Cover: Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut, from Harvard University PressCover: Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences in PAPERBACK

Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences

Research in an Age of Info-glut

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Product Details


$21.00 • £16.95 • €19.00

ISBN 9780674048218

Publication: April 2010


336 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

2 charts


“You might think that dancing doesn’t have a lot to do with social research, and doing social research is probably why you picked this book up in the first place. But trust me. Salsa dancing is a practice as well as a metaphor for a kind of research that will make your life easier and better.”

Savvy, witty, and sensible, this unique book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science. In this volume, Kristin Luker guides novice researchers in:

  • Knowing the difference between an area of interest and a research topic
  • Defining the relevant parts of a potentially infinite research literature
  • Mastering sampling, operationalization, and generalization
  • Understanding which research methods best answer your questions
  • Beating writer’s block

Most important, she shows how friendships, non-academic interests, and even salsa dancing can make for a better researcher.

“You know about setting the kitchen timer and writing for only an hour, or only 15 minutes if you are feeling particularly anxious. I wrote a fairly large part of this book feeling exactly like that. If I can write an entire book 15 minutes at a time, so can you.”