Systematic Methods for Analyzing Culture: A New Book Co-Authored by Jeffrey Snodgrass

CMB network member Jeff Snodgrass is co-author of a forthcoming book from Routledge (link to press information) on methods that will interest CMB scholars and researchers across the board:

Systematic Methods for Analyzing Culture is a practical manual that provides step-by-step instruction for collecting and analyzing cultural data. This compact guide explains complex topics in straightforward and practical terms, via research examples, textual and visual software guides, and hands-on exercises.

Through each chapter’s introductory examples, the manual illustrates how socially learned knowledge provides group members with shared understandings of the world, which allow for mutually intelligible interactions. The authors then carefully walk readers through the process of eliciting those socially learned, shared, and thus cultural representations of reality, which structure the thinking and practice of individuals inhabiting social groups. Specifically, the book shows how researchers can elicit such thought and behavior via methods such as free lists, pile sorts, cultural consensus and consonance analysis, textual analysis, and personal network research.

The book will help both undergraduate and graduate students identify ways to unpack the “black box” of culture, which may be absent or given only cursory attention within their training and respective fields. The book’s clear and systematic step-by-step walkthroughs of each method will also encourage more established researchers, educators, and practitioners—from diverse fields and with varying levels of experience—to integrate techniques for assessing cultural processes into their research, teaching, and practice.