Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 2006. “A Seven-Minute Sketch of My Research.” Invited presentation for Professor Constance L. Chapple’s course on Qualitative Research Methods, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, February 14.


Copyright 2006 Michael R. Hill


My central project is to identify, explicate, and better understand the fundamental dimensions, consequences, and possibilities of human embodiment in the social world. This project is multifaceted and is continually evolving. Virtually all of my work contributes directly to this project, including my analyses of archives, biography, “bomb talk,” bureaucracies, doctoral training, environmental art and design, epistemologies, landscapes, libraries, novels, organizations, patriarchy, pedestrians, postcards, research methodologies, scholars, surrogate parenting, terrorism, and — yes — disciplinary history. Methodologies I use include: archival excavation, bibliographic research, case studies, disguised interviews, ethological observation, experiential reflexivity, framing, genealogy, key informants, participant observation, questionnaires, site visits, structured serendipity, systematic documentation, and thought experiments. These methodologies produce data that I subject, as appropriate, to quantitative and/or qualitative interpretation, including: axiology, bibliography, content analysis, experiential reflection, factor analysis, frame analysis, parametric and non-parametric statistics, phenomenological reduction, ritual analysis, sociobiography, spatial and temporal mapping, stochastic modeling, systems analysis, textual explication, and theory-driven critique. As a theorist, I find special inspiration in the works of Mary Jo Deegan, Anthony Giddens, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Erving Goffman, Harriet Martineau, George H. Mead, and Alfred Schutz. A selection of my writings reflecting these interests, methodologies, and interpretive frameworks is included on the handout CD-R. All of these projects contribute to the larger and ongoing whole.