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Philosophical Foundations of Social Research Methods
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Philosophical Foundations of Social Research Methods

Four Volume Set
Edited by:


December 2005 | 1 664 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Philosophical considerations and positions underlie all of the natural and social sciences. In the latter case philosophical foundations and their emergent issues have a profound impact on methodology and empirical practice. Design decisions will usually depend on philosophical perspectives or assumptions, such as the very fundamental decision to employ a quantitative design or an interpretive design. The 'philosophy of social research' is thus a subset of the philosophy of social science, but also an important subject area that spans methodology and method.

The articles making up this timely collection are the best exemplars of key positions in a very wide disciplinary field. The selection is designed to begin each section with an 'entry level' article to introduce the reader to the topic area and to ground the approach a research problem. Topics covered include science and art in the history of social research, positivism and antipositivism, language and the linguistic turn, realism and anti-realism, theory and theory choice, logic and models, prediction and laws, interpretation, probability and complexity.

With the study of the philosophical foundations of methods and methodology gaining increasing priority in university courses, this will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers across the social sciences.


 
Volume One: Social Research as Science or Art
 
PART ONE: THE CHALLENGE TO SCIENCE AND ITS DEFENCE
Williams
Introduction
Philosophical Foundations and Empirical Social Research

 
R Redfield
The Art of Social Science
S Morgenbesser
Is It a Science?
M Weber
Roscher's Historical Method
K Popper
Unity of Method in the Natural and Social Sciences
M Steuer
Valid and Invalid Alternatives to Social Science
P Lazarsfeld
The Relevance of Methodology
D Laitin
The Perestroikan Challenge to Social Science
S Schram
Beyond Paradigm
Resisting the Assimilation of Phronetic Social Science

 
E Eisner and K Powell
Art in Science?
 
PART TWO: POSITIVISM AND ANTI-POSITIVISM
G H Von Wright
Two Tradition
C Bryant
Positivism Reconsidered
R Holub
Methodology in the Social Sciences
The Positivist Debate

 
R Keat
Positivism, Naturalism and Anti-Naturalism in the Social Sciences
G Lundberg
Contemporary Positivism in Sociology
C Gartrell and J Gartrell
Positivism in Sociological Research
USA and UK (1966-1990)

 
N Denzin
Interpretive Interactionism
E Guba and Y Lincoln
The Basic Belief Systems of the Conventional and Constructivist Paradigm
A Tudor
On Demonstration
A Bryman
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Strategies in Knowing the Social World
A Clark
The Qualitative-Quantitative Debate
Moving from Positivism and Confrontation to Post-Positivism and Reconciliation

 
 
Volume Two: Philosophical Issues in Research Strategies
 
PART ONE: CAUSALITY, EXPLANATION AND LAWS
R Braithwaite
Laws of Nature and Causality
H Blalock
Causal Thinking...
R MacIver
Axioms of Causation
O Hellevik
The Meaning and Measurement of Causal Effect
J Goldthorpe
Causation, Statistics and Sociology
E Madden
To Justify or Explain in History or Social Science?
W Ogburn
Limitations of Statistics
A Aldridge
Prediction in Sociology
Prospects for a Devalued Activity

 
R Turner
The Quest for Universals in Sociological Research
C Beed
Is the Case for Social Science Laws Strengthening?
 
PART TWO: REPRESENTATION THEORIES AND MODELS
S Dodd
Operational Definitions Operationally Defined
B Anderson
Some Notes on Operationism and the Concept of Validity
H Blalock
Theory, Measurement and Replication in the Social Sciences
R Pawson
On Being 'Empirical' without Being Empiricist
J Platt
Functionalism and the Survey
The Relation of Theory and Method

 
J Skvoretz
Theoretical Models
Sociology's Missing Link

 
 
PART THREE: INTERPRETATION, LANGUAGE AND MEANING
A R Radcliffe-Brown
The Methods of Ethnology and Social Anthropology
H Rickman
The Role of Understanding in the Human Studies
M Bunzl
The Meaning of Meaningful Behavior
K Webb
Language in Social Science
C Geertz
From the Native's Point of View
On the Nature of Anthropological Understanding

 
T Jones
Interpretive Social Science and the 'Native's' Point of View
C Seal
Quality in Qualitative Research
 
Volume Three: Social Reality and the Social Context of Social Research
 
PART ONE: REALISM AND ANTI-REALISM
R Keat and J Urry
Realist Philosophy of Science
P Beart
Realist Philosophy of the Social Sciences and Economics
A Critique

 
M Johnson
Observations on Positivism and Pseudoscience in Qualitative Nursing Research
I Hacking
Making up People
D Nightingale and J Cromby
Social Construction as Ontology
K Menzies
Middle Range Theory
A Realist View

 
R Pawson
Middle Range Realism
M Hammersley
Bhaskar's Critical Realism
 
PART TWO: OBJECTIVITY, COMMITMENT AND THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL ENQUIRY
H Becker
Whose Side Are We on?
A Gouldner
Anti Minotaur
The Myth of a Value-Free Sociology

 
E Nagel
The Value-Orientated Bias of Social Enquiry
M Williams
Situated Objectivity
J Barnes
The Institutionalization of Social Inquiry
L Krimerman
Participatory Action Research
Should Social Inquiry Be Conducted Democratically?

 
C Davies
Reflexivity and Ethnographic Research
T May
Reflexivity and Sociological Practice
 
PART THREE: INDIVIDUALS, WHOLES AND UNITS OF ANALYSIS
G Homans
Methodological Individualism
G Hodgson
Behind Methodological Individualism
M Bunge
Ten Modes of Individualism - None of Which Works - and Their Alternatives
F Toboso
Institutional Individualism and Institutional Change
The Search for a Middle Way Mode of Explanation

 
J Goldthorpe
Current Issues in Comparative Macrosociology
A Debate on Methodological Issues

 
C Ragin
Turning the Tables
How Case-Orientated Research Challenges Variable-Orientated Research

 
T Scheff
Part/Whole Morphology
Unifying Single Cases and Comparative Methods

 
 
Volume Four: New Strategies in Social Research
 
PART ONE: PROBABILITY, COMPLEXITY AND NEURAL NETWORKS
I Hacking
Theories about Probability
D Byrne
The Nature of Measurement
What We Measure and How We Measure

 
R Ulanowicz
The Propensities of Evolving Systems
D Byrne
Complexity and the Quantitative Programme in Social Science
W Stroup
Webs of Chaos
Implications for Research Designs

 
H Paik
Comments on Neural Networks
J Hansen and Nelson
Time-Series Analysis with Neural Networks and ARIMA-Neural Network Hybrids
 
PART TWO: FEMINISM AND SOCIAL RESEARCH
S Harding
Is There a Feminist Method?
M Eichler
Sexism in Research
G Letherby
Quoting and Counting
The Qualitative/Quantitative Divide

 
A Oakley
Gender, Methodology and People's Ways of Knowing
J Holmwood
Feminism and Epistemology
What Kind of Successor Science?

 
A Tashakkori and C Teddlie
Introduction to Mixed Method and Mixed Model Studies in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
F Heller
On the Integration of the Social Sciences
W Roth and J Mehta
The Rashomon Effect
Combining Positivist and Interpretivist Approaches in the Analysis of Contested Events

 
R Nash
Numbers and Narratives
Further Reflections in the Sociology of Education

 
M Risjord, M Moloney and Dunbar
Methodological Triangulation in Nursing Research
U Flick
Triangulation Revisited
Strategy of Validation or Alternative

 
M Williams
Contingency, Reality and Plurality in Social Research

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