Humanities and social scientific research methods in porn studies

McKee, Alan (2014) Humanities and social scientific research methods in porn studies. Porn Studies, 1(1-2), pp. 53-63.

View at publisher


Porn studies researchers in the humanities have tended to use different research methods from those in social sciences. There has been surprisingly little conversation between the groups about methodology. This article presents a basic introduction to textual analysis and statistical analysis, aiming to provide for all porn studies researchers a familiarity with these two quite distinct traditions of data analysis. Comparing these two approaches, the article suggests that social science approaches are often strongly reliable – but can sacrifice validity to this end. Textual analysis is much less reliable, but has the capacity to be strongly valid. Statistical methods tend to produce a picture of human beings as groups, in terms of what they have in common, whereas humanities approaches often seek out uniqueness. Social science approaches have asked a more limited range of questions than have the humanities. The article ends with a call to mix up the kinds of research methods that are applied to various objects of study.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

123 since deposited on 21 Jan 2014
80 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 66433
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: pornography, methodology, quantitative, qualitative, textual analysis
DOI: 10.1080/23268743.2013.859465
ISSN: 2326-8743
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2014 22:41
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2015 08:23

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page