Sociology Index

Methodology

Methodology is Method, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline of study. Methodology is a particular kind of procedure or set of procedures. Methodology is the analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field of study. The common idea here is the collection, the comparative study, and the critique of the individual methods that are used in a given discipline or field of inquiry. Methodological Individualism is also evident in positivistic instruments such as questionnaires. It is common to categorize social scientific theories under Methodological individualism or Methodological Holism, and to assume that they are opposites.

Objectives in Teaching and Using Research Methodology - Robert G. Burgess. 
This article examines the state and status of methodology teaching. The links between the state of the discipline, patterns of teaching, styles of assessment and the uses of methodology are explored. A series of questions are raised concerning the place of methodology in the sociology curriculum. It is suggested that these questions have to be answered by all sociologists and not just methodology teachers.
 

A Crazy Methodology? - On the Limits of Macro-Quantitative Social Science Research 
Bernhard Kittel. Despite the great popularity of macro-quantitative comparative research in the social sciences during the past two decades, it has only had a limited lasting impact on the development of our understanding of social macro-phenomena. The lack of robustness appears to be symptomatic of research findings. The cause of this problem is the difficulty in dealing with complex macro-phenomena by means of statistical analysis.

The BMS (Bulletin of Sociological Methodology) is a quarterly scientific journal specialized in sociological methodology.

COMPARATIVE-HISTORICAL METHODOLOGY - James Mahoney. The last decade featured the emergence of a significant and growing literature concerning comparative-historical methods. This literature offers methodological tools for causal and descriptive inference that go beyond the techniques currently available in mainstream statistical analysis. In the area of descriptive inference, the comparative-historical literature offers important tools for concept analysis and for achieving measurement validity. Given these contributions, comparative-historical methods merit a central place within the general field of social science methodology.

On Feminist Methodology - Martyn Hammersley. There is now a considerable literature advocating a feminist methodology. This article summarises the features of such a methodology under four headings: the ubiquitous social significance of gender, the validity of experience as against method, the rejection of hierarchy in the research relationship, and the adoption of the emancipation of women as the goal of research and the criterion of validity. The arguments supporting each of these themes are assessed. The conclusion reached is that while some of these arguments are convincing the overall case for a feminist methodology is not.

"On the Question of the Structure of Methodology" The Proceedings of the 8th International Congress of the Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Moscow, 1987, vol. 3/13.

Paul Lazarsfeld - The Founder of Modern Empirical Sociology: A Research Biography - Hynek Jebek.
Paul Lazarsfeld contributed to unemployment research, public opinion and market research, mass media and communications research, political sociology, the sociology of sociology, the history of empirical social research, and applied sociology. His methodological innovations, reason analysis, program analyzer, panel analysis, survey analysis, elaboration formula, latent structure analysis, mathematical sociology, contextual analysis, are of special importance. This study responds to the critiques of Lazarsfeld's ‘administrative research’ by Theodor Adorno, of ‘abstract empiricism’ by Charles W. Mills, and of the ‘Columbia Sociology Machine’ by Terry N. Clark. The paper discusses the merits of the team-oriented style of work presented in Lazarsfeld's ‘workshop,’ his teaching by engaging in professional activities in social research and methodology.

Some Contributions to the History of Sociology. Section VII. Present Historical Methodology - Albion W. Small. Abstract: Attention is called again to the fact that Sections II-VII are not to be understood as appraisals of the persons of the methods discussed by standards which would satisfy historians. They merely emphasize elements in historiographic methodology which later exerted a formative influence upon sociology.

Foucauldian Gerontology: A Methodology for Understanding Aging - Jason L. Powell, Simon Biggs. Abstract: There has been a rise in recent years of a theoretical current entitled “Foucauldian gerontology”. Gerontology too as a discipline and praxis provides the space for the construction and dissemination of knowledge formation. To address this, the paper introduces some of the methodological tools from the scholarship of Michel Foucault. In particular, the paper locates concepts of archaeology, genealogy and technologies of self and highlights the importance and creative impact these have for social gerontology in the USA, UK and Australasia. The paper draws from examples from current gerontological research to illuminate the usefulness of such a Foucauldian approach for researching social gerontology.