Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Comparative research has been broadly applied by the social sciences research community for at least 60 years now. Its application in disciplines such as cultural or social anthropology counts among the most important advancements in the contemporary understanding of cultures and societies. In political science, cross-cultural studies have increasingly been based on cross-national surveys. The word survey itself is broad, even if many researchers use it with a “quantitative” meaning: the collection, through a questionnaire survey and on a representative sample, of observations coming from the quantitative coding of the responses chosen by respondents. In the following, the use of the word survey will follow this tradition. This entry discusses the developments in this field and addresses remaining problems. The developments of European integration and the interdependences created by globalization have clearly increased the value of comparisons across different national systems and across cultures; we are in the context of ...