Using Documents in Social Research

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SAGE, Jun 16, 2003 - Social Science - 195 pages
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Using Documents in Social Research

offers a comprehensive, yet concise, introduction to the use of documents as tools within social science research. The books argues that documents stand in a dual-relation to human activity, and therefore by transmitting ideas and influencing the course and nature of human activity they are integral to the research process.

Key features of the book include:

  • Alerts students to the diversity of social scientific research documents.
  • Outlines the various strategies and debates that need to be considered in order to integrate the study of documents into a research project.
  • Offers a number of examples where documents have been used within a variety of research contexts.

The book is written in an easy and engaging style which makes it accessible to undergraduates and postgraduate students. It will be essential reading for students and researchers across a range of social science disciplines.


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Producing Facts
Documents in Action l Documents
Documents in Action ll Making things visible
making work visible
Sybil A network of text and action
Referencing death
Documents as Evidence Researching
Production Consumption and Exchange

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About the author (2003)

Lindsay Prior is Professor of Sociology at Queens University, Belfast. He is currently a Principal Investigator for the Health Policy Research stream within the recently opened Northern Ireland Centre of Excellence in Public Health. Since the mid 1980s, his research interests have been split between medical sociology and the sociology of health and illness and the design and use of qualitative research methods - particularly those that involve the use of text and documentation. In past years he has a acted as Principal Investigator for major awards from the Wellcome Trust (Biomedical Ethics Programme), the ESRC (Innovative Health Technologies Programme), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and various NHS R&D Offices. The research work associated with these grants has covered a wide range of health-related topics and interests, including a focus on lay understandings of health and disease, and the application of qualitative research methods to health service research problems.

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