and Lifelong Learning Resource Base
Materials for Teaching,
Research and Policy Making
Investigator: David W. Livingstone
M. Raykov, K. Pollock, F. Antonelli
Section 1.1 [PDF]
Research Methods for Studying
Learning and Work Relations
Nogueira, M. A., & Castro Nogueira, L. (2002).
Toward a correct understanding of
qualitative methodology. Politica y Sociedad, 39(2), 481-496.
Identifies ruptures between
epistemology, theory, & technique in qualitative social investigations by
drawing on the notion of social distinctions (Bourdieu, 1988) &
subjectivity in methodology (Ibanez, 1979). As contemporary qualitative
investigation has lost sight of the realization that facts & statistics are
scientific constructions, that there must be a consistent understanding of the
distinction between the social fact & the social process, & that
sometimes this distinction is impossible to infer, this text explores the
occurrence of fact & statistic in contemporary qualitative methodology.
KEY WORDS: Qualitative Methods; Social Science Research;
Epistemology; Methodology (Philosophical); Social Facts; Social Processes.
2. Chafetz, J. S. (2004).
Bridging feminist theory and research methodology. Journal of Family Issues,
People committed to a
sociopolitical ideology have different skills relating to a social movement
designed to bring about social change. Janet Chafetz contends that feminist
social and behavioral scientists can maximize their movement contributions by
doing excellent social science on gender issues; that is their unique
contribution. She offers the development of gender theory including
well-defined and empirically relevant concepts and the use of the most
appropriate methodologies available to answer the specific questions raised by
KEY WORDS: Feminist Theory; Research Methodology; Theory Practice
Relationship; Sex; Theoretical Problems; Methodological Problems; Social
Science Research; Theory Formation.
3. Gee, M. K., &
Ullman, C. (1998). Teacher/ethnographer
in the workplace: Approaches to staff development. Grayslake, IL: Lake County College.
The use of ethnographic methods
by teachers' to assess learning and staff development needs for workplace adult
education programs is the focus of this article. Outlined are characteristics
of the ethnographic researcher's approach and behavior as well as the following
4 stages of ethnographic research: (1) open-ended, inductive study; (2)
structured observation; (3) analysis; and (4) speculation and sharing of findings.
Data collection through photography and interviews is presented. Photography is
used to create a record of the workplace, identify its technology status and
needs, and create an image for later analysis and sharing. Noted are tips for
taking and analyzing photographs. For interviews, 5 types of interview
questions are discussed. They are: "grand tour" or overview; specific
task-or area-related questions; asking for examples; eliciting experiences; and
questions about use of job-related terminology. Authors highlight the benefits
of using these data collection methods, and the similarities and differences in
workplace and adult basic education.
KEY WORDS: Action Research; Adult Education; Data Collection;
Educational Needs; Ethnography; Labor Force Development; Research Methodology;
Staff Development; Teacher Role; Work Environment.
4. Giele, J. Z.,
& Elder, G. H. (1998).
of life course research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
What are the most effective methods
for doing life course research? The field’s founders and leaders attempt to
answer this question, giving readers tips on: the art and method of the
appropriate research design; the collection of life-history data; and the
search for meaningful patterns to be found in the results.
KEY WORDS: Social Sciences; Biographical Methods; Life Cycle; Human
5. Gobo, G. (2003).
Qualitative methodology in localism and globalization. Quaderni di
Sociologia, 47(32), 197-204.
While Denzin & Lincoln's
American Handbook of Qualitative Research radically changed epistemological
methods and approaches, and paved the way to new and innovative publications,
many current published books do not go beyond their ethnocentric connotations
with few including the very lively discussion on localism vs. globalization
concepts. By definition, an international publication must give the same
consideration to every nation regardless of political and economical power.
However, scientific publications on qualitative methodology, often presented as
international, are in fact published only in English.
KEY WORDS: Qualitative Methods; Globalization; Localism.
6. Grant, G. (1999).
Education, the life course and research. British Journal of Special
Education, 26(2), 71-75.
