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Using Documents and Records in Social Research

Using Documents and Records in Social Research

Four Volume Set
Edited by:

May 2011 | 1 640 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Although almost all social research is dependent on documentation in one way or another, the role of documents in the research process is more often than not underplayed. Indeed, in most social scientific studies, documents and records tend to enter and leave the 'field' in relative silence, and their place in empirical research is often associated with the use of 'unobtrusive' techniques. This collection aims to rectify this anomaly by collecting together a body of papers that highlights the different ways in which documents and records have, and can be, approached and studied in a variety of social research contexts. By assembling key papers from studies in fields as diverse as criminology, health, education, and organizational research, as well as science and technology studies, the volumes illustrate how documents and records figure in all aspects of the research process from research design, through to data collection, data analysis and report writing.

Volume I: The Study of Content draws from a mix of 20th writers who have used letters, diaries, newspapers and related published materials as sources of data.

Volume II: The Social Construction of Documents and Records focuses on papers that emphasize the different ways in which documents and records are assembled and constructed.

Volume III: Documents in 'the Field' investigates how documents have been used in various forms of field work.

Volume IV: Documents in Networks examines the ways in which documents can both form part of a network and reflect networks.


Lindsay Prior
The Consequences of Literacy

Jack Goody and Ian Watt
Text and Textuality

William Hanks
Re-Thinking Written Culture

Naomi Baron
Evidence and Proof in Documentary Research I: Some Specific Problems of Documentary Research

Jennifer Platt
The Immigrant Letter between Positivism and Populism: The Uses of Immigrant Personal Correspondence in Twentieth-Century American Scholarship

David Gerber
Documentary Identification and Mass Surveillance in the United States

James Rule, Douglas McAdam, Linda Stearns and David Uglow
Diaries as a Source of Suffering Narratives: A Critical Commentary

Andy Alaszewski
The Emergence of the Memo as a Managerial Genre

JoAnne Yates
The Challenge of Qualitative Content Analysis

Siegfried Kracauer
Crime in the News: How Crimes, Offenders and Victims are Portrayed in the Media

Jessica Pollack and Charis Kubrin
Gender, Cancer Experience and Internet Use: A Comparative Keyword Analysis of Interviews and Online Cancer Support Groups

Clive Seale, Sue Ziebland and Jonathan Charteris-Black
The Social Archaeology of a Juvenile Facility: Unobtrusive Measures in the Study of Institutional Cultures

John Klofas and Charles Cutshall
Power, Policy and Paperwork: The Bureaucratic Representation of Interests

Wendy Espeland
IText: Future Directions for Research on the Relationship Between Information Technology and Writing

Cheryl Geisler et al
The Social Construction of Documentary Reality

Dorothy Smith
A Note on the Use of Official Statistics

John Kitsuse and Aaron Cicourel
Analyzing Classifications: Foucault for Advanced Writing

Carol Snyder
Deviance on Record: Techniques for Labeling Child Abusers in Official Documents

Leslie Margolin
The Organizational Career of Gang Statistics: The Politics of Policing Gangs

Albert Meehan
The Appliance of Science?' The Theory and Practice of Crime Intelligence Analysis

M. Innes, N. Fielding and N. Coope
Making Sense of Mortality

Lindsay Prior
Documenting the Quick and the Dead: a Study of Suicide Case Files in a Coroner's Office

Susanne Langer, Jonathan Scourfield and Ben Fincham
Revising Psychiatry's Charter Document: DSM-IV

Lucille McCarthy and Joan Gerring
Clinical Writing and the Documentary Construction of Schizophrenia

Robert Barrett
Ethnographies as Texts

George Marcus and Dick Cushman
Writing Ethnography: Malinowski's Fieldnotes on Baloma

Alturo Roldán
Words and Sentences Over Time: How Facts Are Built and Sustained in a Specialty Area

Kay Oehler, William Snizek and Nicholas Mullins
Ditch and Drain Become a Healthy Creek: Re-Preseantations, Translations and Agency during the Re/Design of a Watershed

