Murphy, J. (2017). Book Review: The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology. Public Opinion Quarterly, 81(1), 201-204. DOI: 10.1093/poq/nfw058
We live in an era of increased globalization that affects not only economies, environments, and cultures, but also survey research. While many surveys continue to measure trends and phenomena in single, specific populations, cross-cultural and cross-national comparisons are increasingly common. The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology ambitiously aims to explore and document the full range of issues one must consider when designing, conducting, or analyzing a survey. The authors of the 43 chapters represent a diverse group of institutions, mainly from the United States and Europe, and bring a deep expertise on their given “assignments.” At 740 pages, one might call it a “two-hand” book, but what it lacks in portability, it more than makes up for in wealth of content. Organized loosely to follow the stages of the survey lifecycle (i.e., planning, design, sampling, data collection, analysis), the Handbook serves as a valuable reference and is approachable mostly for those with a basic background in survey methods. While it would be asking a bit much for a single volume to cover all of survey methodology, the authors cover a lot of territory, pointing the reader to other, more specific references for further learning, such as The Tailored Design Method (Dillman, Smyth, and Christian 2014), Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional, and Multicultural Contexts (Harkness et al. 2010), and Question Evaluation Methods (Madans et al. 2011), among others.