Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition


explanatory context

Introduction THISALSO IN TEXT entry SORT

SECTION FROM ECO79 That codes will not always coincide does not bother the author of a closed text. Having posited the 'average' or model reader texts B that B B 'obsessively aim at arousing a precise response on the part B of more or less precise empirical readers ... are in fact B open to any possible 'aberrant' decoding. A text so B immodestly 'open' to every possible interpretation will be B called a CLOSED one.' (Eco, 1979, p. 8). B B Superman, Fleming's James Bond novels, and Sue's work as well as B soap operas belong to this closed category. B B 'They apparently aim at pulling the reader along a B predetermined path, carefully displaying their efforts so as B to arouse pity or fear, excitement or depression at the due B place and at the right moment'. (Eco, 1979, p. 8). B B However, such texts while pre-planned do not plan the reader. B Superman can be read as a new form of romance but can also be B read in other ways - each independent of theothers. This cannot B happen with OPEN texts (such as Finnegan's Wake) because it B outlines a 'closed' project of its model reader as a 'component B of its structural strategy'. B B 'It is possible to be stupid enough to read Kafka's 'Trial' B as a trivial criminal novel, but at this point the text B collapses'. (Eco, 1979, p. 9-10). B B An open text is thus nothing else but 'the semantic-pragmatic B production of its own model reader'. B A

analytical review



associated issues


related areas

See also

Researching the Real World Section 1



copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017

A NOVEL Who bombed a Birmingham mosque?

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