What is Research?
Research is the systematic investigation of a subject, topic, or question.
Data is the information gathered during research.
Fieldwork is the collection of data in its natural environment.
A white paper is a report or guide that synthesizes a complex topic or question and the state of information and ideas about it.
Scholarship is, broadly, the activity of a scholar. More specifically though, the term refers to the writings of scholars which result from their research. The scholarship of a field or discipline are the books, articles, etc. which have been written on the field or discipline, or on a specific subject, topic, or question in the field or discipline.
What is a theory?
A theory is the conceptual basis of a subject or area of study. It is the ideas which underlie how something is understood and the framework within which it is studied.
What is a method?
A method is the process or tool used to collect data.
There are three method types: qualitative, quantitative, and historical. Likewise, some research uses mixed methods.
Qualitative research is interested in the specific. It studies things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them, endeavoring to understand human behavior from the perspective of the individual.
Qualitative methods collect data through observation. Qualitative methods include text analysis, interviews, focus groups, observation, record keeping, ethnographic research, case study research.
Qualitative data is descriptive. Qualitative data cannot be precisely measured and is, rather, analyzed for patterns and themes using coding. Qualitative data includes narratives, recordings, photographs, oral histories, etc.
Quantitative research is interested in the general. It studies general laws of behavior and phenomena across different settings and contexts. This type of research endeavors to form conclusions about social phenomena, collecting data to test a theory and ultimately support or reject it.
Quantitative methods collect data through measuring. Quantitative methods include experiments, surveys, questionnaires, statistical modeling, social networks, and demography.
Quantitative data is numerical and statistical. It is data that can either be counted or compared on a numeric scale. Quantitative data includes statistical information.
Historical research is interested in the past. It reviews and interprets existing data to describe, explain, and understand past actions or events.
Historical methods collect and analyze existing data and analyze it. Historical methods include text analysis, cultural analysis, visual analysis, archival research.
Historical data is data which was created in the past. Historical data includes scholarship, records, artifacts.
A methodology is the rationale for the research approach and the methods used. It is based upon the theories underlying the field or discipline of the research.
Library of Congress YouTube Feed: Folklore
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress produces videos about the practice of folklore, featuring interviews with a variety of folklorists about their careers, methods, fieldwork experiences, and the implications and applications of their work.
Research Theories and Methods
Literary Studies, also called Literary Criticism, is the study of the written works of cultures, societies, groups, and individuals. Literary Studies examines the place of literature in society, and explores how we conceptualize and describe the world and ourselves.
There are a number of different theories about literature, why and how it is created. These theories influence how a work of literature is analyzed, interpreted, and understood. Literary Studies most often uses the method of textual analysis.
- The Cambridge Companion to World Literature byISBN: 9781108457842Publication Date: 2018
- The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism byISBN: 9780393602951Publication Date: 2018
- Beginning Theory byISBN: 0719062683Publication Date: 2002, second edition
- The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory byISBN: 9781108428477Publication Date: 2018
- Literary Analysis: the Basics byISBN: 9780415747097Publication Date: 2016
Linguistics is the study of languages and their structures. Linguistic Studies examines how language is created and constructed, how it functions and is learned, and how we conceptualize and structure our world through our words.
There are different theories about the creation and purpose of language. Some theories state that language is the result of the nature of society, while others emphasize the role of humans in constructing meaning. Linguistic Studies use methods such as textual analysis, ethnographic research, statistical modeling.
- History of Linguistics byISBN: 0582094887Publication Date: 1993, four volumes
- Language in Theory byISBN: 0415320488Publication Date: 2005
- Linguistics: An Introduction to Linguistic Theory byISBN: 0631197095Publication Date: 2000
- Research Methods in Linguistics byISBN: 9781107696358Publication Date: 2014
- Linguistic Fieldwork byISBN: 0230545386Publication Date: 2007
History is the study of events, and their related ideas, individuals, and objects. History Studies examines how moments in time are connected, and how we make sense of things that happen.
