[Air-l] Re: research methods

Jonathan Sterne jsterne+ at pitt.edu
Sat Jun 14 11:05:23 PDT 2003

Hey Andrew,

Two books I'd recommend:

C. Wright Mills, _The Sociological Imagination_

Bourdieu and Wacquant, _An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology_ (really just 
the third section for a methods course)

Neither is comm or method specific, but they are, in my opinion, two of the 
most important books ever written on research design.  Mills attacks the 
fetishization of theory and method, and closes with a really derisory 
description of his work patterns.  Some of the book is dated, but it's 
amazing how much of it ISN'T dated.  The third section of the _Invitation_ 
is about doing research that matters and learning to ask intelligent and 
important questions before applying method.

I've taught both books at the graduate level with great success.

You'll need some methodologies as well (remember:  a methodology is a 
theory or description of a method, not the method itself), but these Mills 
and Bourdieu will give you something many methodologies don't.


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