Critical realism, as a toolkit of practical ideas, helps researchers to extend and clarify their analyses. It resolves problems arising from splits between different research approaches, builds on the strengths of different methods and overcomes their individual limitations.
This original text draws on international examples of health and illness research across the life course, from small studies to large trials, to show how versatile critical realism can be in validating research and connecting it to policy and practice.
To meet growing demand from students and researchers, this book is based on the course at University College London, first taught by Roy Bhaskar, the founder of critical realism.
"No doubt, students, researchers and others interested in critical realism and health will certainly find the insightful interesting discussion of this difficult yet important topic very useful." Ebenezer Durojaye, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
"This is such an exciting offering for those, like me, who find critical realism intuitively and practically appealing, but also partly opaque and difficult. I look forward to using this book in my research and with my students." Tom Shakespeare, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
“This engaging handbook powerfully demonstrates the value of critical realism for health and illness research. Essential reading for social theorists exploring the applicability of critical realism or health and illness researchers searching for a better theoretical foundation.” Douglas Porpora, Drexel University
Priscilla Alderson is Professor Emerita of Childhood Studies in the Social Research Institute, University College London.
Rethinking theories: the basis of practical research and problems with paradigms
Basic critical realist concepts
Structure and agency: making connections
Health and illness research: value-free or value-laden?
Four planes of social being: more connections
Researching transformative change over time
The point is to change it: connecting research to policy and practice