Advertisement

Comparative Methods in Family Research

  • Gary R. Lee
  • Linda Haas

Abstract

Comparative research involves the study of two or more societies, for one of two purposes: (1) for establishing the generality of theories, hypotheses, or empirical generalizations already well established for one nation, or (2) for understanding the impact societal properties have on specific social phenomena. Because of problems of inference from samples of social systems that are inherently nonrandom and nonrepresentative, comparative research is not well suited for purely descriptive purposes. Instead, comparative research as a method of studying family life should be used to investigate the utility of explanatory theory.

Keywords

Comparative Method Labor Force Participation Systemic Property Comparative Research American Sociological Review 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bachofen, J. J. (1861). Das Mutterrecht. Basel: Benno Schwabe. (Republished in 1948)Google Scholar
  2. Barry, H. III, & Schlegel, A. (1980). Cross-cultural samples and codes. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boas, F. (1896). The limitations of the comparative method in anthropology. Science, 4, 901–908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boomsma, A. (1983). On the robustness of LISREL (maximum likelihood estimation) against small sample size and non-normality. Amsterdam: Sociometric Research Foundation.Google Scholar
  5. Breault, K. D., & Kposowa, A. J. (1987). Explaining divorce in the United States: A study of 3,111 counties, 1980. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 549–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Comte, A. (1896). The positive philosophy of Auguste Comte (Harriet Martineau, Trans.). London: Bell.Google Scholar
  7. Cornell, L. L. (1989). Gender differences in remarriage after divorce in Japan and the United States. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 457–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dietz, T., Frey, R. S., & Kalof, L. (1987). Estimation with cross-national data: Robust and nonparametric methods. American Sociological Review, 52, 380–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Durkheim, E. (1951). Suicide. Paris: Alcan. (Original work published 1897)Google Scholar
  10. Elder, J. W. (1976). Comparative cross-national methodology. In Alex Inkeles (Ed.), Annual review of sociology (Vol. 2, pp. 209–230). Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews.Google Scholar
  11. Fiala, R., & LaFree, G. (1988). Cross-national determinants of child homicide. American Sociological Review, 53, 432–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frey, F. W. (1970). Cross-cultural survey research in political science. In R. T. Holt & J. E. Turner (Eds.), The methodology of comparative research (pp. 175–294). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  13. Guttentag, M., & Secord, P. F. (1983). Too many women? The sex ratio question. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Haas, L. (1986). Wives’ orientation toward breadwinning: Sweden and the United States. Journal of Family Issues, 7, 358–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Joreskog, K. G., & Sorbom, D. (1986). LISREL VI: Analysis of linear structural relationships by the method of maximum likelihood. Mooresville, IN: Scientific Software.Google Scholar
  16. Kohn, M. L. (1977). Class and conformity: A study in values (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kohn, M. L. (1987). Cross-national research as an analytic strategy. American Sociological Review, 52, 713–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kohn, M. L., Slomczynski, K. M., & Schoenbach, C. (1986). Social stratification and the transmission of values in the family: A cross-national assessment. Sociological Forum, 1, 73—102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee, G. R. (1982). Family structure and interaction: A comparative analysis (2nd ed.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lee, G. R. (1984). The utility of cross-cultural data: Potentials and limitations for family sociology. Journal of Family Issues, 5, 519–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. London, B. (1988). Dependence, distorted development, and fertility trends in noncore nations: A structural analysis of cross-national data. American Sociological Review, 53, 606–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maine, H. S. (1861). Ancient law. London: Murray.Google Scholar
  23. Malinowski, B. (1929). The sexual life of savages in North-western Melanesia. New York: Harvest Books.Google Scholar
  24. Marsh, R. M. (1967). Comparative sociology. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.Google Scholar
  25. Miller, J., Slomczynski, K M., & Schoenberg, R. J. (1981). Assessing comparability of measurement in cross-national research: Authoritarian-conservatism in different sociocultural settings. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44, 178–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Miller, J., Slomczynski, K. M.,& Kohn, M. L. (1985). Continuity in learning-generalization: The effect of job on men’s intellective process in the United States and Poland. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 593–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morgan, L. H. (1877). Ancient society. Chicago: Kerr.Google Scholar
  28. Murdock, G. P. (1967). Ethnographic atlas: A summary. Ethnology, 6, 109–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Murdock, G. P., & White, D. R. (1969). Standard cross-cultural sample. Ethnology, 8, 329–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Naoi, A., & Schooler, C. (1985). Occupational conditions and psychological functioning in Japan. American Journal of Sociology, 90, 729–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pearlin, L. I. (1971). Class context and family relations: A cross-national study. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  32. Population Reference Bureau. (1981). Fertility and the status of women data sheet. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.Google Scholar
  33. Population Reference Bureau. (1983). World population data sheet. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.Google Scholar
  34. Price, S. J., & McKenry, P. C. (1988). Divorce. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  35. Przeworski, A., & Teune, H. (1970). The logic of comparative social inquiry. New York: Wiley-Interscience.Google Scholar
  36. Ragin, C. C. (1987). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  37. Reiss, I. L., & Lee, G. R. (1988). Family systems in America (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  38. Rokkan, S. (1964). Comparative cross-national research: The context of current efforts. In R. L. Merritt & S. Rokkan (Eds), Comparing nations: The use of quantitative data in cross-national research (pp. 3–25). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Slomczynski, K. M., Miller, J., & Kohn, M. L. (1981). Stratification, work, and values: A Polish-United States comparison. American Sociological Review, 46, 720–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smelser, N. (1976). Comparative methods in the social sciences. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  41. South, S. J. (1988). Sex ratios, economic power, and women’s roles: A theoretical extension and empirical test. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. South, S. J., & Trent, K. (1988). Sex ratios and women’s roles: A cross-national analysis. American Journal of Sociology, 93, 1096–1115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stevens, G., & Schoen, R. (1988). Linguistic intermarriage in the United States. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 267–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Straus, M. A. (1969). Phenomenal identity and conceptual equivalence of measurement in comparative cross-national research. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 31, 233–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Swanson, G. (1971). Frameworks for comparative research: Structural anthropology and the theory of action. In I. Vallier (Ed.), Comparative methods in sociology: Essays on trends and applications (pp. 149–202). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  46. Trent, K., & South, S. J. (1989). Structural determinants of the divorce rate: A cross-societal analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 391–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. United Nations. (1982). Demographic yearbook, 1982. New York: United Nations Publishing Service.Google Scholar
  48. Warwick, D. P., & Osherson, S. (Eds.) (1973). Comparative research methods. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  49. Westermarck, E. (1922). The history of human marriage (5th ed.). New York: Allerton. (Original work published in 1891)Google Scholar
  50. Whiting, J. W. M. (1961). The cross-cultural method. In F. Moore (Ed), Readings in cross-cultural methodology (pp. 283–291). New Haven, CT: HRAF Press.Google Scholar
  51. Zelditch, M, Jr. (1971). Intelligible comparisons. In I. Vallier (Ed.), Comparative methods in sociology: Essays on trends and applications (pp. 267–307). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary R. Lee
    • 1
  • Linda Haas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of FloridaGainesville
  2. 2.Department of SociologyIndiana UniversityIndianapolis

Personalised recommendations