Reviews, from a British
perspective, the literature on lifelong inclusive education for individuals
with learning disabilities. The role of the family, community, and society in
an inclusive educational culture is discussed. The paper urges more
longitudinal studies, structured evaluation of inclusive educational
developments, basic research on different models of inclusive education, and
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Inclusive Schools; Learning
Disabilities; Lifelong Learning; Mental Retardation; Research and Development;
Research Needs; Social Integration; United
7. Haller, B. A., &
Ralph, S. M. (2001). Content analysis methodology for studying news and
disability: Case studies from the United States
and England. Research in Social Science and
Disability, 2, 229-253.
Explores quantitative and
qualitative disability issues in the US and England addressed by the media. A US analysis explores eight major
daily newspapers and three weekly news magazines for stories about disability
issues that took place in 1998. Stories are classified according to their
number in each publication, location in thematic sections, length, type, and
variety of disability. An England analysis of mainstream and tabloid coverage explores
disparaging comments made by well-known soccer coach, Glenn Hoddle, that led to
his termination in 1999. Content analysis reveals society's changing
perceptions of people with disabilities and the significance of mass media in
shaping public attitudes.
KEY WORDS: Handicapped; Social Perception; Social Attitudes; Mass
Media Images; Mass Media Effects; News Coverage; England; United States of
America; Research Methodology.
8. Herrera, C. D. (2003). A
clash of methodology and ethics in "undercover" social science. Philosophy
of the Social Sciences, 33(3), 351-362.
Explores the undercover or
“overt” approach to fieldwork as a useful technique in some settings. Covert
researchers nearly always protect the anonymity of their participants and
locations. Other researchers cannot validate the covert researcher's claims.
While, ethical guidelines, often insist that researchers demonstrate the
benefits from a covert study, researchers who cannot show that their studies
will prove beneficial will find ethical standards weighing against them and
their studies. In other words, omitting informed consent should be
counterbalanced by the scientific rewards of research. Expanding the results to
more peer investigation may place participants at risk of unwanted notoriety.
Guidelines. Unless we adjust our conceptions of research, ethics, or both,
there does not seem to be a way for covert research to meet ethical
KEY WORDS: Research Ethics; Informed Consent; Fieldwork;
Ethnography; Methodological Problems; Research Methodology.
9. Hill, M., & Montag,
W. (2000). Masses, classes and the public sphere. London; New
Jürgen Habermas's introduction of
the phrase "public sphere" has been used as a fundamental concept for
assessing everything from intellectual debate and "public access"
criticism, to the function of race, gender and sexual difference in present-day
civil society. However, the concept has been refined and extended as new
demands have been made, positing the idea of a plurality of "counter-public
spheres" and continually addressing the philosophical concept of the
public sphere itself. This book extends these debates to pose fundamental
questions about the function and continued relevance of the public sphere in a
range of essays from a distinguished group of writers.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Methodology; Social Classes; Social Structure;
Mass Society; Public Interest; Political Sociology.
10. Hirschauer, S. (2001).
Ethnographic writing and the silence of the social: Toward a methodology of
description. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie, 30(6), 429-451.
Reviews ethnographic methodology.
The paper focuses on working out the central problem solved by descriptions -
the verbalization of the "silent" dimension of the social.
Ethnographic writing is introduced as a documentary procedure that has been
devalued by advanced recording techniques, techniques which have set a
naturalistic standard with respect to the reification and de-contextualization
of "data." This standard is reviewed from the perspective of the
sociology of knowledge. The article elaborates on problems that are left
untouched by empirical procedures and that depend on primordial verbalizations
of informants: interviews, discourse analysis, and conversation analysis.
Ethnographic writing has to solve the problems of the voiceless, the mute, the
unspeakable, the prelinguistic, and the indescribable. To fulfill this task of
shifting the limits of articulation, descriptions must reject the logic of
recording and develop a theory-oriented research practice, which must be
assessed not in terms of its documentary accuracy, but in terms of its
KEY WORDS: Methodological Problems; Ethnography; Qualitative
Methods; Writing; Sociology of Knowledge.
11. Hunt, S. (2005). The
life course: A sociological introduction. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Rapid and far-reaching social
transformation in Western society over the last few decades has drawn
considerable interest in the life course. This accessible and informative book
provides a substantive overview to the topic, combining contemporary and more
traditional perspectives. Outlining the different stages of the life course
through infancy and youth to old age and dying, the book considers what is
distinct about a sociological approach to the life course and explores recent
debates and changing theoretical perspectives in the context of biological,
psychological and social influences.
