Sociology Index

Sociological Methodology

Books on Sociological Methodology, Bibliography, Journals

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.