Knowledge of theory is essential to study, but it often seems quite abstract and distant from the 'real world'. Research methods, on the other hand, are strategies that allow us to gather evidence from the people around us to help explain social phenomena. This book explores these two key areas and shows new sociologists how they can understand, appreciate and use both theory and method. Written with student needs firmly in mind, this new edition begins by exploring the most important theories and debates that are essential to understanding sociology. It then goes on to examine the concepts, techniques and trends in research methods, and explains how these link back to theory. Whilst continuing to cover traditional ideas, debates and methodologies, the book has also been updated to address recent thinking and research techniques. It explains how sociologists have responded to contemporary developments in sociology, including postmodernists' views on science, and introduces contemporary research techniques, such as cyberethnography. Exploring the basics of quantitative and qualitative methods, and explaining how to choose the right method, the book combines practical and theoretical coverage throughout. Part of the Skills-Based Sociology series, Theory and Method continues to encourage an active approach to learning. Each chapter uses a variety of tasks, activities and practice questions that promote critical thinking and develop interpretation, analysis and evaluation skills. It is an invaluable guide for those learning about theory and research for the first time.