What is Social Research Definition Objectives and Scope

Research is an attempt to know new things, facts and information in a scientific manner. its main purpose is to diffuse knowledge and establish theories based on the believable facts. The method that is followed to carry on research is "scientific method". In general terms, it can be said that 'research' is the aim and the scientific method is the means of attaining it. Research in whatever science it is carried on, follows the same scientific method.

The simple worlds the word Research is the combination of two words Re and Search.  “Re” means again and again and “Search” means to find out, to probe, to discover closely and carefully. Thus, the literature meaning of research is the find out and discover something new (data, facts, information and knowledge) in a new or different way, or again and again. In a simple way, we can also say that research means to search again or to re-examine

Definition of Social Research

Research is a careful study or investigation, especially to discover new facts or information. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Distortionary).

Social Research is a systematic method of exploring, analyzing and conceptualizing social life in order to “extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the construction of a theory or in the practice or an art”.  (Pauline V. Young)

Social research may be defined as a scientific undertaking which by means of logical and systematized techniques aims to (1) discover new facts or verify and test old facts (2) analyze their sequences, interrelationship, and causal explanations (3) develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behavior. (Pauline V. Young)

Sociological research refers to the structural observation of social behavior. (Wallace and Wallace)

Objectives of Social Research

The main objectives of social research are as follows

  • To discover new facts or verify and test old facts
  • To understand the human behavior and its interaction with the environment and the social institutions.
  • To find out the causal connection between human activities and natural laws governing them.
  • To develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories, which would facilitate reliable and valid study of human behavior and social life.

Scope of Social Research

The field of social science research are virtually unlimited and the materials of research endless. Every group of social phenomena, every phase of human life, and every stage of past and present development are materials for the social scientists.

Basic Assumption of Research

Any researchers undertaking a given research assignment, makes certain assumptions, which are considered as “given and do not require any theoretical justification, or empirical evidence.  There assumptions are

  1. The physical world in which we are living, does exist
  2. The world is always changing
  3. The change in one aspect is related positively or negatively with other aspects
  4. The changes could be studied and measured by applying standardized tool and measurement.

The researcher is concerned with the nature, changes and trends of social phenomena, groups and human behavior in order to understand, generalize and analyze all processes, changes and trend of a given class, a representative type of which he has studied in detail. He is interested in these processes, changes and trends with the object of formulating general principles about human behavior and the social world. Furthermore, with the formulation of scientific concept (derived on the basis of his carefully gathered data) the researcher improves upon the theory under test.