How do social scientists study the social world? Is social scientific practice in transformation? Can social science learn from its own past? This major text takes the reader on an intellectual journey starting with the story of modern science and the impact that this has had on social scientific practice, and going on to outline and critically review the major approaches to social scientific inquiry, ranging from positivism to postmodernism. Throughout, readers are encouraged to think carefully about what it means to: study the social world in a scientific way; make connections between what they do and the everyday lives of the people they study; and look beyond their discipline and think in a postdisciplinary way. Social Science in Question is the Course Text for The Open University's Postgraduate Foundation Module (D820 The Challenge of the Social Sciences).