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Istilah “metodologi penelitian sosial” (MPS) terdiri dari 3 kata, yakni “metode”, “penelitian”, dan “sosial”. Sebelum melangkah mempelajari MPS sebaiknya kita mengetahui arti dan makna kata M, P, dan S tersebut. Salah satu kamus yang cukup komprehensif (lengkap) dalam mengartikan M, P, dan S, yakni Kamus Merriam Webster’s. Berikut ini arti dari masing-masing kata tersebut menurut Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:


Main Entry                 : method

Function                    : noun

Inflected Form          : -s

Etymology                 : Middle French or Latin; Middle French methode, from Latin methodus, from Greek methodos, from meta– related to + hodos way

1a. procedure or process for attaining an object: as  a obsolete   : the medical system of the Methodists.

b(1) : a systematic procedure, technique, or set of rules employed in philosophical inquiry : a particular approach to problems of truth or knowledge –


the pragmatic method tries to interpret each notion by tracing its respective practical consequences (William James)

the dialectical method assumes the primacy of matter; the method of the positivists applied to philosophy the procedures of the natural sciences

b(2) : a discipline or system sometimes considered a branch of logic that deals with the principles applicable to inquiry into or exposition of some subject

b(3) : a systematic procedure, technique, or mode of inquiry employed by or proper to a particular science, art, or discipline.


<the historical method>

<the method of logic>

<exploring the broadest possibilities of iconographic method, Harry Bober>

(4) : a systematic plan followed in presenting material for instruction

<the lecture method>

<a course in methods>

(5) : a particular way of viewing, organizing, and giving shape and significance to artistic materials

<hadn’t found his method, but he had definitely found his theme, Graham Greene> <method T can be determined only from the work as a whole, M.K.Spears>

<method and sensibility ought never T to be kept long separate R.P.Blackmur>

c(1) : a way, technique, or process of or for doing something

<there are three methods of touring Britain by car, Richard Joseph>

<found their respective working methods congenial Current Biography>

<often slow in their business methods, T.R.Ybarra>

<to whom she owed her excellent method, Opera News>

c(2) : a body of skills or techniques

<deeply professional, learned in the art of the novel, heavily armed with method, J.D.Scott b. 1917>

2 a : orderly arrangement, development, or classification : PLAN, DESIGN

<the book is completely lacking in method>

b [obsolete]   (1) : a methodical exposition (2) : a table of contents (3) : an arrangement that follows a plan or design  c : orderliness and regularity or habitual practice of them in action.

<thrift was as much in her nature as method, Sylvia T. Warner>

<time enough to do everything if only you used method, Angela Thirkell>


Synonyms METHOD, MODE, MANNER, WAY, FASHION, and SYSTEM can all indicate the means used or the procedure followed in doing a given kind of work or achieving a given end.

METHOD can apply to any plan or procedure but usually implies an orderly, logical, effective plan or procedure, connoting also regularity

<the crude methods of trial and error, Henry Suzzallo>

<the method of this book is to present a series of successive scenes of English life, G.M.Trevelyan>

<Marx’s doctrine is not a system of scientific truths, it merely represents a method – one ossible approach to social and historical reflection, Paolo Milano>

<surely not to leave to fitful chance the things that method and system and science should order and adjust B.N.Cardozo>

MODE, sometimes interchangeable with METHOD, seldom implies order or logic, suggesting rather custom, tradition, or personal preference

<a rational mode of dealing with the insane W.R.Inge>

<this intuition is essentially an aesthetic mode of apprehension H.J.Muller>

<the mode of reproduction of plants and animals, however, is fundamentally identical, Encyc. Americana>

MANNER usually suggests a personal or peculiar course or procedure, often interchanging with MODE in this sense

<the manner by which the present pattern of land ownership in this country has evolved, A.F.Gustafson>

<it is not consistent with his manner of writing Latin, G.C.Sellery>

<bearing loaves of sweet bread and of cornbread made with yeast in the Portuguese manner, Dana Burnet>

WAY is general and interchangeable with METHOD, MODE, or MANNER

<a special way to raise orchids>

<the way the machine works>

<the town’s way of life>

<one’s way of tying his tie>

FASHION, in this comparison, may be distinguished from WAY in often suggesting a more superficial origin or source as in a mere fashion or ephemeral style

<was so popular that his subjects took to wearing monocles, in his fashion, Time> <Harvard has stoutly and successfully resisted the fashion by which the grounds of an American college have come to be known as a campus Official Register of Harvard University>

<who were poor in a fashion unknown to North America, Herbert Agar>

SYSTEM suggests a fully developed, often carefully formulated method, usually emphasizing the idea of rational orderliness

<every new discovery claims to form an addition to the system of science as transmitted from the past, Michael Polanyi>

<behavior which is not in accord with the individual’s system elicits responses of fear, Ralph Linton>

<an earnest plea for radical reformation of the system of assessment and taxation, C.A.Duniway>


Main Entry                 : social

Function                    : adjective

Etymology                 : Latin socialis, from socius companion, ally, associate + -alis -al; akin to Old English secg man, follower, companion, Old Saxon segg, Old Norse seggr man, messenger, companion, Greek aossein to help, stand by, Sanskrit sakha companion, friend, Latin sequi to follow.

