Surveying Cultures uniquely employs techniques rooted insurvey methodology to discover cultural patterns in social scienceresearch. Examining both classical and emerging methods that areused to survey and assess differing norms among populations, thebook successfully breaks new ground in the field, introducing atheory of measurement for ethnographic studies that employs theconsensus-as-culture model.
The book begins with a basic overview of cross-culturalmeasurement of sentiments and presents innovative and sophisticatedanalyses of measurement issues and of homogeneity amongrespondents. Subsequent chapters explore topics that are at thecore of successful data collection and analysis in culture studies,including:
* The role of bipolar scales and Internet data collection inmeasuring sentiments
* Key methodological variables that determine the quality ofquantitative data, including measurement errors, validity, andreliability
* New approaches to reliability and several new methods ofassessing a respondent's degree of inculcation into groupculture
* Sampling, coverage, nonresponse, and measurement errors, with anin-depth discussion of their occurrence in culture surveys, theirimpact assessments, and how current measurement techniques areconstructed to help prevent these kinds of errors
* Common problems often encountered in the acquisition andcommunication of data, including identifying error variances,interpreting gender differences in responses, and defining thedifference between cultures and subcultures
Throughout the book, each topic is accompanied by a review ofrelated methodological literature. For many of the presentedconcepts, the author includes a formal analysis of the relatedissues in measuring cultural norms and reports on analyses. Eachchapter concludes with an organized list of major findings as wellas an insightful outline of specific recommendations regardingpractical problems in culture studies.
Surveying Cultures serves as a valuable supplemental bookto courses on survey and research methods at theupper-undergraduate and graduate levels. It is also an excellentreference for researchers in the fields of sociology, anthropology,psychology, and political science.