Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, Third Edition, by Keith F Punch

In Introduction to Social Research, Keith F. Punch wants to ‘demystify’ and ‘simplify’ the research process, in an attempt to show that quality research can always be achieved. With its straightforward language, an intuitive structure, and well-defined learning objectives, this book does just that, finds Sophie Lecheler. This third edition features a number of interesting updates, such as chapters on research ethics and conducting […]

Book Review: Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings

Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings’ book maps the life of philosopher Walter Benjamin from beginning to end, tracing the roots of his thought all the way from his early childhood to his seminal work as part of the esteemed ‘Frankfurt School’, and ultimately to his last months in Paris. The biography is very well written, featuring sparse, elegant prose – a lot […]

Book Review: The Passionate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare by Sally Sheard

In this book Sally Sheard looks at the life and achievements of former LSE professor Brian Abel-Smith, and at the development of health and social welfare systems since the 1950s. The Passionate Economist deserves to find its way on to many people’s shelves and reading lists: not just the historians of health and welfare, but anyone interested in questions of social justice and how academics, politicians […]

Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

In this book, Rose Barbour sets out to provide a clear, user-friendly introduction to the craft of doing qualitative research. The author’s writing style and the inclusion of numerous anecdotes from her own research, simultaneously demystify qualitative research whilst reiterating the expertise and skill which researchers must possess, writes Christina Dobson. Christina recommends this book to anyone undertaking qualitative research, postgraduate students in particular. This review originally […]

Book Review: Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, edited by Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry & Rumona Dickson

Writing a systematic review is one of the most challenging aspects of the academic process. With Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson aim to offer a detailed and effective guide to writing a successful systematic review. This takes the book beyond the usual “How to…” literature, and makes it a valuable resource for both […]

Book Review: Browne and Beyond: Modernizing English Higher Education, edited by Claire Callender and Peter Scott

Reflecting the changing ideological and economic perspectives of the government of the day, the expansion of higher education in England has prompted numerous reforms aimed at reshaping and restructuring the sector and its funding. Leading to student riots and sparking … Continue reading

Book Review: The Question of Conscience: Higher Education and Personal Responsibility by David Watson

Does a university education hold any value? How do universities determine what skills are relevant in today’s ever-changing world when information could become outdated even before students graduate? These are some of the questions and problems that David Watson sets out to explore … Continue reading

Book Review: Doing Research in the Real World by David E. Gray

In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and … Continue reading

Book Review: Oral History off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice by Anna Sheftel and Stacey Zembrzycki

Most discussions of oral history method are rooted in abstract ideas about what interviewing should be and should achieve. However, interviews are ultimately personal interactions between human beings, and rarely conform to a methodological ideal. The struggles interviewers face while … Continue reading