them. In the first lecture, we consider key perspectives on epistemology – is it possible for research to uncover objective truths about society, and, if so, how? In the second lecture, we look at the place of theory in research through two contrasting approaches – the hypothetico-deductive model and grounded theory. In the third lecture, we think about the role of values in research, examining Max Weber’s concept of value-free sociology and its critics. Next, we reflect upon ethics and the ways in which constraints of funding, time and resources influence the research process. In the fifth and final lecture, we explore some things to consider when presenting research, and ways in which researchers can make their presentations participatory and engaging.

About the Lecturer

Professor Tim May is Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University. He has a wide range of expertise relating to research methodologies, sociological theory, and the philosophy of social science. His recent publications include Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process (2021, co-authored with Beth Perry), Thinking Sociologically (2019, co-authored with Zygmunt Bauman), Reflexivity: The Essential Guide (2017, co-authored with Beth Perry).