Social research is a scientific study of a human’s social life and behavior; helping discover new facts and insights and developing new tools and theories to solve various social misconceptions.
Social Research is one of the most important processes for understanding and analysing a humans social life and environment, helping find explanations to various social phenomena, clarify misconceptions and developing new scientific tools and theories; ultimately leading to better social predictability.
While the research is based upon logic and empirical evidence, the main objectives involve gathering new data and verifying old ones, creating new theories, discovering the general patterns and relationships which help enhance and verify the knowledge about human behaviour and social life. The social researches also help in discovering new facts, create or validate theories, study causes of social problems and its impact on society leading to a systematic generation of knowledge base for future planning.
The social scientists employ various methods ranging from in-depth analysis, observations, open-ended interviews or census surveys for finding the social patters in a social group, depending on what they intend to investigate. However, the social research methodologies are divided into two parts – Qualitative and Quantitative Research. Qualitative social research emphasized on understanding a social phenomenon with a deeper emphasis on descriptions of human behaviour and their thought process. The methods usually employed are participant observations and in-depth interviews. Quantitative social research on the other hand, relies on statistical analysis and quantifiable evidence to create valid assertions.
In spite of these methodologies, compared to science, social research cannot be entirely objective and might produce false result, as it is widely dependent on a researcher’s ability, attitude and perspective. They can be easily influenced by personal prejudices (or bias), ethical choices (due to sponsorship issues or relation with the source data or research subject), value judgment (as each person has different values) and the complexity of social phenomena.
With so much diversity and complexity of our society, there is an endless possibility, especially of qualitative research of different social groups in the field of social research.