KEY WORDS: Life Cycle; Human Social Aspects; Sociology.
12. Katz, J. (2004). On the
rhetoric and politics of ethnographic methodology. The Annals of the
American Academy of Political and Social Science, 595, 280-308.
Explores ethnographies as
politically cast and policy relevant. Ethnographies that report holistically on
journeys to "the other side" build policy/political significance by
contesting popular stereotypes. Theoretical ethnographies utilize political
imagination to fill in for a lack of variation in participant observation data
and to model an area of social life without attempting to discount alternative
explanations. Comparative analytic studies create political relevance by
exposing social forces that are hidden by local cultures. Each of these three
genres of ethnographic methodology faces unique challenges in relating
fieldwork data to politically significant explanations. By shaping the
ethnographer's relations to subjects and readers, each methodology also
structures a unique class identity for the researchers - as worker, as
aristocrat, or as bourgeois professional.
KEY WORDS: Ethnography; Public Policy; Policy Research; Research
Methodology; Methodological Problems; Rhetoric.
13. Kelle, H. (2001).
Ethnographic methodology and problems of triangulation: The example of studies
on children's peer culture. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie der Erziehung und
Socialisation, 21(2), 192-208.
Using ethnographic methodology,
this article explores the ways in which methods shape research subjects.
Similarities and differences between participant observation, audio-recordings
of daily conversations, and ethnographic interviews are analyzed. Using the
research subject of "gossip" as an example, the article explores ways
in which methodical proceedings affect various subjects. Theoretically, claims
of triangulation - widespread in qualitative research - are criticized and the
specific theoretical productivity of each proceeding is emphasized.
KEY WORDS: Researcher Subject Relations; Qualitative Methods;
Ethnography; Children; Peer Relations; Methodological Problems; Research
14. Kleining, G., &
Witt, H. (2001). Discovery as basic methodology of qualitative and quantitative
research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social
Research, 2(1). Retrieved November
20, 2006 from http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/fqs-e/inhalt1-01-e.htm.
This paper explores the
following: i. qualitative methodologies in psychology and the social sciences
should be directed toward discoveries rather than reflexive interpretations.
ii. classical studies in psychology and sociology show that problems associated
with hermeneutics can be overcome using discovery or explorative research
strategies. iii. the Hamburg qualitative heuristic methodology. iv. Explorative
research with qualitative data using the methods of the qualitative experiment
& group-controlled "dialogic" introspection. v. the use of
quantitative data in an explorative approach. vi. that there is no inherent
relationship between the form of the data, qualitative or quantitative, and a particular
research methodology. vii. that discoveries should be a basic guideline for
psychological and social research.
KEY WORDS: Qualitative Methods; Hermeneutics; Research Methodology;
Methodology; Data Analysis; Data Collection; Quantitative Methods; Experiments;
15. Kozlova, N. y. N.
(2004). The methodology of analyzing personal documents. Sotsiologicheskie
Issledovaniya, 30(1), 14-26.
Presents an excerpt from the book
Stseny iz istorii izobreteniya sovetskogo obshchestva (Scenes from the History
of Inventing the Soviet Society). This article explores Soviet citizens' use of
diaries, letters, and various forms of personal writing for scholarly research.
Reflections are shared, from a postmodernist perspective, on the importance of
such sources to sociology and history alike. Max Weber's (1990) thesis that
identifies the importance in understanding individuals' motivations is
indispensable for understanding the rise, existence, and fall of societies is
applied to Soviet society. Qualitative and quantitative methods combined with
nomothetic and ideographic approaches should be applied in researching these
KEY WORDS: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; Citizens;
Autobiographical Materials; Sociology; History; Society; Methodology; Data
Analysis; Weber, Max; Research Methodology.
16. Krzeslo, E., Rainbird,
H., & Vincent, C. (2000). Deconstructing the question: Reflections on
developing a comparative methodology for research on union policy towards
vocational training. Studies in Qualitative Methodology, 6, 67-82.
