I just realized that I missed doing a post on discourse analysis. This shall be remedied at once!
I found it strange that Thomas (1994) has to defend the practice of content analysis of artifacts. Maybe this is just the historian in me (my undergrad was in History), but it seems to me that studying what a culture leaves behind is very valuable. Thomas obviously agrees with me as well.
I also like the point that Thomas makes about the directness of various methods--questioning the claim that some methods offer a more direct and true window into the subjects under study. Of course nothing is direct! Even in something like an interview (which some might consider to be quite direct), Luker (2008) points out that what the subject says is just their version of events. It is up to the researcher to interpret from these statements.
Luker, K. Salsa dancing into the social sciences: Research in an age of info-glut. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Thomas, S. (1994). Artifactual study in the analysis of culture: A defense of content analysis in a postmodern age. Communication Research, 21, 683-697.