Historiography is the study of how historians have interpreted and written about historical events, in essence, how they perceive history itself. Traditionally, a historiography was a name for a history, literally a specific "writing of history".
There are many different theories about if and how events are related to one another, and these theories have influenced how history has been written about over the centuries. History Studies use methods such as textual analysis and archival research.
A related theory to history theories is Memory Theory, which considers how collective and individual memory is created and preserved. Memory Studies examines the ways in which events are recorded and remembered, or, alternatively, forgotten, and how we choose to create and remember (or forget) our past.
- A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography byISBN: 1405149086Publication Date: 2008
- Theories of History byISBN: 1474271308Publication Date: 2018
- History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Practice byISBN: 1405812540Publication Date: 2012
- Research Methods for History byISBN: 9781474408738Publication Date: 2016
- Historiography: an Introductory Guide byISBN: 9781441109668Publication Date: 2012
- Historiography byISBN: 0226072827Publication Date: 2007
- Theories of Memory byISBN: 9780801887291Publication Date: 2007
- Research Methods for Memory Studies byISBN: 9780748645961Publication Date: 2013
Anthropology is the study of human societies, their behaviors and cultures. Anthropological Studies examine how societies are formed and function, and the many aspects which form our identities.
Social Anthropology examines human behavior. Sometimes this sub-field is combined with Cultural Anthropology as Sociocultural Anthropology.
Cultural Anthropology examines the cultures, or various beliefs and practices, of societies. Sometimes this sub-field is combined with Social Anthropology as Sociocultural Anthropology.
Physical Anthropology, also called Biological Anthropology, examines the biology of humans and how they interact with their environment.
Linguistic Anthropology examines the place of language in shaping social life.
Archaeology examines the material culture, or the objects, of humans. It is considered a sub-field of Anthropology in the United States, and a sub-field of History in other parts of the world.
Ethnography is the study of a specific society using the methods of observation and immersion, or talking and living with individuals in order to understand them.
The is a long tradition of theories about how societies organize themselves and how they function. These theories determine how cultural beliefs and practices are understood, in essence, how we understand ourselves and others. Anthropology Studies use methods such as interviews, focus groups, observation, ethnographic research, and record keeping, as well as textual analysis and archival research.
- Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History byISBN: 9781442257016Publication Date: 2016, sixth edition
- A History of Anthropology byISBN: 9780745333526Publication Date: 2013, second edition
- Research Methods in Anthropology byISBN: 9781442268845Publication Date: 2017
- Cultural Anthropology byISBN: 1260051919Publication Date: 2019, eighteenth edition
- The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology byISBN: 9781529703870Publication Date: 2021
- Ethnography byISBN: 9780199371785Publication Date: 2018
- Handbook of Ethnography byISBN: 1412946069Publication Date: 2007
- Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practices byISBN: 050028976XPublication Date: 2012, sixth edition
- Archaeology: The Discipline of Things byISBN: 9780520274174Publication Date: 2012
- An Archaeology of Interaction byISBN: 9780199215454Publication Date: 2011
Sociology is the study of societies, their behaviors, relationships, and interactions. It examines social order and social changes, trying to understand how and why we organize ourselves and relate to one another.
Historical Sociology is the study of the behaviors and organization of societies of the past.
There are different theories about how societies are structured and why they act the way they do. Sociological Studies often use the methods of surveys, experiments, ethnographic research, and textual analysis.
Sociological theories are theories about how the mechanics of societies function, whereas Social Theory encompasses more broadly theories which explain how societies think and act.
- Sociological Theory byISBN: 0761985573Publication Date: 2001
- Introduction to Sociological Theory byISBN: 111847192XPublication Date: 2019, second edition
- Handbook of Historical Sociology byISBN: 0761971734Publication Date: 2003
- Global Historical Sociology byISBN: 9781107166646Publication Date: 2017
- The Cambridge Handbook of Social Theory byISBN: 1107162645Publication Date: 2020
- The Practice of Social Research byISBN: 0357360761Publication Date: 2020
- Sociological Research Methods byISBN: 0878558144Publication Date: 1996
- Understanding Survey Methodology: Sociological Theory and Applications byISBN: 3030472558Publication Date: 2020
Geography is the study of land, inhabitants, and natural phenomena. It examines the relationship between humans and their environment, and helps us to understand our relationship with the world.
