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Sociology: News


Lisa McCormick’s Dataset To Appear in SAGE Database

The dataset will be published via SAGE Research Methods in March 2017

SAGE has started a new initiative that involves searching out world-leading experts to prepare short exemplars of different qualitative analysis techniques that are practical, use charismatic and interesting data from all the various qualitative research artefacts (e.g. interview transcript, documents, videos, photographs, letters etc. etc.) and research settings. These exemplars are designed to help graduate students and early career researchers from across the globe.

Lisa McCormick was invited to contribute an exemplar pertaining to some of her recent research. The abstract appears below: 


Ethnographic Fieldnotes: Funeral music at the crematorium

This dataset exemplar concerns the analysis of ethnographic fieldnotes. The data are provided by Dr Lisa McCormick from Edinburgh University and includes extended fieldnotes taken on a busy day in a crematorium. McCormick’s work is based in neo-Durkheimian cultural sociology (Alexander & Smith 2003) which is concerned with ritual and symbolic processes in contemporary society. While discourse analysis remains the dominant method in this meaning-centered approach, new tools are being developed to study other aspects of cultural communication, such as performance. This research project investigated the role of music in funerals. On both sides of the Atlantic, funerals have changed dramatically over the last three decades. Secular, life-centred and “fun” funerals are becoming more common (Gadberry 2000; Walter 2006), and rising demand for personalised or “themed” funerals has spurred the funeral industry to develop products that suit every taste (Saunders 2009). Music continues to be a central part of the service, but the range of music performed has expanded considerably beyond hymns (Parsons 2012), and new technologies allow for recorded music to be played. Because of the attention to sound, this dataset will help you think about the possibilities and challenges of an ethnography that involves the senses.

This dataset will be published in March 2017, but until then we encourage you to browse the exciting and innovative content now available via SAGE  Research Methods.


Rusted vehicle and shed