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*Research in the Social Sciences

A guide for individuals researching in sociology, psychology, political science, and neuroscience.

Basic Definitions and Differences

Libraries locate, collect, preserve, describe, and organize A LOT of information.

The relevance of information is determined by your research scope, and the reliability is determined by you (but everyone has biases, so you should consult your subject librarian --and other professionals-- for feedback).

There are many types of resources you can access through GSU Library, for example:
  • Archival (historical): Artifacts that convey information (and disinformation), in many forms.
  • News (popular): Articles published with the intent to quickly inform the public, often containing errors (and forms of disinformation) that may be updated over time.
  • Scholarly (peer-reviewed): Articles published according to a rigorous set of standards, and reviewed by professional peers. This includes literature and systematic reviews.
  • Empirical (scientific): Articles that are scholarly, but which also report findings of original scientific studies that address specific research questions.

From News to Encyclopedias

The Information Cycle follows the progession of coverage of a newsworthy event (i.e. current event) through various forms of media. Knowing about and understanding the information cycle will help you choose and evaluate information sources covering your topic.


Figure it out!

Here are two article records found in the Sociological Abstracts database - Which one is EMPIRICAL RESEARCH? 


The Division of Household Labor

Beth Anne Shelton, and John Daphne. Annual Review of Sociology 22 (1996): 299-322.

Abstract (summary)

In this chapter we review research on the division of household labor and its consequences. The review summarizes research focused on issues of measurement, including research on methods of gathering data on housework time and time use in general and discussions of various ways to operationalize the division of household labor. Some attention is paid to historical and theoretical work on housework and women's responsibility for it in particular, followed by a more detailed discussion of current empirical approaches to explaining the division of household labor as well as criticisms of these approaches. Finally, we review research that examines the consequences of the division of household labor, focusing on those studies that examine its impact on labor force participation and wages, marital and family satisfaction, psychological well-being, and perceptions of fairness.


Macro-Level Gender Inequality and the Division of Household Labor in 22 Countries 

Fuwa, Makiko. American Sociological Review 69 (2004): 751-767.

Abstract (summary)

While most previous studies focus on the effects of individuals' and couples' characteristics on the division of housework, this study argues that macro-level factors are equally important in the dynamics of housework distribution between spouses. Data from the 1994 International Social Survey Programme is used to examine whether macro-level gender inequality limits the effect of individual-level variables (relative resources, time availability, and gender ideology) on the division of housework in 22 industrialized countries. The results show that the equalizing effects of time availability and gender ideology are stronger for women in more egalitarian countries; women in less egalitarian countries benefit less from their individual-level assets. Additional analysis shows that other macro-level factors (economic development, female labor-force participation, gender norms, and welfare regimes) may also influence the division of housework. The results suggest that changes in individual-level factors may not be enough to achieve an equal division of housework without the reduction of macro-level gender inequality.

Which of the above articles are empirical?
ARTICLE 1 is emprical: 0 votes (0%)
ARTICLE 2 is empirical: 0 votes (0%)
BOTH are empirical: 0 votes (0%)
NEITHER are empirical: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 0