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Doing Document Analysis

Doing Document Analysis
A Practice-Oriented Method

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December 2021 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Uniting methods from disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, this hands-on guide develops a novel approach to doing document analysis. The authors present a framework for studying documents that enables you to conduct a rich and systematic analysis of documents in all their diversity.

Focussing on document analysis both in practice and as practice, the book provides you with an innovative and versatile toolkit for analysing print and digital documents. It also:

  • Highlights the impacts of digitalisation on documents themselves and the methods used to study them
  • Has a strong focus on research ethics and critical engagement with digital sources
  • Offers practical guidance on preparing and doing a document analysis research project.

The book offers insightful perspectives both on the indispensable role of documents in our society and practical advice on how you can best analyse documents and their significance. 

Chapter 1: Document sites
Chapter 2: Document tools
Chapter 3: Document work
Chapter 4: Document texts
Chapter 5: Document issues
Chapter 6: Document movements
Chapter 7: Practice-oriented document analysis: The six concepts combined
Chapter 8: Practical techniques
Chapter 9: Handling digital documents
Chapter 10: Ensuring good and ethical practice
Chapter 11: The turn to practice in analysing documents

Social science has increasingly turned to document practices to understand the social processes. But this book actually explains how to do it! Systematic and brimming with insights, this will be an invaluable guide for researchers in fields from history to anthropology and science and technology.

Matthew Hull
Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Documents weave through practices. They help to make the world. But how to analyse them? In this beautiful but thoroughly down-to-earth book Asdal and Reinertsen have created an indispensable guide to the ins and outs of analysing documents in practice. Highly recommended.

John Law
Emeritus Professor, School of Social Sciences & Global Studies, Open University

This is a fascinating, clearly written and much needed guide to the often overlooked world of documents. Ideal for students, researchers and experienced academics, this book will be an invaluable resource to anyone interested in researching the role documents play in the societies in which we live.

Hannah Knox
Department of Anthropology, University College London

Asdal and Reinertsen provide a cutting-edge but also hands-on introduction to analysing documents that is accessible to an interdisciplinary audience. I have never recommended as many students to get a book as soon as it is out.

Maximilian Fochler
Associate Professor at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna

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ISBN: 9781529759792

ISBN: 9781529759808