The context for this chapter lies
in research into trade union policies for vocational training in five
countries. Cross-cultural case studies are explored in relation to language and
meaning. Stressed is the significance of contextualized meaning in relation to
national realities and the way in which actors perceive realties located in
different countries. Outlined is a technique of "crossed
interviewing" whereby researchers of different nationality attend
identical interviews in an attempt to avoid the ethnocentrism of the cultural
specificity of the lone interviewer. The approach facilitates a common
methodology while allowing flexibility toward different national realities.
Discussed is also the shortage of research funding available for cross-cultural
research. Argued is the view that a narrow concentration on national experts
with specialist knowledge is not conducive to comparative methodology.
KEY WORDS: Unions; Job Training; Crosscultural Analysis; Comparative
Analysis; Case Studies; Interviews; Research Methodology.
17. Kurasawa, F. (2004). The
ethnological imagination: A cross-cultural critique of modernity. Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press.
imagination" is a substantial countercurrent of thought that interprets
and contests Western modernity's social order through comparison and contrast
to a non-Western other. Critiqued are the writings of this way of thinking
(i.e., Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Claude
Levi-Strauss, and Michel Foucault). In the work of these thinkers, Kurasawa
finds little justification for two of the most prevalent claims about social
theory: the wholesale "postmodern" dismissal of the
social-theoretical enterprise because of its supposedly intractable
ethnocentrism and imperialism, or, on the other hand, the traditionalist and
historicist revival of a canon stripped of its intercultural foundations.
Defended is a cultural perspective that eschews both the false universalism of "end
of history" scenarios and the radical particularism embodied in the vision
of "the clash of civilizations." The book contends that ethnological
imagination can invigorate critical social theory by informing its response to
an increasingly multicultural world.
KEY WORDS: Ethnology; Philosophy; Methodology; Marxist Anthropology;
18. Lincoln, Y. S.,
& Denzin, N. K. (2003).
points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira
Changes in qualitative inquiry
over the last five decades are traced. The collection serves as a textbook for
training academics in the history and trajectory of qualitative research. The
book is divided into eight parts: Part 1: The Revolution of Representation:
Feminist and Race/Ethnic Studies Discourses, Part II: The Revolution in
Authority, Part II: The Revolution of Legitimation, Part IV: The Ethical
Revolution, Part V: The Methodological Revolution, Part VI: The Crisis in
Purpose: What Is Ethnography for, and Whom Should It Serve, Part VII: The
Revolution in Presentation, Part VIII: The Future of Ethnography and
Qualitative Research, and contains a variety of chapters within each.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Research Methodology; Ethnology; Qualitative
19. Manderbacka, K., &
Jylha, M. (2000). Combining quantitative and qualitative research: A case study
from survey methodology. Yearbook of Population Research in
Finland, 36, 121-128.
Combined are two diverse
approaches to examine content and continuity of a single-item survey measure of
self-rated health. Results from a quantitative study (Manderbacka, Lahelma,
& Martikainen) drawing on cross-sectional, face-to-face interview data from
the 1994 Finnish Survey of Living Conditions and a qualitative study (N = 42
semi-structured interviews from a sub-sample of respondents) illustrate the way
that methods can complement one other. Results are discussed in relation to one
another, and the advantages of combining methods on survey measures are
discussed; other ways of combining the approaches are also suggested.
KEY WORDS: Quantitative Methods; Qualitative Methods; Surveys;
Research Methodology; Methodology (Philosophical); Health; Living Conditions;
20. May, V. (2001).
Epistemological questions concerning the study of biographical material: The
consequences of choice of methodology. Dansk Sociologi, 12(3), 53-69.
Uses personal research conducted
on written life-stories of Finnish lone mothers as a cases study. The author
examines consequences of using biographical material as a methodology, and
focuses on two methodological alternatives: analyzing biographical material as
documents of preceding events, or as meaning-making constructs. The author
contends that treating biographical material as a gateway into studying events
in people's lives reduces the heuristic value of material, and questions of
truth and reliability become problematic. This still seems to be the preferred
methodological alternative of many sociologists. The author further contends
that If biographical material is analyzed for its own sake, focusing on the
creation of meaning through storytelling, the above-mentioned problems of truth
and reliability diminish considerably. From research on lone motherhood,
arguments for the use of narrative analysis, examining what it has to offer
methodologically, theoretically, and conceptually are explored.
