March 23, 2023

Social Science Research – Theory & Principles

•Social Science Research: Theory & Principles
Research Methods – Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches


  • Social Science Research, Theory & Principles


  • Abel G. Mugenda (PhD)

Overview of book

This 350 paged book goes beyond mere description of methods and techniques to include the theoretical and philosophical foundations of the research process. The book introduces readers to the reasons why specific principles and methods are appropriate in particular situations.

Target Readers

The book’s main purpose is to awaken and encourage students, scholars and practitioners to think critically about the implications of using different methods to conduct research in Africa.


  • Chapter 1 introduces the reader to the role of social science research in human development in Africa. In this chapter, the continent’s socio-historical background is critically examined to provide the context in which research is conducted in Africa.
  • Chapter 2 investigates the sources and nature of knowledge and the role of theories in binding isolated research findings into logical explanatory frameworks.
  • Chapter 3 looks at the philosophical assumptions related to the common paradigms in research while Chapter 4 deals with the history of research. Chapter 5 attempts to classify research by type, purpose and the methods used. Conceptual frameworks and problem statements are discussed in Chapters 6 and 7 respectively.
  • Chapters 8, 9 and 10 present the theory of assumptions and objectives, the theory of hypotheses testing and the  sampling  theory, in that order. The role, sources and strategies of conducting literature searches are explored in Chapter 11. This chapter also includes a discussion on the theory and history of bibliography.
  • Chapter 12 introduces the reader to Test Theory and the development of research tools. The quality or trustworthiness of research findings is discussed in Chapter 13 under reliability and validity of data. Proposal development and ethical and legal issues in research are presented in Chapters 14  and  15  respectively.  Finally, challenges of conducting research in Africa are discussed in Chapter 16.

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