9780226774923

The Logic Of Social Research

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226774923

  • ISBN10:

    0226774929

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2005-07-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Summary

Arthur L. Stinchcombe has earned a reputation as a leading practitioner of methodology in sociology and related disciplines. Throughout his distinguished career he has championed the idea that to be an effective sociologist, one must use many methods. This incisive work introduces students to the logic of those methods. The Logic of Social Researchorients students to a set of logical problems that all methods must address to study social causation. Almost all sociological theory asserts that some social conditions produce other social conditions, but the theoretical links between causes and effects are not easily supported by observation. Observations cannot directly show causation, but they can reject or support causal theories with different degrees of credibility. As a result, sociologists have created four main types of methods that Stinchcombe termsquantitative,historical,ethnographic, andexperimentalto support their theories. Each method has value, and each has its uses for different research purposes. Accessible and astute,The Logic of Social Researchoffers an image of what sociology is, what it's all about, and what the craft of the sociologist consists of.

Author Biography

Arthur L. Stinchcombe is professor emeritus of sociology, political science, and organizational behavior at Northwestern University. He is the author of many books, including Constructing Social Theories and, most recently, When Formality Works: Authority and Abstraction in Law and Organizations, both published by the University of Chicago Press.


Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments xi
1 Methods for Sociology and Related Disciplines 1(21)
What Kinds of Theory Do Sociologists Study?
1(8)
The Formation of Methodological Factions
9(2)
An Outline of the Argument
11(1)
Problem I: The Centrality of Distances in Study Design for Causal Theories
11(2)
Problem II: Economy in Data Collection
13(1)
Problem III: Using Data to Refine Concepts and "Measurements" of Concepts
14(2)
Problem IV: Contexts; Differences and Distances between Contexts; Contexts Shaping Causal Processes
16(1)
Problem V: Using Data to Find Mechanisms and Processes; Relation of Such Process Concepts to Concepts of Units of Analysis
17(1)
Problem VI: Testing Theories by Testing Hypotheses with Data
18(1)
Problem VII: Using Data to Refine Theories
19(1)
Self-Evaluation
20(2)
2 Distances as Central to Causal Reasoning and Methods 22(14)
The Minimum Piece of Causal Information Is Two Distances
22(2)
Difference, Distance, Units, Causes within Units
24(5)
Closer and Farther: Numbers, Lines, and Curves
29(3)
The Centrality of Distances in Later Chapters of This Book
32(4)
3 The Basic Structure of Economy in Social Research 36(41)
The Centrality of Distances in Study Design
36(1)
Differences among Cultures or Societies
37(2)
Intensity of Observation
39(3)
Sparse Fields and the Expense of Getting a Grip on a Case
42(1)
Stinchcombe Methods Slavery Short Version
43(9)
Clemens Books Short Version
52(3)
Theoretical Methods to Increase Economies in Data Collection
55(2)
Theory Allowing One to Use Data from a "Lower" Level
57(1)
The Theoretical Penumbra and Exploratory Research
58(1)
Getting Unconfounded Distances
59(3)
When Not to Follow My Advice on Sampling Extreme Cases Intensively
62(6)
"Nearby" Theories and the Value of Data
68(2)
Process Data
70(1)
Becker Short Version
70(3)
Context
73(2)
Appendix: General Note on American "Random" Samples
75(2)
4 Using Data to Refine Concepts of Distances between Units of Analysis 77(40)
"Sensitizing Concepts" and Improving Them
80(1)
Institutionalized Definitions
81(2)
"Informal" Institutions
83(2)
Methodological Implications of the Examples
85(1)
Extending the Notion
86(2)
Distances between Situations
88(1)