KEY WORDS: Research Methodology; Biographies; Narratives;
Epistemology; Research Design; Finland; Single Mothers.
21. Neuman, W. L. (2003). Social
research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
This book provides readers with a
balanced overview of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to social
research. The fourth edition of Social Research Methods attempts to help
readers understand that social research exists in a social and historical
context that can affect their actions. It encourages researchers to guard
against ethnocentric perspectives and confining their research on the assumptions,
values, and beliefs of their own particular society. Lastly, the author
attempts to show readers that both quantitative and qualitative styles of
social research are valuable, but the greatest benefit to social research lies
in combining the two.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Research Methodology; Social Sciences.
22. Oakley, A. (2000). Experiments
in knowing: Gender and method in the social sciences. New York: New Press.
A leading feminist scholar's
breakthrough study of gender bias in the social sciences.
KEY WORDS: Feminist Theory; Research Methodology.
23. Olsen, H. (2003).
"Good" qualitative interviews with "proper" informants?
Tendencies in English and Scandinavian methodology literature. Sosiologisk
tidsskrift, 11(2), 123-153.
This article presents selected
parts of a study of Danish interviews conducted at the Danish National
Institute of Social Research in Copenhagen (Olsen, 2002a-c), and examines how to implement
"good" qualitative interviews with "proper" informants.
This article is based on textual analysis of a diverse range of English and
Scandinavian qualitative methodology literature (i.e., 200 books and articles)
concerning competing understandings of qualitative interviews, interview
preparation, interview implementation, and interview quality. The article
concludes with the author presenting his own interview quality-ensuring
KEY WORDS: Denmark; Interviews;
Qualitative Methods; Research Design; Methodology (Data Collection); Research
24. Paolucci, P. B. (2001).
Dialectical methodology, power and capital: Dialectical methods, Foucault's
encounter with Marxism, and techniques of class domination into the global era.
Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences,
reconstructions of Marx's thought have had difficulty maintaining the central
elements - the dialectical method, historical materialism, political-economics,
and the communist program - in a proper logical relationship. As a consequence,
Marxian oriented approaches display both internal weaknesses and external
criticisms. Examining the assumptions, language, concepts and methods of Marx's
dialectical methodology provides a better foundation for evaluating supporters'
and detracters' arguments. Some contemporary critics point to the work of
Michel Foucault as containing the elements necessary to supplant Marxist
orientations. However, this interpretation is does not hold up when viewed
through an analytical lens of a reconstructed dialectical methodology. Doing
so, allows one to analyze modern techniques of power that are
"productive" as a supplement to classical Marxian models of
"repressive" power. Such a synthesis allows for a view of power that
is expressed as techniques for maintaining class domination - proletarians are
repressed as they are produced as docile and useful subjects. The practices are
examined historically, focusing on the discursive underpinnings of the
legitimation of ruling class domination and its use of violence. Next, the
analysis scrutinizes current policies practiced in international
political-economy in the era of globalization.
KEY WORDS: Foucault, Michel; Dominance; Marxist Analysis;
Globalization; Political Economy; Dialectics; Social Power; Class Struggle;
Oppression; Research Methodology.
25. Parker, L., & Lynn, M. (2002). What's race got to do with it? Critical race
theory's conflicts with and connections to qualitative research methodology and
epistemology. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 7-22.
This article explores the
critical race theory (CRT) as a methodological and epistemological tool to
exposing race and racism in the lives of American racial minorities, and
provides a theoretical and conceptual framework for its discussion.
Specifically, it situates CRT within a socio-historical context and offers a
definition, and it presents an argument as to why there is a need for CRT in
educational and qualitative research. In doing so, it identifies concerns of
addressing or failing to address race and racism in educational research. Its
authors speculate about what lies ahead and assess possible points of agreement
and conflicts between CRT and qualitative research in the field of education.
KEY WORDS: Educational Research; Epistemology; Race; Qualitative
Methods; Social Theories; Racism; Research Methodology.
26. Pincon, M.,
& Pincon-Charlot, M. (1999).
