Forthcoming Title: Reading Social Science Methods

IOPN is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of Reading Social Science Methods by Ann Reisner. The textbook gives students the tools to critically analyze social science studies in order to live more informed and engaged lives by teaching them judgement rules for three important social science methods – surveys, content analysis and experimental research. Specifically, the book goes through how methods used to study social science questions constrain the usability of the findings developed from social science research. That is, the rules determine how verifiable a specific set of research “facts” are, which then determines how trustworthy those facts are when used to develop individual and public policies. Ann Reisner, Associate Professor Emerita of Media and Cinema Studies, has written and researched extensively about social movements and mass media, and teaches on media effects, environmental communications, and the sociology of the press.

To quote Joyce Alene Vance, “the starting point for public discourse has to be a commonly held set of true facts.” To me, science is a powerful way to establish verifiable facts of what is (for media, content analysis is important here), what is believed (survey), and what causes what (experiment), but only to the degree that people understand the strengths and limitations of how those facts, in the form of research findings, are produced. – Ann Reisner, Associate Professor Emerita of Media and Cinema Studies and Author

Reading Social Science Methods consists of 22 chapters. After the introduction, the first part examines how to evaluate survey research methods in seven chapters. The second part, containing seven chapters, focuses on content analysis, while the third part has eight chapters that explore experimental research. Two chapters in the final section review how to build a summary of facts developed from analysis of research results.

Reading Social Science Methods will be published by IOPN under the Windsor & Downs imprint as part of the OPN Textbook series in September 2023.