Cross-Cultural Research

The Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF) has been engaged in cross-cultural research since 1949 and encourages comparative studies of human cultures and societies throughout the world. The eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology databases facilitate these types of studies by indexing and coding vast stores of ethnographic knowledge across nearly 400 cultures. HRAF also sponsors the peer-reviewed journal Cross-Cultural Research..

On the following pages, you will find:

An overview of cross-cultural research. This page explores key issues of cross-cultural research including sampling, coding, and how eHRAF can fit within your research design.

HRAF’s Basic Guide to Cross-Cultural Research. This brief guide takes you through the basic steps of a cross-cultural study using the eHRAF World Cultures (online) or the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography (paper and fiche versions).

Explaining Human Culture. This ongoing series produced by Carol Ember briefly summarizes what we have learned from cross-cultural research by highlighting key themes such as hunter-gatherers and dwellings. Each EHC module is paired with a teaching exercise for classroom use.