Bourdieu's theory applied to bourgeois research: A plural
methodology for a multidisciplinary approach. Revista de Ciencias Humanas,
Pierre Bourdieu's sociology
attempts to overcome subjectivism-objectivism, individual-social, and
freedom-determinism oppositions by analyzing sociality as a construct of two
modalities: (1) social agents with habitus dispositions, and (2) the world consisting
of objects (economic goods) or cultural productions (e.g., legal texts). The
approach is based on a multidisciplinary propensity of psychology, economy,
history, and geography. It implies the application of diverse methodologies
utilizing qualitative and quantitative procedures.
KEY WORDS: Bourdieu, Pierre; Sociology of Culture; Sociological
Theory; Methodology (Philosophical); Interdisciplinary Approach.
27. Pinuel Raigada, J. L.
(2002). Epistemology, methodology and content analysis techniques. Estudios
de Sociolinguistica, 3(1), 1-41.
This article offers an
epistemological review of the analysis of content, methodology for conducting
content-analysis, and the technical alternatives that underlie an analysis
noting software resources. Riagada's article references the work of Harald
KEY WORDS: Epistemology; Sociolinguistics; Content Analysis;
Research Methodology; Computer Assisted Research; Computer Software;
Methodology; Data Analysis.
28. Potapov, V. P. (2001).
On the methodology of assessing the quality of learning. Sotsiologicheskie
Issledovaniya, 27(10), 136-137.
This article relates the didactic
experience of applying a 100-point scale in assessing the quantitative and
qualitative aspects of student performance and learning progress in sociology
instruction at the Financial Academy of the Government of the Russian
Federation. The scale is divided between
students' theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and outlines the specific
tasks evaluated in each category. Scores from the semester are included with
the final grade for semester-end tests. The argument is that this evaluation
technique increases students' motivation in sociological study.
KEY WORDS: Sociology; Education; Student Evaluation; Grades; College
Students; Russia; Tests; Research Methodology.
29. Primeau, L. A. (2003).
Reflections on self in qualitative research: Stories of family. American
Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(1), 9-16.
This text explores reflexivity, a
qualitative research strategy, and addresses our subjectivity as researchers
related to people and events encountered in the field. It addresses the
subjective nature of reflexive research and the ways that reflexivity enhances
the quality of research. Specifically, it explores the ways that our positions
and interests as researchers affect each stage of the research process. By
highlighting aspects of the researcher's reflexivity across the entire research
process, (i.e., situating the study, gaining access, managing self, living in
the field, and telling the story), the reflexive account presented frames an
analysis and interpretation of previously published findings on work and play
KEY WORDS: Experimental Design; Methodology; Qualitative Research;
Reflectiveness; Family; Subjectivity.
30. Sil, R. (2000). The
division of labor in social science research: Unified methodology or
"organic solidarity"? Polity, 32(4), 499-531.
perspectives and different types of research products are founded on
irreconcilable philosophical assumptions, the sharp, recurrent debates over
social science research methods are likely to be fruitless &
counterproductive. By exposing some of the philosophical assumptions underlying
the most recent calls for a unified social science methodology, this article
seeks to help develop a common appreciation of how different kinds of methods
and research products advance our understanding of different aspects of social
life at different levels of abstraction. Commonly posited dichotomies as deductivist/inductivist
logic, quantitative/quantitative analysis, and nomothetic/idiographic research
products are shown to obscure significant differences along a continuum of
strategies through which context-bound information and analytic constructs are combined
to produce interpretations of varying degrees of complexity or generality.
Durkheim's conception of "organic solidarity" in a social
"division of labor" is a useful metaphor to capture the complementary
roles performed by various research products and the trade-offs arising from
the strengths & weaknesses of various methodological approaches (ranging
from formal & statistical approaches to various case-based &
interpretive approaches). Thus, sharp claims regarding the strengths & limitations
of particular methods are transformed into elements of an overarching agnostic
understanding of the trade-offs & complementarities among these methods.
Finally, a distinctive role is identified for an ideal-typical
"middle-range" comparative-historical approach in fostering greater
communication among a more inclusively defined community of methodologically
diverse social scientists.
KEY WORDS: Social Sciences; Research Methodology; Data Collection;
Methodological Problems; Social Science Research; Data Analysis.
