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Surveying Cultures: Discovering Shared Conceptions and Sentiments

ISBN: 978-0-470-47907-0
229 pages
January 2010
Surveying Cultures: Discovering Shared Conceptions and Sentiments  (0470479078) cover image
Surveying Cultures uniquely employs techniques rooted in survey methodology to discover cultural patterns in social science research. Examining both classical and emerging methods that are used to survey and assess differing norms among populations, the book successfully breaks new ground in the field, introducing a theory of measurement for ethnographic studies that employs the consensus-as-culture model.

The book begins with a basic overview of cross-cultural measurement of sentiments and presents innovative and sophisticated analyses of measurement issues and of homogeneity among respondents. Subsequent chapters explore topics that are at the core of successful data collection and analysis in culture studies, including:

  • The role of bipolar scales and Internet data collection in measuring sentiments

  • Key methodological variables that determine the quality of quantitative data, including measurement errors, validity, and reliability

  • New approaches to reliability and several new methods of assessing a respondent's degree of inculcation into group culture

  • Sampling, coverage, nonresponse, and measurement errors, with an in-depth discussion of their occurrence in culture surveys, their impact assessments, and how current measurement techniques are constructed to help prevent these kinds of errors

  • Common problems often encountered in the acquisition and communication of data, including identifying error variances, interpreting gender differences in responses, and defining the difference between cultures and subcultures

Throughout the book, each topic is accompanied by a review of related methodological literature. For many of the presented concepts, the author includes a formal analysis of the related issues in measuring cultural norms and reports on analyses. Each chapter concludes with an organized list of major findings as well as an insightful outline of specific recommendations regarding practical problems in culture studies.

Surveying Cultures serves as a valuable supplemental book to courses on survey and research methods at the upper-undergraduate and graduate levels. It is also an excellent reference for researchers in the fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology, and political science.

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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. Surveying Culture.

1.1 Case Studies of Cultural Surveys.

1.2 Preview.

1.3 Chapter Highlights.

2. Measuring Sentiments.

2.1 Dimensions of Affect.

2.2 Bipolar Scales.

2.3 Internet Data Collection.

2.4 Chapter Highlights.

3. Sentiment Repositories.

3.1 Early Archives.

3.2 Cross-Cultural Atlas.

3.3 Archives Related to Social Interaction.

3.4 U.S. 2002-2004 Project.

3.5 Chapter Highlights.

4. Surveys with Vignettes.

4.1 Factorial Surveys.

4.2 Impressions from Events.

4.3 Attribute-Identity Amalgamations.

4.4 Event Likelihoods.

4.5 Synopsis.

4.6 Chapter Highlights.

4.7 Appendix: Impression-Formation Study Designs.

5. Errors in Surveys.

5.1 Coverage Errors.

5.2 Sampling Errors.

5.3 Nonresponse Errors.

5.4 Measurement Errors.

5.5 Other Errors.

5.6 A Survey-of-Cultures Model.

5.7 Statistics.

5.8 Inculcation Index.

5.9 Commonality Index.

5.10 Variance Components.

5.11 Implications.

5.12 Chapter Highlights.

6. Correlates of Enculturation.

6.1 Indices.

6.2 Conduct as a Rater.

6.3 Predicting Cultural Authoritativeness.

6.4 Implications.

6.5 Chapter Highlights.

7. Consensus in Sentiments.

7.1 Component Analyses.

7.2 Subcultures.

7.3 Discussion.

7.4 Chapter Highlights.

8. Measurement Reliability.

8.1 Reliabilities Within Stimuli.

8.2 Reliabilities Across Stimuli.

8.3 Chapter Highlights.

9. Culture and Surveys.

9.1 Unique Aspects of Sentiment Surveys.

9.2 Frameworks for Sentiment Surveys.

9.3 In Closing.

9.4 Chapter Highlights.

References.

Index.

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David R. Heise, PhD, is Rudy Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Indiana University–Bloomington. Throughout his more than forty years of academic experience, Dr. Heise has published extensively in his areas of research interest, which include issues in quantitative modeling, computer applications in qualitative research, and affective and logical foundations of social interaction.
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