Theory and Methods
Author: Valery Chirkov
This is the first book that provides detailed guidelines of how to conduct multi-disciplinary research to study people’s behaviors in different cultures. Readers are encouraged to look beyond disciplinary boundaries to address issues between individuals and their socio-cultural environments so as to design the most effective studies possible. The core philosophical and theoretical assumptions that underlie the strategies, designs, and techniques used when researching cultural issues are examined. The book reviews all the steps that go into doing cultural research from formulating the research problem to selecting the most appropriate method for data analysis. Realist and interpretivist paradigms together with the theory of cultural models and quantitative, qualitative, mixed-method, and multiple-design strategies are reviewed. Case studies, ethnographies, and interviewing techniques are emphasized throughout. Chapters open with learning objectives and end with a conclusion, a glossary, questions, exercises, and recommended readings. Numerous multidisciplinary examples, tables, and figures demonstrate and synthesize the analysis of data. Information boxes provide historical notes and how-to boxes provide tips on methodological issues. Highlights include: -Encourages researchers to breach disciplinary boundaries to address the problems of human functioning in different cultures (Chs. 1 & 2). -Introduces readers to the theory of cultural models that helps bridge the human mind and socio-cultural realities (Chs. 2 & 10). -Propagates the realist and interpretivist philosophical paradigms for doing cultural studies and demonstrates how to use these approaches when studying people in different cultures (Chs. 3 & 4). -Helps readers formulate productive research questions, articulate concepts, and understand the role theories play in cultural research (Ch. 5 - 6). -Reviews research designs including case-based and variable-based ones, person-centered ethnography, interviewing, and quantitative studies (Chs. 7 - 10). -www.routledge.com/9780415820325/ provides instructors with Power Points, additional references and studies, and questions for discussion and evaluation for each chapter and students with chapter outlines and objectives, key terms and concepts with a hotlink to the definition, and suggested readings and websites. Part 1 explores disciplinary and theoretical thinking to help readers connect different disciplines, theories, and philosophical paradigms in a logical way. Part 2 reviews planning research with an emphasis on defining the research problem. Here readers learn to articulate the purpose of the study and the research questions, work with related conceptual and theoretical foundations, and identify various research strategies including nomothetic and idiographic approaches, variable- and case-based studies, and potential sampling problems. Part 3 reviews the practical aspects of doing cultural research -- how to use various research designs including experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational studies, mixed method designs, and ethnographic and qualitative studies. Methodological problems specific to researching cultural issues such as the equivalence of concepts, the translation of instruments, and verifying measurement invariance are reviewed. Readers are also introduced to ethnography including practical elements such as language training, formal document requirements, and issues related to working in an unfamiliar community. The book concludes with the most crucial aspects of conducting ethical cultural psychological research. Intended for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses that conduct cultural or cross-cultural research including cross-(cultural) psychology, culture and psychology, or research methods/design courses in psychology, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, social work, education, geography, international relations, business, nursing, public health, and communication, the book also appeals to researchers interested in conducting cross-cultural and cultural studies. Prerequisites include introductory courses on research methods and cross-cultural/cultural psychology.