31. Smith, N. (2002). Oral
history and grounded theory procedures as research methodology for studies in
race, gender and class. Race, Gender & Class, 9(3), 121-138.
This article describes a research
methodology, the combined use of oral history & grounded theory procedures,
that should be useful for the study of race, gender, & class, & which,
in particular, supports the SUNO-RGC Project's approach to race, gender, &
class studies as a foundation for strategizing social change/social justice.
The article draws attention to the coincidence of oral history & grounded
theory with principles of community organizing. It emphasizes the importance of
understanding history & ideology in any social research.
KEY WORDS: Research Methodology; Oral History; Grounded Theory;
Activism; Race; Sex; Social Class; Social Change; Social Justice.
32. Smith, D. E. (2005). Institutional
ethnography: A sociology for people. Walnut Creek, CA:
The author describes and defends
an alternative sociology that has its foundations in the women's movements. The
method of inquiry, institutional ethnography, is based on an ontology of the
social that concentrates on people's everyday lived experiences in institution.
Smith sees language as coordinator of people's subjectivities. She explains
institutional ethnography as discovering the relevance of people's experience
to mapping institutions and recognizing the way texts enter into the
organization of institutional forms of action.
KEY WORDS: Ethnology; Methodology; Research; Sociology.
33. Solorzano, D.
G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002).
race methodology: Counter-storytelling as an analytical framework for education
research. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(1), 23-44.
This article shows how critical
race theory can inform a critical race methodology in education. The authors
challenge the intercentricity of racism with other forms of subordination and
exposes deficit-informed research that silences & distorts epistemologies
of people of color. Social scientists tell stories under the guise of
"objective" research, such stories actually uphold deficit,
racialized notions about people of color. For the authors, a critical race
methodology provides a tool to "counter" deficit storytelling.
Specifically, a critical race methodology offers space to conduct and present
research grounded in the experiences and knowledge of people of color. They
describe how they compose counter-stories, the authors discuss how the stories
can be used as theoretical, methodological, & pedagogical tools to
challenge racism, sexism, and classism and work toward social justice.
KEY WORDS: Epistemology; Race; Social Theories; Educational
Research; Research Methodology.
34. Speer, S. A. (2002).
What can conversation analysis contribute to feminist methodology? Putting
reflexivity into practice. Discourse & Society, 13(6), 783-803.
Using conversational analysis
this article explores an issue central to the design and delivery of feminist
research: the relationship between researcher and researched, and specifically,
the impact of the former on the latter. One principle guiding this research is
that it should be respondent-centered, allowing participants to set the agenda
and define what is important in their own terms. Though not advocated as an explicitly
feminist method, one technique deemed to be ideally suited to this end is the
use of prompts as stimulus materials. In this article, I revisit data from my
own research in which picture prompts were used to derive gender talk. Rather
than treat prompts as facilitators of talk in which the respondents set the
priorities, I demonstrate how the activity of showing a prompt itself requires
work on the part of the moderator. I argue that even where the researcher tries
to minimize her impact on the data collection process, that she is still
influential & the data is thereby always an interactional product. Although
many feminists acknowledge this, & advocate the importance of a reflexive
orientation to our data collection practices, I suggest that most feminists do
not, as yet, possess the analytic skills to do this reflexivity well. I
consider the implications of this analysis for the way feminists & other
researchers derive & analyze gender talk, & conceive of the
relationship between the researcher & those researched.
KEY WORDS: Conversational Analysis; Feminism; Researcher Subject
Relations; Research Methodology; Methodology (Data Collection); Sex Role;
35. Sprague, J. (2005). Feminist
methodologies for critical researchers: Bridging differences. Walnut Creek, CA: Lanham, MD.
After evaluating the
epistemologies available to social science researchers - positivism,
postmodernism, critical realism and standpoint theory - Sprague argues that
sociological perspective leads to a preference for standpoint epistemology. She
also examines both conventional and experimental ways of reporting research
findings and proposes some strategies for developing research questions that
serve social justice. She concludes with a call for transformation in the
social organization of research, from collaborative agendas to new terms of
evaluation of scholarly productivity.
KEY WORDS: Women's Studies; Methodology; Sociology; Research
Methodology; Statistical Methods.
