KEY WORDS: Foucault, Michel; Dominance; Marxist Analysis; Globalization; Political Economy; Dialectics; Social Power; Class Struggle; Oppression; Research Methodology.
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.
Pincon, M., & Pincon-Charlot, M. (1999). Pierre Bourdieu's theory applied to bourgeois research: A plural methodology for a multidisciplinary approach. Revista de Ciencias Humanas, 25, 11-20.
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.
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 Klein.
KEY WORDS: Epistemology; Sociolinguistics; Content Analysis; Research Methodology; Computer Assisted Research; Computer Software; Methodology; Data Analysis.
Pitt-Catsouphes, M., Kossek, E. E., & Sweet, S. (2006). The work and family handbook: Multi-disciplinary perspectives and approaches. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
The Work and Family Handbook is a comprehensive multidisciplinary edited book on theory, methods and the study of work-family relationships. The book includes work-family scholars in the fields of social work, psychology, sociology, organizational behavior, human resource management and economy. The book contains cross-disciplinary approaches and that provide new insights on the work-family relationships.
KEY WORDS: Work and Family; Theory; Research; Methodology; United States.
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.
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 in families.
KEY WORDS: Experimental Design; Methodology; Qualitative Research; Reflectiveness; Family; Subjectivity.
Shaw, K. M., & Heller, D. E. (Eds.). (2007). State postsecondary education research: New methods to inform policy and practice. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing.
This is an opportune time for researchers in higher education to examine policy via cross-state comparative analyses. Momentous court, legislative and policy developments that impact state-level higher education policy are emerging at a rapid rate. The states have emerged as postsecondary policy innovators in the areas of student financing, institutional accountability, and student access.
Following political scientists’ "rediscovery" of states as units of analysis--because they constitute unique "natural laboratories" for testing theory and hypotheses about political behavior and policy adoption dynamics--this book introduces this perspective as an increasingly important tool for researchers in higher education.
State Postsecondary Education Research provides an in-depth examination of the challenges and opportunities inherent in conducting cross-state higher education policy research. The authors of each chapter use their individual research projects to demonstrate the array of methodological, theoretical, analytical, and political challenges inherent in conducting comparative state-level policy research.
Among the innovative methods described is the use of pooled cross-sectional time-series analytic techniques and event history analysis--now widespread within the disciplines of economics and political science--to shift the unit of analysis from the state to the state-year, thus expanding greatly both the statistical power of the models being tested and the data-demands of those models.
The goal is to introduce comparative state-level postsecondary policy research to a broader audience, and to contribute to discussions of both the challenges and the importance of this approach to higher education policy research.
The book is intended as a resource for researchers in higher education policy and as a text for higher education policy courses. It may also appeal to scholars of educational policy as well as higher education policymakers.
KEY WORDS: Educational Policy; Higher Education; Educational Research; Access to Education; Accountability; Public Policy; Research Methodology; Educational Change; Community Colleges; Data Analysis.
Sil, R. (2000). The division of labor in social science research: Unified methodology or "organic solidarity"? Polity, 32(4), 499-531.
Contending methodological 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.
Smith, D. E. (2005). Institutional ethnography: A sociology for people. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
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.
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.
Solorzano, D. G., & Yosso, T. J. (2002). Critical 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.
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; Orientations; Reflexivity.
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.
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), 81-91.
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 involved.
KEY WORDS: Autobiographical Materials; Research Methodology; Methodological Problems; Memory; Life History; Researcher Subject Relations; Research Design.
van der Veen, R. (2006). Communication and creativity: Methodological shifts in adult education. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25(3), 231-240.
Societal changes in late modernity influenced what persons should learn and also influenced how education should change to support these new learning requirements. Particularly, the increasing instrumentalization of our society requires more autonomous and reflective learners. On the one hand this article describes three specific examples of such late modern learning that supports autonomy of subjects, i.e. performative, communicative and creative learning. On the other hand the article argues that these new forms of learning are not necessarily bound to just instrumentalization. Paradoxically, communicative and creative learning also open new roads for autonomous subjects to reflect on underlying normative questions: instrumentalization for what ultimate causes?
