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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What is Research

We must first understand what research is ?

Social research are carried out for various reasons

-The flora and fauna we have needs to be improved and maintained.

-The social world we are born need to be qualified and enhanced, so we need information.

-The more information we have, the closer we get of making our social life.

-There are people from all walks of life that contribute to gathered or research information.

-These are ordinary people and extraordinary people.

-They include, teachers, students, scientists, professors, scholars, business owners, librarians, book keepers, writers, politicians and many more unknown out there.

-These are everyday citizens we interact with.

They all contributors to research.

-They all help with the flow information that people use for self help.

-Most people make action without gathered or research informations to back them up.

-The problem is most people aren't patient enough to put in the effort.

-The question is how much information is enough?

-How much information can you afford?

-Information obesity can be research problem.

-Research plus action will most likely guarantee a successful research.

-But be careful though, becasue too much research without action on what you are learning is not good either.

-Research requires time, effort, and sometimes money to have the evidence you need to make a sound theory that's why many avoid research.

-Research is important to your success as you take on life's challenges and new avenues of social life.


-It is another word for gathering of information.

-Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information

-Research is the result of advancing knowledge created in the past.

-It is an investigation of finding solutions to and social problems through objective, subjective and systematic analysis.

-It is a search for knowledge, that is, a discovery of hidden truths.

-Here knowledge means information about social world.

-The information might be collected from different sources like experience, human beings, books, journals, nature, etc.

-A research can lead to new contributions to the existing knowledge.

-Only through research it is possible to make progress in a field.

-Research is done with the help of study, experiment, observation, analysis, comparison and reasoning.

Research is in fact ubiquitous.

-For example, we know that cigarette smoking is injurious to health but we need to learn why political class is not legislating against tobacco use-heroine is addictive but why the political system is not able to prevent its production,transport and use

-cow dung is a useful source of biogas but it is also a source of violence in India

-Why the parliamentarians not legislating the 33 per cent reservation to women in parliament

How did we know all these? We became aware of all these information only through research. More precisely, it seeks predictions of events and explanations, relationships and theories for them.

How research is Defined

Word research is derived from French Researcher meaning to search or seek again.

It means intensive search to becoming certain.

An endeavour to discover facts by scientific study of a subject,case or course

The systematic process of collecting and analyzing information

Research is a process of investigation

An examination of a subject from different points of view

Research is a hunt for the truth

It is composed of two words-re and search

A critical and exhaustive investigation of experimentation having as its aim the revision of accepted conclusions in the light of new discovered facts-the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences.

A systematic enquiry seeking facts through objective verification methods inorder to discover the relationship among them and to reduce from them broad principles or laws-M H Gopal.

Research is a careful inquiry or examination seeking facts or principles, a diligent investigation to ascertain something-Clifford Woody.

Research is sufficiently objective and systematic to make possible classification,generalization and verification of data observed-Lundberg.



· Increasing our understanding of how and why we behave the way we do!!

Research is A THEORY-

Organizes information

Helps explain past events

Predicts new events


Past research guides new research

Research is NOT copying the work of others


Repeatability is a sign of credible science

Replication guides future research


Research should apply to situations outside of the study setting


It is based on some logical rationale

It is tied to theory


· Research generates new questions

  • Research is incremental


Research should have the betterment of society as its ultimate goal

C C Crawford of University of Southern California identifies characteristics of research

It centres round a problem

Involves original work

It rests up on an attitude of curiosity

It requires an open mind

Rests upon assumption that everything is subject to law and order

Its object is to find laws and generalization

It’s a study of cause and effect

Its based on measurement

Involves conscious techniques

Importance of research

-understanding the social phenomenon and to communicate others.

-induces to action-poverty eradication,displacement and rehabilitation,human rights protection,legal and institutional reforms,strengthening democratic process etc.,

-to solve a particular existing problem-caste,racial discrimination,apartheid,

-to understand how social factors impact the way we live-gender influencing political justice,caste affecting dalit justice,

-The research you do and evidence you gathered will have impact on future-history of world is history of class struggle,authoritarian order like Fascism,Nazism,Tyranny,Despotism etc will not survive the test of time,Pakistan didn’t learn from history despite seen many military dictators

-Research is very vital to our everyday decision making-

-it arms you from wrong informations and save time and money.

