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Culture and Society: Conducting Original Research in Cultural Sociology

A guide to library resources (e.g. books, databases, encyclopedias) related to the sociology of culture.

Don't forget!

If you're having difficulty finding articles relevant to your research question or if you have questions about where to find a particular data source, you can always schedule a one-on-one consultation with a subject librarian.  Just send me an email or stop by the reference desk and ask for me: 

Nidia Bañuelos

Sociology, Education, and Development Practice Librarian

nbanuel@emory

404-727-6953

Methodology Papers on Cultural Analysis

These articles examine how to measure culture empirically.  

​​An early attempt to formulate an analytic framework for the social scientific study of culture. Puts forward four criteria for evaluating the persuasive power of a cultural argument, and develops three criteria for assessing the validity of competing accounts.

Argues that the challenges confronting cultural analysis are as conceptual as they are strictly methodological. The article distinguishes between different types of culture and different levels of analysis (e.g., individual, aggregate, and collective) and argues that levels of measurement and levels of analysis are orthogonal to one another.

An innovative empirical study that argues that elements of cognitive processes can be distilled using a combination of map analysis and content analysis. Discusses the pros and cons of each technique.

Provides a concise introduction to formal, quantitatively oriented studies that take a poststructuralist approach to meaning (based on relations between entities) and conceptualize culture at the level of institutional practices rather than individuals. Methods discussed include multidimensional scaling, network analysis, correspondence analysis, and lattice analysis.

(Descriptions from Brian Steensland's bibliography "Sociology of Culture.) 

Methods "How to" Literature

The library maintains an extensive collection of materials related to social science methods, both qualitative and quantitative. Some useful subject headings are:

Social sciences -- Research -- Methodology

Qualitative research -- Methodology

Quantitative research -- Methodology

Sage Research Methods

Sage is an important publisher of social science methods titles including Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences (aka "the Little Green Books") and Qualitative Methods in Social Science (aka "the Little Blue Books"). Many, but not all, of the Sage methods publications are found in:

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO)

A research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SRMO links over 100,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SRMO focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.  You are now able to locate e-links to individual titles in the library's catalog.

To browse the Green and Blue book collections, just hover over the Content tab.  

In addition to the content of the Little Green and Blue Books, Sage Research Methods has content from dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, over 600 books, six Majors Works collating a selection of journal articles, and newly commissioned videos.      

Sage Research Methods Cases include case studies of real social science research--authors describe their topics, deciding on a method, and successes/barriers they encountered along the way.  It also includes citations to recently published articles that came from this research.   

Relevant Libguides

Librarians  maintain LibGuides on a variety of subjects--including library resources for conducting social science research.  Below are a few LibGuides you might find useful as you think about a sociology of culture research project.  

Data Resources and Support: Introduces you to Data Services at the library, with links to datasets and archives.

How do I find newspapers?: Newspapers are an excellent sources of data for projects on culture--particularly historical projects.  This guide reviews how to find the current, recent, and historical newspapers the library subscribes to.  

Sociology Methods Literature: Reviews how to find literature on conducting both qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences.  

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