KEY WORDS: Lifelong Learning; Social Change; Nonformal Education; Adult Education; Creativity; Educational History; Learning Processes; Research and Development; Inquiry; Postmodernism; Shift Studies.
van Halsema, I. (2003). Feminist methodology and gender planning tools: Divergences and meeting points. Gender, Technology and Development, 7(1), 75-89.
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 other.
KEY WORDS: Feminism; Feminist Theory; Positivism; Development Strategies; Methodology (Philosophical); Methodological Problems.
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 Gruyter.
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 conclusion.
KEY WORDS: Life Cycle; Government Policy; Social Change; Globalization; Institutions; German Democratic Republic; European Union; Family-Work Relationship; Education Work Relationship; Welfare State.
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 Mobility; Methodology.
Compendium of Surveys on Learning and Work
I. Primary Statistics Canada Canadian Surveys
Adult education and training survey (AETS)
Statistics Canada. (1993). Adult education and training survey, 1994. Questionnaire. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
This survey was conducted for Human Resources Development Canada. The information from this survey is intended to help form policies to better meet current training needs by asking such questions as "At any time during 1993, did you receive any training or education including courses, private lessons, correspondence courses, workshops, apprenticeship training, arts, crafts, recreation courses, or any other training or education?" etc.
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Canada; Adult Education; Occupational Training; Employees Training; Employer-Supported Education; Vocational Education; Educational Attainment; Educational Level; Postsecondary Education; Education; Age; Sex; Statistics Databases; Canada.
Statistics Canada. (1997). Adult education and training survey, 1998. Microdata user guide. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Special surveys division.
The Adult Education and Training Survey 1998 was conducted by Statistics Canada with the cooperation and support of Human Resources Development Canada. The reference year for this survey was 1997. This manual has been produced to facilitate the manipulation of the microdata file of the survey results.
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Canada; Adult Education; Occupational Training; Employees Training; Employer-Supported Education; Vocational Education; Educational Attainment; Educational Level; Postsecondary education; Education; Age; Sex; Statistics Databases; Canada.
Statistics Canada. (1998). Adult education and training survey, 1998. Questionnaire. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
This survey was conducted for Human Resources Development. The information from this survey is intended to help create policies to better meet current training needs by asking such questions as "At any time during 1997 did you receive any training on education including courses, private lessons, workshops, apprenticeship training, arts, crafts, recreation courses, or any other training or education?" etc.
KEY WORDS: Educational Surveys; Canada; Adult Education; Occupational Training; Employees Training; Employer-Supported Education; Vocational Education; Educational Attainment; Educational Level; Postsecondary Education; Education; Age; Sex; Statistics Databases.
Statistics Canada. (2004). Adult education and training survey, 2003 (AETS). Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
The Adult Education and Training Survey (AETS) is Canada's most comprehensive source of data on individual participation in formal adult education and training. It is the only Canadian survey to collect detailed information about the skill development efforts of the entire adult Canadian population. The AETS provides information about the main subject of training activities, their provider, duration and the sources and types of support for training. Furthermore, the AETS allows for the examination of the socio-economic and demographic profiles of both training participants and non-participants. This survey also identifies barriers faced by individuals who wish to take some form of training but cannot. The AETS was administered four times during the 1990s: in 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1998, as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
The Adult Education and Training Survey (AETS) is Canada's most comprehensive source of data on individual participation in formal adult education and training. It is the only Canadian survey to collect detailed information about the skill development efforts of the entire adult Canadian population. The main objectives are:
1) To measure the incidence and intensity of adult participation in job-related formal training.
2) To profile employer support to job-related formal training.
3) To analyze the aspects of job-related training activities such as: training provider, expenses, financial support, motivations, outcomes and difficulties experienced while training.
4) To identify the barriers preventing individuals from participating in the job-related formal training they want or need to take.
5) To identify reasons explaining adults' lack of participation and interest in job-related formal training.
6) To relate adults' current participation patterns to their past involvement in and plans about future participation in job-related training.
7) To measure the incidence and frequency of adults' participation in job-related informal training.
8) To examine the interactions between participation in formal and informal job-related training.
The AETS provides information about the main subject of training activities, their provider, duration and the sources and types of support for training. Furthermore, the AETS allows for the examination of the socio-economic and demographic profiles of both training participants and non-participants. This survey also identifies barriers faced by individuals who wish to take some form of training but cannot.