S. Lee and W-M Roth
Inscriptions: Toward a Theory of Representing as Social Practice

Wolff-Michael Roth and Michelle McGinn
Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with Eyes and Hands

Bruno Latour
Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter

J. Brian Harley
"Good" Organizational Reasons for "Bad" Clinical Records

Harold Garfinkel
Records as Genre

Catherine Schryer
Finding Meaning in the Text: The Process of Interpretation in Text-Based Divination

David Zeitlyn
From Talk to Text: The Interactional Construction of a Police Record

Martha Komter
Talk as Organizational Echoes

Peter Manning
Flexible Sketches and Inflexible Data Bases: Visual Communication, Conscription Devices, and Boundary Objects in Design Engineering

Kathryn Henderson
The Multiple Bodies of the Medical Record: Toward a Sociology of an Artefact

Marc Berg and Geoffrey Bowker
Making Risk Visible: The Role of Images in the Assessment of (Cancer) Genetic Risk

Lindsay Prior, Fiona Wood, Jonathan Gray, Roisin Pill and David Hughes
The Fixation of (Visual) Evidence

Klaus Amann and Karin Knorr-Cetina
The Use and Transformation of Formal Decision-Making Criteria: Sentencing Guidelines, Organizational Contexts, and Case Processing Strategies

Jeffrey Ulmer and John Kramer
Financial Knowledge, Documents, and the Structures of Financial Activities

Alex Preda
The Contract as Social Artifact

Mark Suchman
"You End Up Doing the Document Rather Than Doing the Doing": Diversity, Race Equality and the Politics of Documentation

Sara Ahmed
From Thing to Sign and "Natural Object": Toward a Genetic Phenomenology of Graph Interpretation

Wolff-Michael Roth, G. Michael Bowen and Domenico Masciotra
Utterance Unmoored: The Changing Interpretation of the Act of Writing in the European Middle Ages

Jeffrey Kittay
Teens and Mobile Phones

Amanda Lenhart, Rich Ling, Scott Campbell and Kirsten Purcell
Textual Agency: How Texts Do Things in Organizational Settings

François Cooren
Discursively Structured Activities

Charles Bazerman
Genre and Activity Systems: The Role of Documentation in Maintaining and Changing Engineering Activity Systems

Dorothy Winsor
Textual Objects: Accounting for the Role of Texts in the Everyday Life of Complex Organizations

Cheryl Geisler
Ordering Work: Blue-Collar Literacy and the Political Nature of Genre

Dorothy Winsor
Organizational Features of Direction Maps

George Psathas
The Writing on the Walls: The Graffiti of the Intifada

Julie Peteet
Organizing Madness: Reflections on the Forms of the Form

Christine McLean and Keith Hoskin
Texts and the Institutions of Municipal Government: The Power of Texts in the Public Process of Land Development

Susan Turner
Written Work: The Social Functions of Research Ethics

Mary Dixon-Woods, Emma Angella, Richard Ashcroft and Alan Bryman
Structuring Writing for Reading: Hypertext and the Reading Body

Paul Ten Have
Reconstructing Artifacts, Reconstructing Work: From Textual Edition to On-Line Databank

Karen Ruhleder
Dysfunctional Workers, Functional Texts: The Transformation of Work in Institutional Procedure Manuals

Francis Sullivan
Documents in Networks of Action
Science, Text and Space: Thoughts on the Geography of Reading

David Livingstone
Landscaping Climate Change: A Mapping Technique for Understanding Science and Technology Debates on the World Wide Web

Richard Rogers and Noortje Marres
A New Clinical Collective for French Cancer Genetics: A Heterogeneous Mapping Analysis

Pascale Bourret, Andrei Mogoutov, Claire Julian-Reynier and Alberto Cambrosio

Lindsay Prior

Lindsay Prior is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Queen’s University, Belfast, and visiting Professor in the School of Public Health. He is the author of Using Documents in Social Research (SAGE, 2003) and editor of the 4-volume Using Documents and Records in Social Research (SAGE, 2011). His most recent journal publications—in, Social Science & Medicine, Critical Public Health, Sociology of Health & Illness, have focused on various aspects of public health practice and policy. More About Author