THINKING THROUGH METHODS A SOCIAL SCIENCE PRIMER

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Thinking Through Methods

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 9780226431864
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73.38 MB
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Sociological research is hard enough already—you don’t need to make it even harder by smashing about like a bull in a china shop, not knowing what you’re doing or where you’re heading. Or so says John Levi Martin in this witty, insightful, and desperately needed primer on how to practice rigorous social science. Thinking Through Methods focuses on the practical decisions that you will need to make as a researcher—where the data you are working with comes from and how that data relates to all the possible data you could have gathered. This is a user’s guide to sociological research, designed to be used at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Rather than offer mechanical rules and applications, Martin chooses instead to team up with the reader to think through and with methods. He acknowledges that we are human beings—and thus prone to the same cognitive limitations and distortions found in subjects—and proposes ways to compensate for these limitations. Martin also forcefully argues for principled symmetry, contending that bad ethics makes for bad research, and vice versa. Thinking Through Methods is a landmark work—one that students will turn to again and again throughout the course of their sociological research.
Category: Social Science

The Explanation Of Social Action

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 9780199773442
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 87.41 MB
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The Explanation of Social Action is a sustained critique of the conventional understanding of what it means to "explain" something in the social sciences. It makes the strong argument that the traditional understanding involves asking questions that have no clear foundation and provoke an unnecessary tension between lay and expert vocabularies. Drawing on the history and philosophy of the social sciences, John Levi Martin exposes the root of the problem as an attempt to counterpose two radically different types of answers to the question of why someone did a certain thing: first person and third person responses. The tendency is epitomized by attempts to explain human action in "causal" terms. This "causality" has little to do with reality and instead involves the creation and validation of abstract statements that almost no social scientist would defend literally. This substitution of analysts' imaginations over actors' realities results from an intellectual history wherein social scientists began to distrust the self-understanding of actors in favor of fundamentally anti-democratic epistemologies. These were rooted most defensibly in a general understanding of an epistemic hiatus in social knowledge and least defensibly in the importation of practices of truth production from the hierarchical setting of institutions for the insane. Martin, instead of assuming that there is something fundamentally arbitrary about the cognitive schemes of actors, focuses on the nature of judgment. This implies the need for a social aesthetics, an understanding of the process whereby actors intuit intersubjectively valid qualities of complex social objects. In this thought-provoking and ambitious book, John Levi Martin argues that the most promising way forward to such a science of social aesthetics will involve a rigorous field theory.
Category: Social Science

Thinking Through Theory

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 0393937682
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81.37 MB
Format : PDF
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Teach students how to think about sociological theory.
Category: Social Science

Information And Organizations

Author : Arthur L. Stinchcombe
ISBN : 0520909623
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56.22 MB
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An ambitious new work by a well-respected sociologist, Information and Organizations provides a bold perspective of the dynamics of organizations. Stinchcombe contends that the "information problem" and the concept of "uncertainty" provide the key to understanding how organizations function. In a delightful mix of large theoretical insights and vivid anecdotal material, Stinchcombe explores the ins and outs of organizations from both a macro and micro perspective. He reinterprets the work of the renowned scholars of business, Alfred Chandler, James March and Oliver Williamson, and looks in depth at corporations like DuPont and General Motors. Along the way, Stinchcombe explores subjects as varied as class consciousness, innovation, contracts and university administration. All of these analyses are distinguished by incisive thinking and creative new approaches to issues that have long confronted business people and those interested in organizational theory. A tour de force, Information and Organizations is a must-read for business people and scholars of many stripes. It promises to be a widely discussed and debated work.
Category: Social Science

