The proposed book will assemble a selection of essays that quantify the theories of Pierre Bourdieu. Our purpose is simply to provide a collection of academic pieces that demonstrate how quantitative methodological procedures are used to test the validity of existing social theory, focusing on the prominent sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu. We have chosen Bourdieu due to his international popularity in the sociology discipline, and the extensive range of his theoretical contributions.
Demonstrating the importance of quantifying, or testing, theory is frequently overlooked in university courses. Too often the sole focus is either an exploration social theory or a routine of performing quantitative methodological procedures. Students seldom receive exposure to practical applications that clearly illustrate the use of the latter to test the former. The unfortunate consequence is that students often fail to grasp the vital relationship between theory and methods, which is the basis of future sociological research.
The majority of single author sociological methods books exist in the form of undergraduate texts. Because sociologists are versed in the basics of quantitative and qualitative methodology, solo academics can reasonably author introductory texts that glean the necessary basics of both quantitative and qualitative methods. However, the same is not true of providing adequate intermediate and advanced level methodological instruction.
There is a considerable market for edited volumes of qualitative methodology. The practical benefit of such collections—both for instructors and students—is a selection of diverse topics in which researchers devote considerable attention to specific qualitative procedures. In short, an assortment of contributors can better provide intensive applications of different qualitative procedures that address unique research questions, and in a variety of settings. The end product typically incorporates a useful breadth of sociological topics, but with the requisite methodological depth (i.e. attention to procedure and depth of analysis) that is otherwise difficult for any single author to accomplish. To date, edited volumes of qualitative research are abundant, while similar quantitative compilations are rare.
Karen Robson is an assistant professor of Sociology at York University, as well as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Geary Institute at University College Dublin (Ireland) and an Associate at the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning at the Institute of Education in London (UK). She has recently co-authored a research methods text book with Lawrence Neuman entitled Basics of Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. In addition to teaching methods at the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as specialized courses in the statistical software package Stata, she has also published articles in peer reviewed journals, including European Sociological Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Research on Social Stratification and Mobility, and Public Health.
Chris Sanders is a doctoral candidate in the department of Sociology at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His research interests include the sociology of health and illness, uses of digital technology, and the Internet as a methodological research tool. He teaches research methods at the undergraduate level. Recently, he has presented research papers at academic conferences and currently has single and co-authored articles under peer review for the journals AIDS Care and Culture, Health & Sexuality.