36. Tanner, R. E. S. (2002).
Some reflections on being the subject of research into memory. An academic
critique of methodology applied to a single person. Quality and Quantity, 36(1),
The author's memory of events
between 1941-60 in WWII & civilian employment in Burma & Tanganiyika,
was tested by three psychologists over 3 days on the basis of his 3,000-page
diary & other written records that had not been read since they were
written. Results found discrepancies in both traumatic & non-traumatic
events. The methodology incorporated complex interpersonal relationships
related to age, sex, appearance, class, education, ethnicity, and trust in the
researchers as well as issues of what to test in such a mass of material &
the validity of the base line tests. The methodology brought out the need for
researchers to know the social field surrounding memory such as current affairs
& routine & the need for an industrial work study approach to research
planning. The overall approach used an elitist language code and did not allow
for such things as the physical tiredness or the social obligations of those
KEY WORDS: Autobiographical Materials; Research Methodology;
Methodological Problems; Memory; Life History; Researcher Subject Relations;
37. van Halsema, I. (2003). Feminist methodology and gender planning tools:
Divergences and meeting points. Gender, Technology and Development, 7(1),
Feminist methodology and gender
planning tools move in opposite directions. Many tools used in gender planning
tend to an empiricist epistemological orientation, characterized by a
standardization of procedures and a preference for checklists, indicators, and
measuring, whereas feminist academic circles have a predominantly critical
attitude towards empiricism. Discussions tend to question positivist scientific
procedures & emphasize the importance of reflexivity. While recognizing the
different requirements & goals of academic research & policy analysis
in the area of gender, this article argues for more convergence in
methodological terms, so that the 2 areas can enrich rather than oppose each
KEY WORDS: Feminism; Feminist Theory; Positivism; Development
Strategies; Methodology (Philosophical); Methodological Problems.
38. Weymann, A.,
Sackmann, R., & Wingens, M. (1999).
Social change and the life course in East Germany: A cohort approach to inequalities. The
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 19(9-10-11), 90-114.
This article examines the
education & employment life courses of 3 cohorts of East Germans using
longitudinal survey data on 3,776 respondents graduating from vocational
schools or universities in 1985, 1990 & 1995; biographies of 67 workers in
agriculture & chemistry; & expert interviews with personnel managers in
36 companies. The life passages of job entry, career mobility, retraining,
& fertility are analyzed by educational level, cohort, gender, occupation,
labor market sector, East German unemployment rates, & activity, 1989-1992
(the "window of opportunity" following German reunification). Per
event-history analysis, changes in macrostructure & individual life courses
are closely interrelated. At the macro level, the postreunification East German
labor market declined, economic sector importance changed, & unemployment
rates rose. At the micro level, four patterns to deal with change were
identified: redirection, acceptance, retraining, & despondence.
KEY WORDS: German Democratic Republic; German Reunification;
Employment Changes; Social Inequality; Workers; Generational Differences;
Education Work Relationship; Life Cycle; Career Patterns; Family-Work
Relationship; Working Women; Sexual Inequality; Social Change; Occupational
39. Weymann, A. (2003). The
life course, institutions, and life-course policy. In W. R. Heinz & V. W.
Marshall (Eds.), Social dynamics of the life course: Transitions,
institutions, and interrelations (pp. 167-193). Hawthorn: Aldine De
This book argues that the
life-course policy of a nation-state, which buttresses life-course regimes, is
challenged by globalization & historical rupture. The authors use a
neoinstitutionalist perspective to understand life-course institutions &
how the nation-state establishes & develops institutional regimes to guide
the life course. The German Democratic Republic's transformation is utilized to
describe the impact of historical rupture on life-course policy, highlighting
education-work & work-family relationships. The globalization &
supranationalization of life-course regimes in the fields of the welfare state
& education are examined via the example of the European Union. Radical
reform of life-course policy has resulted in both cases of social
transformation; however, it is argued that life-course policy & life-course
conduct evidence a strong path dependency. The use of neoinstitutionalism for
life-course policy studies & life-course analysis is considered in
KEY WORDS: Life Cycle; Government Policy; Social Change;
Globalization; Institutions; German Democratic Republic; European Union;
Family-Work Relationship; Education Work Relationship; Welfare State.