Sociology Index

Sociological Methodology

Methods of research in the social sciences. Sociological methodology is methods best suited to research questions, measure concepts, apply sampling procedures, understand data collection strategies, and analyze data.

METHODOLOGICAL HOLISM: An orientation in research and analysis where the aim is to understand the phenomenon under investigation in its totality as unique and apart from its component parts, rather than to seek to fragment it into known or familiar components. The key idea, in essence, is that the whole differs from the sum of the parts not only in quantity but in quality.

METHODOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM holds that all sociological explanations can be reduced to characteristics of individuals who make up the society. This position is also known as psychologism: explaining social phenomenon in terms of the psychological dispositions of members of society. This is a rejection of macro-structuralists working in the tradition of Emile Durkheim or Karl Marx who assumed that the characteristics of individuals need not be considered. They argued that social facts had an existence of their own and that it was these which sociologists were interested in.

Sociological Methodology Journals

International Journal of Social Research Methodology - Co-Editors: Professor Julia Brannen, Thomas Coram.

Sociological Methodology is an annual volume on methods of research in the social sciences. Sponsored by the American Sociological Association, its mission is to disseminate material that advances empirical research in sociology and related disciplines. Chapters present original methodological contributions, expository statements on and illustrations of recently developed techniques, and critical discussions of research practice.

The Information Society (TIS) journal is a key critical forum for leading edge analysis of the impacts, policies, system concepts, and methodologies related to information technologies and changes in society and culture. Key information technologies include computers and telecommunications; the sites of social change include homelife, workplaces, schools, communities and diverse organizations, as well as new social forms in cyberspace.

Technological Forecasting and Social Change - For those dealing directly with the methodology and practice of technological forecasting and future studies as planning tools as they interrelate social, environmental and technological factors.

Sociological Methodology Books


Understanding Social Statistics

The web site for the textbook Understanding Social Statistics by Jane Fielding and Nigel Gilbert (Sage, 2000). The site includes example data sets, exercises from the book, statistical tables.


Researching Ageing and Later Life: The Practice of Social Gerontology - Anne Jamieson, Christina Victor (Editors)
Reviews - Synopsis - The changing demographic profiles of modern societies has led to a growing interest in understanding ageing and later life among those working within the social sciences and humanities. This edited volume addresses the methodological challenges entailed in studying the process of ageing and life course changes, as well as the experience of being old.


Earl R. Babbie, 2d ed., Survey Research Methods (Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1990).

James A. Davis, The Logic of Causal Order (Sage, 1985).

Donald T. Campbell, "Reforms as Experiments," American Psychologist 24 (April, 1969), 409-429.

Norman K. Denzin, ed., Sociological Methods (Aldine, 1970).

Claire Selltiz, et al., Research Methods in Social Relations (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976, 3rd edition).

Seymour Sudman, Norman M. Bradburn, and Norbert Schwarz, Thinking About Answers: The Application of Cognitive Processes to Survey Methodology, Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Sjoberg, Gideon. 1997 (1968). A Methodology for Social Research: With a New Introductory Essay. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Sociological Methodology. Ross M. Stolzenberg, Ray Weathers (Editors)

Essentials of Research Methods: A Guide to Social Science Research by Janet M. Ruane

Sociological Methodology. Mark Becker, Kenneth A. Bollen, Jacques A. P. Hagenaars, Edgar Kiser, Calvin Morrill, Martina Morris, Susan A. Murphy, Trond Petersen, Elizabeth Stasny, Ross M. Stolzenberg (Editors).

The Methodology of Herbert Blumer. by Kenneth Baugh Jr.

Rules of Sociological Method. by Emile Durkheim.

New Rules of Sociological Method: A Positive Critique of Interpretative Sociologies
Book by Anthony Giddens.

Max Weber's Methodology : The Unification of the Cultural and Social Sciences Fritz Ringer.