Sociology Index

Sociological Methodology

Methods of research in the social sciences. 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: The belief 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 (society) had an existence of their own and that it was these which sociologists were interested in.


The study or critique of methods. There are many philosophical issues around the use of a particular method or about positivism or measurement itself.

SAGE Publications/SRM Database of Social Research Methodology. Description: Searches more than 43,000 literature references on research methodology from across the social sciences quickly, easily and comprehensively.

ICPSR Summer Training Program - The Summer Program provides a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and sociological methodology.
Sociology Research Institute, University of Minnesota.

SRC Summer Institute - The Summer Institute provides rigorous and high quality graduate training in all phases of survey research. The program teaches state-of-the-art practice and theory in the design, implementation, and analysis of surveys.

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 Methods and Research.

Sociological Methodology Bibliography


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. The book focuses on the theory and practice of doing research, using a wide range of examples and case studies. The contributors, who are prominent researchers in the field, review the range of practices in the use of different methodologies and give in-depth examples, based on their own research experience. The book covers a variety of disciplines and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, and a diversity of sources, including fiction, photographs, as well as the traditional social science sources.


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).

Dennis P. Forcese and Stephen Richer, eds., Stages of Social Research (Prentice-Hall, 1970).

Floyd J. Fowler, Jr. Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation, Sage, 1995.

Phillip E. Hammond, ed., Sociologists at Work (Doubleday Anchor Books, 1967).

Garrett Hardin, Science and Controversy (W. H. Freeman and Company, 1969).

Morton Hunt, Profiles of Social Research (Russell Sage, 1985).

Robert L. Kahn and Charles F. Cannell, The Dynamics of Interviewing (John Wiley, 1957).

Fred N. Kerlinger, Foundations of Behavioral Research (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973, 2nd edition).

Paul F. Lazarsfeld, Ann K. Pasanella, and Morris Rosenberg, Continuities in the Language of Social Research (The Free Press, 1972).

Gardner Lindzey and Elliot Aronson, eds., The Handbook of Social Psychology. Volume II (Research Methods), 2nd edition (Addison-Wesley, 1968).

Gardner Lindzey and Elliot Aronson, eds., The Handbook of Social Psychology. Volume I, 3rd edition (Random House, 1985).

Peter H. Rossi, James D. Wright, and Andy B. Anderson, eds., Handbook of Survey Research (Academic Press, 1983).

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

Royce Singleton, Jr. and Bruce C. Straits, Approaches to Social Research, 3d ed., (Oxford University Press, 1999).

Seymour Sudman, Applied Sampling (Academic Press, 1976).

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

Edward R. Tufte, ed., The Quantitative Analysis of Social Problems (Addison-Wesley, 1970).

Charles F. Turner and Elizabeth Martin, eds., Surveying Subjective Phenomena, Volume II (Russell Sage Foundation, 1984).

Eugene J. Webb, et al., Unobtrusive Measures (Rand McNally, 1966).

Paul L. Wuebben, Bruce C. Straits, and Gary I. Schulman, The Experiment as a Social Occasion (Glendessary, 1974).

Creswell, John. W. 1998 Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA Sage.

Creswell, John W. 1994. Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Levine, Donald N. 1995. Visions of the Sociological Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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

Zerubavel, Eviatar. 1999. The Clockwork Muse:A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations & Books. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Allison, Alida, and Terri Frongia, eds. 1992. The Grad Student's Guide to Getting Published. New York: Prentice Hall.

Becker, Howard S., and with a chapter by Pamela Richards. 1986. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, book, or Article. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Boice, Robert. 1994. How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 1995.The Craft of Research. Chicago: The Chicago University Press.

Bordens, Kenneth S., and Bruce B. Abbott. 1999. Research Design & Methods: A Process Approach: Mayfield.

Burgess, Robert G., ed. 1995. Computing and Qualitative Research. Greenwich, CT: Jai Press.

Cook, Terrence E. 1994. Criteria of Social Scientific Knowledge: Interpretation, Prediction, Praxis. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Creswell, John W. 1994. Research Design: Qualitative & Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fielding, Robert G. And Raymond M. Lee, eds. 1993. Using computers in Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.

Girden, Ellen R. 1996. Evaluating Research Articles from Start to Finish. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage .

Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences. 1996. Open the Social Sciences: Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Harvey, Lee. 1990. Critical Social Research. London: Unwin Hyman.

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Layder, Derek. 1993. New Strategies in Social Research: An Introduction and Guide. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Lechte, John. 1994. Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity. London: Routledge.

Levine, Donald N. 1995. Visions of the Sociological Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Locke, Lawrence f., Stephen J. Silverman, Waneen Wyrick Spirduso. 1998. Reading and Understanding Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Locke, Lawrence F., Waneen W. Spirduso, and Stephen J. Silverman. 1987. Proposals that Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

May, Tim. 1996. Situating Social Theory. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.

Newton, Rae R., Kjell Erik Rudestam. 1999. Your Statistical Consultant. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Novak, Joseph D., and D. Bob Gowin. 1984. Learning How to Learn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Potter, W. James. 1996. An Analysis of Thinking and Research about Qualitative Methods. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Rhoads, John K. 1991. Critical Issues in Social Theory. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Steier, Frederick, ed. 1991. Research and Reflexivity. London: Sage Publications.

Sternberg, David. 1981. How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Stock, Molly. 1985. A Practical Guide to Graduate Research. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Books On Sociological Methodology

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

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

Sociological Methodology Book by 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)

Sociological Methodology Book by Ross M. Stolzenberg

The Methodology of Herbert Blumer Book by Kenneth Baugh Jr.

Rules of Sociological Method Book by Emile Durkheim

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

Structural Modeling by Example : Applications in Educational, Sociological, and Behavioral Research Book by Peter Cuttance (Editor), Russell Ecob (Editor)

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