1 : involving allies or confederates

<the Social War between the Athenians and their allies>

2 a : marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one’s friends or associates <leads a very full social life>

<spent a relaxed social evening> : taken, enjoyed, or engaged in with friends or for the sake of companionship <social drinking> <a social game of bridge>


<difficult for him, although fundamentally a social character, to take any great pleasure in the company, Osbert Lancaster>

<having to drive home, and not feeling very social, I drank very little, Nigel Balchin>

c : composed of sociable persons or formed for the purpose of sociability

<a purely social club>

d : of, relating to, or designed for sociability or sociable gatherings <the social director of the hotel>

<the church has a large social hall>

3 a : forming or having a tendency to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with one’s fellows : GREGARIOUS

<man is a social creature … one of the aims of education, therefore, is to teach man how to adjust himself to community living, M.B.Smith>

b : living together and breeding in more or less organized communities

<social insects are less individuals than standardized, interchangeable units, Ralph Linton>

c of a plant   : present in large numbers wherever present at all in nature : tending to grow in groups or masses so as to form a more or less pure stand   used especially of forest trees

4 a : of or relating to human society

<social institutions>

<the social implications of scientific progress> : of or relating to the interaction of the individual and the group

<immature social behavior>  b : of, relating to, or concerned with the welfare of human beings as members of society

<social legislation> <the social question>

c Roman, civil, & Scots law   : of or relating to an association, partnership, or corporation

5 a : of, relating to, or based on rank or status in a particular society or community <move in different social circles> <did not accept him as their social equal> <a member of his social set>  b : of, belonging to, or characteristic of the upper classes <a reactionary, solid, stuffy, and social Rosemary Benét>

<made fun of her being so social and high-tone, Lillian Hellman>

<writes a column of social gossip>

c : FORMAL <asked in a social voice, very deliberately, if she’d wakened me last night when she came in Crary Moore>

Synonyms GREGARIOUS, COOPERATIVE, CONVIVIAL, COMPANIONABLE, HOSPITABLE: SOCIAL now often indicates having to do with society in general as an interdependent group or as a phenomenon for study

<the desire for removing human error, clearing human confusion, and diminishing human misery …– motives   eminently such as are called social, Matthew Arnold>

<the social order>

<plans for social reorganization> In its older senses, still quite current, it describes easy pleasant conversational companionship with others conducted on the basis of friendship and equality and enjoyed for its own sake, without ulterior motive

<if at times everyone is talking at once it is evidently because of the social desire to contribute to the conversation, rather than because of the unsocial disposition to neglect one’s neighbor’s appreciation, W.C.Brownell> <of a jovial, social disposition, with a host of friends Allan Westcott>

GREGARIOUS indicates tending to flock together with others of one’s kind and disliking a solitary existence: it may or may not connote enjoyable sociability <renounced a life of solitude, and became a gregarious creature, William Cowper> <without intelligence, man is not social, he is only gregarious Samuel Johnson>

<as popular with the seeker after solitude as with the noisily gregarious S.P.B.Mais> <the true Nevadan is gregarious, as his passion for clubs and other social circles indicates American Guide Series: Nevada>

COOPERATIVE indicates a willingness to work with others for a common end, subordinating immediate personal interests and wishes, and may suggest an attitude conducive to good morale throughout a group

<the cooperative efforts of all the allies>

<while the development of armor called forth the skill of the smith, the multiplication of cannon demanded cooperative manufacture on a much larger scale Lewis Mumford> <the cohesive, cooperative nature of American life as opposed to selfish individualism Bradford Smith>

CONVIVIAL suggests jovial or merry enjoyment of other’s company, particularly in situations in which eating or drinking is involved

<all the social and convivial joy and festivity that become youth Earl of Chesterfield> <at the insistence of a convivial uncle and against her better inclination she permits herself to drink three glasses of champagne Edmund Wilson>

COMPANIONABLE suggests a ready affability and warm sympathy that make association easy and pleasant

<blessed with a companionable roommate>

<the trip was the more pleasant because our associates were companionable> HOSPITABLE indicates a disposition to greet guests and visitors openly, generously, and warmly

<with a few rare exceptions which may arise from sheer lack of time to welcome all newcomers, Arizonans are warmhearted and hospitable, American Guide Series: Arizona>


Main Entry     : research

Function        : noun

Etymology     : Middle French recerche, from recercher à to research

1. careful or diligent search : a close searching, à researches after hidden treasure

2a. studious inquiry or examination;  especially   : critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical applications of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws à gave his time to research

2b  (1) : a particular investigation of such a character : a piece of research (2) : a presentation (as an article or book) incorporating the findings of a particular research

2. capacity for or inclination to research à a scholar of great research

Synonyms to INQUIRY.

Jadi, dapat disimpulkan bahwa Metodologi Penelitian Sosial adalah ilmu yang mempelajari logika dan tata-cara melakukan penelitian atas gejala-gejala sosial.

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