Rural Land Tenure in the United States: A Socio-Economic Approach to Problems, Programs, and Trends

By Alvin L. Bertrand; Floyd L. Corty et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
Methods and Techniques
for Tenure Research

" Problems are solved not through vague generalities, or picturesque descriptions of the relations between man and the world, but through technical work."— Hans Reichenbach, The Rise of Philosophy.

" It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

BRILLIANT INSIGHT IS sometimes credited with the solution of a problem but, more often than not, the success of a research undertaking depends on painstaking attention to the details of methodology. Research on the problems of land tenure is no exception. As this book approaches the subject of land tenure from the viewpoint of economics and sociology, it is useful to examine the concern for research methods which is common to both these disciplines of social science.

Successful research is constantly introspective. So this chapter begins self-consciously with some concepts of what research is. These concepts are followed by a description of how research is done and what research results show.

The research methods in this chapter are not unique to tenure; they are applicable to all fields of study. However, when possible, the examples in the text are directed more specifically toward illustrations in tenure.

The objective of this chapter is to give the beginning researcher guides to evaluation of research literature that he will encounter in tenure and other social sciences and an overview of scientific method that may be helpful to him in thinking through his own research problem.

A theory of inquiry is the way in which questions are asked and

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