Quantitative and Qualitative Distances
89(2)
Exemplification of Discrete Variables
91(2)
Stinchcombe Logic of Analogy Short Version
93(8)
The Opposite End: Exact Concepts
101(3)
Criteria for Good Concepts with Good
Measurements
104(1)
Stinchcombe Psychology of Rebellion Short Version
104(6)
Uses of Exactness
110(2)
Principles of Refining Concepts of Distances
112(5)
5 Refining Concepts about Contexts 117(32)
Concepts about Context, and Context-Specific Concepts
120(3)
Books for Context, Articles for Causation with Assumed Context
123(3)
Contexts to Study Meanings
126(2)
The Relation of Context to Distances between Units of Analysis
128(2)
Periodization and Localization in Historical Sociology
130(2)
Clemens Time Short Version
132(3)
Geographical and Temporal Boundaries of Context
135(2)
Exactness of Concepts of Context; Institutions as Contexts of Organizations
137(1)
Schneiberg-Clemens Institutionalism Methods Short Version
138(6)
Concepts and Variables about Contexts
144(2)
Summary on Concepts of Context
146(3)
6 Units of Analysis and Mechanisms: Turning Causes into Effects 149(90)
The Interdependence of Concepts and Units of Analysis
152(6)
Abbott Short Version
158(2)
Investigating Analogies and Their Causal Meaning
160(2)
Analogies between Distances as the Core of Analogies between Units of Analysis
162(4)
An Example of a Mechanism Paper
166(4)
Five Main Kinds of Mechanisms and Units of Analysis
170(6)
Stinchcombe Mechanisms Short Version
176(6)
A Basic Mechanism with Variants: Complex Cultural Objects, Their Creators, and Their Users
182(2)
Methodological Strategy on Texts, Discourse, and Reception
184(1)
Objects and Actions, Griswold and the Artist-Audience Relation
185(1)
Griswold Short Version
186(2)
Back to Books versus Articles
188(2)
Reception versus Production
190(2)
Scholarly Citations as Evidence of "Serious" Reception
192(2)
Interpretation
194(4)
Explanation by Interpretation
198(1)
Summary: Methods for the Sociology of High Culture
198(2)
Bargains as Social Systems and Creators of Social Orders
200(10)
Summary on Bargains
210(1)
Methods to Study When Bargains Hold
211(3)
Mobilization as a Mechanism
214(1)
Social Movement Theory and Diffusion Theory
214(3)
"Seekers," "Cosmopolitans," "Other Adopters," and "Opponents"
217(3)
Stinchcombe Time Short Version
220(4)
Ties of Trust
224(3)
Adoption and Rejection after Adoption: New Things in the Life World
227(3)
Comparative Racism: Methods for Sorting Out Mechanisms
230(4)
Why Historical?
234(4)
Conclusion
238(1)
7 Testing Theories by Testing Hypotheses with Data 239(55)
Regression as Creating a Parameterized Comparison Group, as a "Null Hypothesis" for "Residual Analysis"
241(5)
A Note on R2
246(1)
Hierarchical Models
246(3)
Observations on Partial Distances
249(1)
Rules of Thumb for Increasing Power of Observations for Causal Studies
250(5)
Stinchcombe Causes Short Version
255(5)
Strong Hierarchical Reasoning: Statistical Form
260(2)
Back to the Residuals Method
262(4)
The Character of "Resolution" as a Methodological Criterion
266(1)
Refining Fieldwork Observations
267(2)
Resolution on a Grand Scale
269(2)
The "Preferences" of Organizations
271(4)
Strategic Questions in "Testing" Theories
275(1)
An Overall View of What These Strategies Do
276(3)
Variances, Interactions, Boundaries, Scope Conditions, and General Complexification
279(9)
Complexification and Fish Scale Models of Science
288(3)
Summary on Testing
291(3)
8 Improving Theories with Data 294(41)
Theories as Crafted
296(2)
What Does Crafting Mean?
298(3)
Crafting Methods
301(2)
Stinchcombe Slavery Short Version
303(6)
Stinchcombe Information Short Version
309(5)
Heimer and Staffen Methods Short Version
314(6)
Elegance, Power, and Economy
320(1)
Stinchcombe Rebellion No Answers Short Version
321(4)
Responsibility
325(2)
Heimer and Staffen Responsibility Short Version
327(5)
Complex Causal Roles of Concepts, Complex Concepts, and Complex Fieldwork Studies
332(2)
Conclusion
334(1)
References 335(12)
Index 347

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