Formal Methods of Cultural Analysis

John W. Mohr*, Craig Rawlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Our focus is on methods of cultural analysis, and specifically on those methods that are formal in the sense that they rely upon the purposeful gathering (or simulating) of cultural data and a systematic analysis that involves at least some mathematically based technique. The meaning of culture is more complex, as scholars have understood cultural phenomena in very different ways across the decades and across the disciplines. These different goals in cultural analysis give rise to different types or styles of formal methods of cultural analysis. We briefly review the history of these methods in the social sciences and conclude with a description of some of the main arenas within which formal methods of cultural analysis are being deployed and actively developed today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Analysis, relational analysis
  • Computational linguistics/Sociology/Humanities
  • Content analysis
  • Culture
  • Field theory
  • Formal methods
  • Hermeneutic/Nonhermeneutic
  • Meaning
  • Measurement
  • Natural language processing
  • Networks
  • Structuralist analysis of myths
  • Text coding
  • Topic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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