Human Geography examines humans and their communities, and their relationships with place, space, and environment.
Physical Geography examines the processes and patterns of environments, such as their atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.
Cartography is both the study of and the science and art of map-making. It reveals how we view and conceptualize the world and our relationship to it and to others.
There are a number of theories as to the relationship between humans and their environments, many of which are shared with the fields of Anthropology and Sociology. Geography Studies use a variety of research methods, including interviews, surveys, observation, and GIS or spatial analysis.
- Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment byISBN: 129206126XPublication Date: 2014, sixth edition
- Geographical Thought byISBN: 0132228246Publication Date: 2011
- Human Geography byISBN: 0333452518Publication Date: 1994
- Key Texts in Human Geography byISBN: 9781412922616Publication Date: 2008
- Thinking Space byISBN: 0415160154Publication Date: 2000
- Cartography byISBN: 9780226605548Publication Date: 2019
- Reflexive Cartography byISBN: 9780128035092Publication Date: 2015
- The Sovereign Map byISBN: 9780226389530Publication Date: 2006
- How to Lie with Maps byISBN: 9780226435923Publication Date: 2018, third edition
- Research Methods in Geography byISBN: 9781405107105Publication Date: 2010
Cultural Studies is the study and analysis of culture. It is a cross-disciplinary field which examines the various aspects of a society, in order to understand how we form our identities.
Culture is the ideas, behaviors, customs, and objects of a region, society, group, or individual.
Material culture are the physical objects of a culture, such as tools, domestic objects, religious objects, works of art.
Cultural theories draw upon theories in a variety of fields, including literary theories, semiotics, history theories, anthropological theories, social theories, museum studies, art history, and media studies. Cultural theories influence how we analyze and interpret the culture of societies. Cultural Studies tends to use methods such as interviews, observation, ethnographic research, record keeping, archival research, textual analysis, visual analysis.
- Cultural Studies: A Critical Introduction byISBN: 0415246571Publication Date: 2005
- Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice byISBN: 9780857024794Publication Date: 2011, fourth edition
- Culture and Society byISBN: 9780761942689Publication Date: 2006
- Cultural Methodologies byISBN: 0803974841Publication Date: 1998
- Research Methods for Cultural Studies byISBN: 0748625771Publication Date: 2008
Folklore Studies, also known as Folkloristics, is the study of the expressions of culture, particularly the practices and products of a society. Folklore Studies examines the things we make to understand how they make us.
Folklore has been traditionally considered, narrowly, as the oral tales of a society. More broadly, the term refers to all aspects of a culture – beliefs, traditions, norms, behaviors, language, literature, jokes, music, art, foodways, tools, objects, etc.
A number of theories have emerged over the years about how societies create themselves, and these theories influence how we view and understand the things which societies create. Folklore Studies use methods such as interviews, focus groups, observation, ethnographic research, and record keeping, as well as textual analysis, visual analysis and archival research.