-Research is important both in scientific and nonscientific social world-be it economical,political,sociological,anthropological etc

-In our life, new problems, events, phenomena and processes occur every day.

-Practically implementable solutions and suggestions are required for tackling new problems that arise.

-Social Scientists have to undertake research on them and find their causes, solutions, explanations and applications.

-Precisely, research assists us to understand social world phenomena.

Some important avenues for research are:

(1) A research problem refers to a difficulty which a researcher or a social science community or an industry or a government organization or a society experiences.

It may be a theoretical or a practical situation.It calls for a thorough understanding and possible solution.

(2) Research on existing theories and concepts help us identify the range and applications of them.

(3) It is the fountain of knowledge and provides guidelines for solving problems.

(4) Research provides basis for many government policies.

For example, research on the needs and desires of the people and on the availability of revenues to meet the needs helps a government to prepare a budget.

(5) It is important in social life for higher learning and to improve the quality of life.

(6) It leads to the identification and characterization of social trends, new life styles, etc.

(7)Only through research can social world be made and understood

(8) Social research helps find answers to social problems. They explain social phenomena and seek solution to social problems.

(9) Research leads to a new style of life and makes it delightful and glorious .

-Guide to social planning and social engineering

-greater and first hand information through research offers prominenet control over social phenomenon

-research is enlightenment and oofers a solution to our superstitiuons and irrational world views

-social welfare

-charged with considerable basis for prediction

What are the Objectives of Research?

The prime objectives of research are

(1) to discover new facts-

(2) to verify and test important facts

(3) to analyse an event or process or phenomenon to identify the cause and effect relationship

(4) to develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories to solve and understand scientific and nonscientific social problems

(5) to find solutions to scientific, nonscientific and social problems and

(6) to overcome or solve the problems occurring in our every day life.

Why People Research

Curiousity is a crucial part of the human condition and social life.

There is infinite conflict and tensions in the socio-political interaction of people

Many people want to know more about something that interests them.

Do anthropologists use government information?

How many advanced societies have solved unemployment and poverty ?

Where did violence and conflict come from?

Are men more in the public spaces than women?

What does youth think about society and politics and of future?.

There is an excitement in the discovery of new information and knowing more about some topic than anyone else.

There is joy in sharing newly gathered and previously unavailable information.

Why people rise against governments in Middle East area,

Why people like Anna Hazare protest and plead for Lokpal

Why Narmada Movement takes place in India?

The social life is too much under trouble

We need solution to most of these problems we face

Research is so unavoidable.

Social science research or soft science studies the human aspects of the world.

It includes an in-depth study and evaluation of human behavior by using scientific methods in either quantitative or qualitative manner.

The subject matter of the soft science can be subjective or objective.

In contrast to hard science or natural science, social science reveals subjective, objective, inter-subjective and structural aspects of the society.

In simple words, it measures the social developments of the society and finds the emerging drawbacks too.

The work of social science is to watch where the society has been heading and what more can be done to benefit the entire race.

If we dig out the historical evidences, we will find that social science has been a constant part of the development of the human race.

It is interesting to know that great philosophers like Plato and Aristotle were advocates of social science and their philosophies are based on the objectives of social sciences only.
So, social science is very much present into our day-to-day life and has a pivotal role in the societal growth and development.

This is a fundamentally important question. No person would like to do research unless there are some motivating factors.

Some of the motivations are the following:

(1) to get a research degree (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)) along with its benefits like better employment, promotion, increment in salary, etc.

(2) to get a research degree and then to get a teaching position in a college or university or become a scientist in a research institution

(3) to get a research position in countries like U.S.A.,Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc. and settle there

(4) to solve the unsolved and challenging problems

(5) to get joy of doing some creative work

(6) to acquire respectability

(7) to get recognition

(8) curiosity to find out the unknown facts of an event

(9) curiosity to find new things

(10) to serve the society by solving social problems.

Some students undertake research without any aim possibly because of not being able to think of anything else to do. Such students can also become good researchers by motivating themselves toward a respectable goal.

Teaching oints prepared by Biju P R,Assitant Professor,Dept.of Political Science,GBC,Tly.

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