Mariampolski, Hyman; Hughes, Dana C.
May 1978
American Sociologist;May78, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p104
Academic Journal
Methodological literature concerning the use of historical personal documents in sociological research has been limited and diffuse. Our aim is to integrate the ideas in these discussions in an attempt to revive the use of personal documents Using ideas of historians and sociologists, we examine both a data source and a method, and describe their relationship in producing a valid and reliable accounting of an event. We examine this type of data in terms of four criteria representativeness, adequacy, and reliability of the data, and validity of the interpretations. While definitive guidelines for the use of personal documents are impossible to recommend, we suggests ways of recognizing and dealing with many difficulties throughout the analysis.


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