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Research methods for Anthropology and Sociology

This guide provide information on research methods for Anthropology and Sociology.

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email () or Ask a librarian.

Find books on research methods

Search by keyword in the Library Catalogue

  • "topic word" AND "research method*"
  • "qualitative research" AND method*
  • indigen* AND "research method*"

Subject headings for books

These selected subject headings will help you to find books on research methods.

To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.

Selected books

These books will help you to get started:

Anthropology and sociology of a particular country

Try browse by "subject", "Sociology" and the subheadings, "name of the country", and also the subheading, "periodicals" (for journals)


Search databases that publish scholarly articles in your research area. Research methodologies are included in the text of articles and in the abstracts of article index records so a keyword search, using terms describing your methodology and the focus of your research, should produce relevant results.  List of Databases for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Databases for Anthropology, Databases and for Sociology.

For example:

participant observation
cell phone* or mobile phone* or cellular telephones or mobile communication

To find discussions of methodological issues, use terms describing your methodology combined with terms like "critique", "review", "assessment", "problem*", "ethic*", "issues", etc.

In addition to the lists of databases above, the Sage and Carma databases (listed, below) focus on research methods.

Sage Research Methods Online 
Search or browse a wide variety of sources on research methods, including ebooks, articles, reference sources, and videos. Also includes research tools and instructional content.

SAGE Research Methods Cases 
Case studies of research methods applied to real research projects. Researchers explain how they designed their research project, why they chose a particular research method, how they overcame problems and what they might have done differently in hindsight. Cases cover research methods such as focus groups, data collection, ethnography, semi-structured interviews, content analysis, grounded theory, action research and more.

SAGE Research Methods. Datasets
Collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides covering a range of research methods. By picking a dataset and working through the accompanying guides, students can learn data analysis by practicing themselves.

Sage Research Methods. Video
Videos on all aspects of the research process and methods. Also covers practical skills such as project management and writing for publication.

CARMA Video Library
Advanced training in research methods and data analysis from the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis

Selected sources for literature reviews

Annual review of anthropology 
Provides literature reviews of anthropology topics.

Annual review of sociology
Provides literature reviews of sociology topics.

Oxford Bibliographies Online 
Lists key books, articles, and other sources on a wide variety of subjects via annotated and curated bibliographies. An excellent starting point for locating important literature and scholarly sources on a topic. Focuses on the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Abstracts and Index 
Dissertations and theses from around the world. Historic and ongoing coverage.  Current theses on your topic can provide you with both research methods and useful bibliographies.

Sociological methods and research

Selected journals