Cultural analysis is a method of qualitative research employed in the social sciences, especially the disciplines of ethnography and anthropology. Social scientists use cultural analysis to collect data on various cultural phenomena, aiding research in understanding trends, language, influences and affects that occur within cultures.
In sociology, cultural analysis has four themes. Adaptation and change refers to how well a culture is able to adapt to its surroundings. Second, analysis can reveal how a culture enables its members to survive a particular environment. The third theme looks at holism and specificity, the ability to present observations in a coherent manner. The fourth theme studies the expressions of every day culture.
Cultural analysis is useful in presenting the cultural biases of the researcher when studying history. Our interpretations of the past are shaped by the current culture. Cultural analysis imparts the idea that culture is a constantly changing thing, one that it is constant contact with the past through stories, texts, and images.
Cultural analysis understands that the researcher is vitally situated in the present of his or her culture. Therefore, the past is always present, and all history is contemporary history. Rather than seek objectivity, cultural analysis explains from where bias comes.
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