Sociological approaches to cultural heritage research

Henry, William Anthony (2015) Sociological approaches to cultural heritage research. In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America. SAGE, Thousand Oaks, California, USA. ISBN 9781452258218

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Sociological enquiry generally focuses on the abstracted object of study that has been located/situated in a field where the sociologist becomes the ‘knower’ based on, in many cases, empirical observation. The research object is explored on two basic levels, the most popular being the micro where the focus may be on how an individual’s agency is impacted by her/his structural placement within a given society. The second is on a macro level where the investigation is systemic and could be, for instance, 21st Century thoughts on abortion within the global Catholic Church. In each case the sociologist becomes the ‘knower’ in relation to the data yielded/gathered/scrutinized from a critical analysis of her/his research object. The research conclusion/outcome from studying the object is then made public in a form that is either quantitative, qualitative or a combination of the two. However, when dealing with a field of enquiry that is culturally specific and politically relevant to a particular heritage group, such as the African Diaspora, these basic approaches to objectified studies need revision because consideration must be given to how to interpret and theorize a project that is far more visceral than the usual academic enterprise.

Item Type: Book Section
Identifier: 10.4135/9781483346373.n270
Subjects: Social sciences > Communication and culture
Depositing User: William Anthony Henry
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 14:19
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:08

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