Social research refers to extensive, investigative inquiry or a critical examination of a given phenomenon.
Therefore, it implies that it is an exhaustive study, investigation or experimentation following some logical sequence.
It also involves a critical analysis of existing conclusions or theories with regard to newly discovered facts.
Due to the changing world especially technology, therefore it is a continued search for new knowledge and understanding of the world around us.
Mouly (a scholar) defined research as a process of arriving at effective solutions to problems through systematic collection analysis and interpretation of data.
Compound parts of Social research (components)
Any kind of desired end or condition
Also refers to a specific aspect of phenomenon under study that the researcher desires to bring out at the end of the research study e.g. the research study on HIV/AIDS, the objectives of such study would be to know:-
- Know the cause of HIV/AIDS in a place e.g. Kenya
- Steps taken to control the spread of HIV/AIDS
- Social economic effects of HIV/AIDS in a population
Involves locating, reading, evaluation, reports of previous studies observations and opinions related to the planned study
It therefore leads to appreciating and understanding the research that is already done in one’s area of interest.
- Problem statement
It is a specific statement that already conveys the proposal of research study.
The research focuses on the phenomenon that the researcher in a question desires to describe, predict, control or explain.
Some of the researchers express their problem statement in a question form while some express it in a statement form e.g.
- The purpose of the study is to establish increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence rare in spite of the massive education
- What are the social economic effects of HIV/AIDS?
4. Theorerical Framework
Theories are sets of concepts or constructs and the interrelations that are assumed among those aspects.
A theory provides a basis for establishing the hypothesis to e tested in the study.
Theoretical framework is a set of theories used in research of which the researcher should clearly state them to prove its applicability in coming up with the desired conclusions or objectives.
- Conclusion and recommendation
Conclusions are research findings which may either be person or experts views of the phenomenon.
They are objectives, proposals or comments to be acted upon e.g. people should be educated about set up devices of HIV/AIDS Like condoms.
Use of Research in Social work
- Identification of social needs and problems
- Diagnosis of social needs and problems
- Collection of data for planning development projects.
- Impact assessment of social development services.
Purpose of research
Identification of social needs and problems
- Discover a new knowledge
It involves discover of new facts, the correct interpretation and practical applications. This is because research seeks for demonstratable trait; it’s the most accurate system and useful knowledge.
- Describe phenomenon
Accurate identification of an event involves descriptions e.g. size, shape, age, colour.
Description provides knowledge that is basic for the other process of event.
- Enables prediction
This is the ability to estimate phenomenon (A) given phenomenon (B) e.g. the spread of HIV/AIDS now as compared to 10 years time.
We sometimes use a set of variables to predict a given variable.
- Research enables control
In the scientific research control is concerned to the ability to regulate the phenomenon under study, usually one phenomenon is manipulated in order to exert control over another.
- Enable explanation of a phenomenon
Explanation involves accurate observation and measurements of a given phenomenon. For one to explain a phenomenon, he/she should describe it, predict its occurrence and observe factors that cause its occurrence with certainty and accuracy.
- Enable theory and development
Theory development involves formulating concepts, laws and generalization about a given phenomenon.
Research helps to confirm a foliate existing theories and this is what we refer to as a falsification of theory.