Principles and Concepts of Social Research is a text covering the foundations of social science research, outlining the history and core elements of Western social research. The text covers a variety of topics, ranging from the history of scientific beliefs from Ancient Greece to the contemporary world. It outlines the basics of the development of knowledge systems and logic, the definition of science and its processes, the progression of classifying humans, and research ethics, amongst other underlying elements of research.

The book has three aims: (1) to develop the reader’s knowledge and understanding of social research through modes of social scientific enquiry and an evaluation of techniques of the social, cultural, and political context of its practice; (2) to increase readers’ intellectual competence through a critical examination of the social, cultural, and historical characteristics of research traditions; and (3) to improve the competence of social researchers through a critical evaluation of research strategies, the problematization of science and Western social research, the issues posed by social research, and the skills needed to formulate research outputs and engagement.

This book will be of use to core research units and training programs that universities provide at postgraduate level, at doctoral level, and for early career post-doctoral researchers, to develop greater understanding of issues surrounding research. In addition to its theory, the contents of the book will include questions for discussion in seminars and small group work.

chapter 1|14 pages


part Section I|79 pages


chapter 2|23 pages

Historical Principles of Science 1

From Ancient Greece Through to the Enlightenment

chapter 3|21 pages

Historical Principles of Science 2

The Modern History of Western Science

chapter 5|18 pages

From Principles to Practice

part Section II|84 pages