- Folkloristics: An Introduction byISBN: 0253209943Publication Date: 1995
- Living Folklore: Introduction to the Study of People and their Traditions byISBN: 0874216117Publication Date: 2005
- Folklore Rules: A Fun, Quick, and Useful Introduction to the Field of Academic Folklore Studies byISBN: 0874219051Publication Date: 2013
- Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: An Introduction byISBN: 9780874211283Publication Date: 1986
- Folk Groups and Folklore Genres: A Reader byISBN: 9780874211405Publication Date: 1989
- Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth byISBN: 0520051920Publication Date: 1984
- Folk and Fairy Tales: A Handbook byISBN: 0313328102Publication Date: 2004
- Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction byISBN: 9780226158716Publication Date: 1982
- Fieldwork byISBN: 0252013727Publication Date: 1987
- The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research byISBN: 1412981646Publication Date: 2012
- Handbook of Oral History byISBN: 9780759111929Publication Date: 2008
- The Oxford Handbook of Oral History byISBN: 9780199945061Publication Date: 2012
The arts are a range of disciplines which study, create, and engage with human expression. The arts include,
- Architecture -- Design
- Visual Arts -- Drawing, Painting, Illustration, Sculpting, Ceramics, Photography, Film
- Literary Arts -- Fiction, Drama, Poetry, Creative Writing, Storytelling
- Performance Arts -- Music, Dance, Theatre
- Textile Arts -- Fashion
- Craft -- Weaving, Woodwork, Paperwork, Glasswork, Jewelry-making
- Culinary Arts -- Cooking, Baking, Chocolate-making, Brewing, Wine-making
- Art History and Criticism
The arts are a collection of areas of studies which combine technical skills and creativity to produce objects which convey human experience.
Architecture is the study and design of structures. It examines both the utilitarian and the sociological aspects of space, and the relationship between constructed space and humans.
Art History is the study and analysis of visual arts.
Musicology is the study and analysis of music.
Performance is the study and the practice of art is time and space.
Film & Media Studies is the study of art which employs technologies.
There are as many theories about the arts as there are areas of arts. These theories affect how we understand the identity and the agency of the artist, the meaning of the art, and the relationship between the art and society. Arts fields often employ textual and visual analysis research methods, as well as observation and experimentation.
- Introduction to Art byISBN: 1940771293Publication Date: 2015
- But Is It Art?: An Introduction to Art Theory byISBN: 0192853678Publication Date: 2002
- Art Theory: An Historical Introduction byISBN: 1405107073Publication Date: 2004
- Art Practice As Research byISBN: 1412905362Publication Date: 2004
- Architecture: History, Theory, and Preservation byISBN: 9781138326767Publication Date: 2020
- Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, and Architecture byISBN: 041556722XPublication Date: 2013
- Theory/Theatre: An Introduction byISBN: 1138902039Publication Date: 2016
- Theatre/Theory/Theatre byISBN: 1557835276Publication Date: 2003
- Philosophy of Music byISBN: 9783110627411Publication Date: 2019
- The Invention of 'Folk Music' and 'Art Music' byISBN: 0521863031Publication Date: 2007
- Dance Theory byISBN: 9780190059750Publication Date: 2020
- The Creative Reflective Practitioner byISBN: 1138632767Publication Date: 2019
- Film Studies: An Introduction byISBN: 0231551568Publication Date: 2020
- Film Theory: the Basics byISBN: 9781138797345Publication Date: 2016
- Film Theory: Creating a Cinematic Grammer byISBN: 0231850603Publication Date: 2014
- Vocal Tracks: Performance and Sound Media byISBN: 0520942841Publication Date: 2008
Folklorists study people's lives and thus they are responsible to preserve and protect culture. Folklorists are professionals and researchers and thus they have a responsibility to the field to uphold standards of behavior and work. Finally, folklorists interact with individuals and are responsible to uphold human rights. Though there is little direct legislation governing folklore studies, there are numerous laws concerning human rights and information, as well as professional standards in the field of cultural heritage preservation.
The codes of ethics and standards which govern folklore studies have been developed over time from a number of authorities.
1948 United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948 American Anthropological Association, Resolution on Freedom of Publication
1971 American Anthropological Association, Principles of Professional Responsibility Statement of Ethics
1976 American Folklife Preservation Act (P.L. 94-201)
American Folklife Center established at the Library of Congress and given duty to preserve American folklife
1985 UNESCO, Protection of Expressions of Folklore Against Illicit Exploitation and Other Prejudicial Actions
1988 American Folklore Society, Statement of Ethics
1988 National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, Ethical Guidelines for Practitioners
1989 UNESCO, Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore
1998 American Anthropological Association, Code of Ethics
2003 UNESCO, Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage