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Media Research Methods
Understanding Metric and Interpretive Approaches



September 2011 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

CourseSmart

Media Research Methods: Understanding Metric and Interpretive Approaches brings the insights of a senior theorist, methodologist, and critic to the classroom. Departing from the methods recipe approach, the text explains the reasons behind the methods and makes the connections to theory and knowledge production. Written in a conversational style, the book engages students and appeals to them as media consumers and users of research. The book takes the reader through each step of the research process, outlining the procedures, differences, strengths and limitations of metric, interpretive and the newer hybrid approaches. The text lays down a strong foundation in empirical research and problem solving, addressing metric topics of hypotheses, sampling, statistics, survey and experimental protocols and interpretive topics of textual analysis, coding, critical engagement and ethnography. A special chapter at the end of the book is a helpful guide for those readers who aspire to a research and analysis career.
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Section I: Overview
 
1. Exploring the Mediascape
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Communication Domains  
Understanding Methodological Differences  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
2. Mapping the Mediascape
Chapter Previw  
Introduction  
Four Corners of Analysis  
Putting It Together: Friends in Social Networking Sites  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
3. Methods of Exploration: Asking Questions
Chapter Preview  
Introduction: Primacy of the Problem  
Preliminaries  
The Process of Research  
The Ethics of the Problem  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
4. Methods of Exploration: Finding Answers
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
An Introduction to Empirical Methods  
Cataloguing Methods  
Considering Purposes Beyond Method  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
Section II: Foundations of Research Practice
 
5. From Concepts to Data
Chapter Preview  
The Foundations of Argument in Research  
Assumptions Prior to Data  
Postassumptive Theory  
Concepts and Constructs  
Engagement, Evidence, Claim, and Trustworthiness  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
6. Research Questions and Hypotheses
Chapter Preview  
Creating a Research Study  
Research Questions and Hypotheses  
Contemporary Examples  
Implications for Developing Research Questions  
Anticipating Institutional Review  
Commentary on Methods and Implications  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
7. Literatures and Databases
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Metric, Interpretive, and Hybrid Literature Reviews  
In the Beginning, For the Beginner  
Conducting Professional, Problem-Based Literature Searches  
The Ethics of Literature Reviews  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
Section III: Designing Protocols in Metric Research
 
8. Sampling
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Understanding Sampling  
Sampling Methods  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
9. Statistics and Statistical Analysis
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Descriptive Statistics  
Inferential Statistics  
The Ethics of Analysis  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
10. Designing Surveys
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Measuring Properties: Developing Content  
Methods of Data Collection  
The Ethics of Survey Design  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
11. Protocols for Experiments
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Components of Experimental Design  
Creating the Protocol  
The Ethics of Experiments  
Conclusion  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
Section IV: Conducting Research in the Interpretive Paradigm
 
12. Coding Text
Chapter Preview  
Introduction to Coding Texts  
Symbolic and Discursive Protocols  
Elements of Content Protocols  
Metric Coding  
Interpretive Coding  
Common Elements in Coding  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
13. Discursive Protocols: Creating Texts
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Producing and Coding Research Texts  
Coding Texts: Pulling It All Together  
Critical Question Checklist  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
14. Critical Interpretive Methods: Social Meanings and Media Texts, by Geoffrey Baym
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Goals  
Identifying Issues and Texts  
Selection  
Textual Capture  
Interpretive Reading  
Systematic Analysis of Meaning Construction  
Emergence and Confrontation  
Finely Grained Examination  
Crafting the Argument  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
15. Ethnographic Methods
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Adaptive Strategies in Ethnographic Research  
The Ethics of Ethnography  
Moving On  
Reflections  
 
16. An Excursion Into Writing
Chapter Preview  
Introduction  
Professional Writing  
Background Practices: Foundational Reviews  
Developing the Archive  
Coding the Work  
An Example From the Media Effects Archive  
Closing Foundational Reviews  
A Final Ethical Note  
Reflections  
 
Appendix A: A Short History of Media Innovations
 
Appendix B: One Hundred Studies
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

This book is well written, and it nicely explains the process of researching media from the idea, asking questions, ways to find answers, and appropriate methods for researching media. The book also has two appendices that will be a very valuable help to students conducting research in media studies. However, it will also be useful to our business and PR students due to its writing style and the fact it encompasses both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Dr Martina Topic
Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University
January 28, 2015

Media Research Methods: Understanding Metric and Interpretive Approaches is designed for the reader who has some knowledge on doing research and is ready to use this knowledge to design a project. This book provides sufficient details about quantitative and qualitative research methods and is filled with examples from field. This clearly written and user friendly book describes research methods in enough detail for students. I found James A. Anderson’s book essential for courses on media research methods as well as other courses in Communications.

Dr Sermin Tag Kalafatoglu
Department of Cinema and Television, Ordu University
June 6, 2014

This is clearly written and a timely text that meets the needs of those researching using different media. The "What's It All About?" sections at the beginning of each chapter are helpful to the novice, who might need more signposting to guide their understanding.

Mrs Lyz Howard
Department of Health, Health and Social Care Teaching Team
May 22, 2014

I hadn't used it at first because another one I reviewed seemed easier and offered a more general overview. The thoroughness of this one is better suited to my needs.

Dr Adrienne Shaw
Media Studies and Production, Temple University
November 1, 2013

Found another methods book better suited to my purposes.

Dr Adrienne Shaw
Media Studies and Production, Temple University
July 29, 2013

I recommend this book to students taking thier first steps into research as well as to those who are embarking on projects such as dissertations or writing their first papers. Very easy to read and understand: highly useful.

Miss Angela Rainey
School of Arts and Media, University of Teesside
June 7, 2013

An excellent compliment to the other sage publications on the Media Effects topic.

Mr Kenneth Sloane
Dept of Creative Media, Dundalk Institute of Technology
March 12, 2013

A good book for advanced research on our MA programme.

Mr Philip Cowan
Media, University of Hertfordshire
November 21, 2012
Key features
  • Investigates empirical research to provide the reader with an extensive overview of research practices while supplying real, practical instruction on how to conduct research for the classroom as well as in multiple careers and one's personal life.
  • Consistent critical perspective throughout the text allows students the ability to achieve a realistic understanding of both the accomplishments and difficulties that are part of research.
  • Each chapter starts with a brief overview and a presentation of the key topics in accessible language and the chapter ends with an analysis of the concepts presented in the chapter for their importance and implications, giving the student a deeper understanding of the issues. These valuable resources help students retain the material and reinforce the concepts learned throughout the chapter.
  • Addresses the practices of metric and interpretive research through Monte Carlo demonstrations that show the inner workings of statistical analysis and interpretive decision making.

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