Monte Carlo Simulation And Resampling Methods For Social Science

Author : Thomas M. Carsey
ISBN : 9781483324920
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 79.13 MB
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Taking the topics of a quantitative methodology course and illustrating them through Monte Carlo simulation, Monte Carlo Simulation and Resampling Methods for Social Science, by Thomas M. Carsey and Jeffrey J. Harden, examines abstract principles, such as bias, efficiency, and measures of uncertainty in an intuitive, visual way. Instead of thinking in the abstract about what would happen to a particular estimator "in repeated samples," the book uses simulation to actually create those repeated samples and summarize the results. The book includes basic examples appropriate for readers learning the material for the first time, as well as more advanced examples that a researcher might use to evaluate an estimator he or she was using in an actual research project. The book also covers a wide range of topics related to Monte Carlo simulation, such as resampling methods, simulations of substantive theory, simulation of quantities of interest (QI) from model results, and cross-validation. Complete R code from all examples is provided so readers can replicate every analysis presented using R.
Category: Social Science

Conducting Research In Conservation

Author : Helen Newing
ISBN : 9781136934391
Genre : Science
File Size : 67.11 MB
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Conducting Research in Conservation is the first textbook on social science research methods written specifically for use in the expanding and increasingly multidisciplinary field of environmental conservation. The first section on planning a research project includes chapters on the need for social science research in conservation, defining a research topic, methodology, and sampling. Section two focuses on practical issues in carrying out fieldwork with local communities, from fieldwork preparation and data collection to the relationships between the researcher and the study community. Section three provides an in-depth focus on a range of social science methods including standard qualitative and quantitative methods such as participant observation, interviewing and questionnaires, and more advanced methods, such as ethnobiological methods for documenting local environmental knowledge and change, and participatory methods such as the ‘PRA’ toolbox. Section four then demonstrates how to analyze social science data qualitatively and quantitatively; and the final section outlines the writing-up process and what should happen after the end of the formal research project. This book is a comprehensive and accessible guide to social science research methods for students of conservation related subjects and practitioners trained in the natural sciences. It features practical worldwide examples of conservation-related research in different ecosystems such as forests; grasslands; marine and riverine systems; and farmland. Boxes provide definitions of key terms, practical tips, and brief narratives from students and practitioners describe the practical issues that they have faced in the field.
Category: Science

Creative Research Methods In The Social Sciences

Author : Kara, Helen
ISBN : 9781447316268
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 75.99 MB
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This accessible book examines the four areas of creative research methods: arts-based research, research using technology, mixed-method research and transformative research frameworks. It offers examples in practice and shows readers why, when, and how to use them in their research.
Category: Political Science

The Total Survey Error Approach

Author : Herbert F. Weisberg
ISBN : 9780226891293
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.36 MB
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In 1939, George Gallup's American Institute of Public Opinion published a pamphlet optimistically titled The New Science of Public Opinion Measurement. At the time, though, survey research was in its infancy, and only now, six decades later, can public opinion measurement be appropriately called a science, based in part on the development of the total survey error approach. Herbert F. Weisberg's handbook presents a unified method for conducting good survey research centered on the various types of errors that can occur in surveys—from measurement and nonresponse error to coverage and sampling error. Each chapter is built on theoretical elements drawn from specific disciplines, such as social psychology and statistics, and follows through with detailed treatments of the specific types of error and their potential solutions. Throughout, Weisberg is attentive to survey constraints, including time and ethical considerations, as well as controversies within the field and the effects of new technology on the survey process—from Internet surveys to those completed by phone, by mail, and in person. Practitioners and students will find this comprehensive guide particularly useful now that survey research has assumed a primary place in both public and academic circles.
Category: Social Science

The Reviewer S Guide To Quantitative Methods In The Social Sciences

Author : Gregory R. Hancock
ISBN : 9781135172992
Genre : Education
File Size : 81.65 MB
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The Reviewer’s Guide is designed for reviewers of research manuscripts and proposals in the social and behavioral sciences, and beyond. Its uniquely structured chapters address traditional and emerging quantitative methods of data analysis.
Category: Education

Fundamentals Of Item Response Theory

Author : Ronald K. Hambleton
ISBN : 0803936478
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 55.66 MB
Format : PDF
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By using familiar concepts from classical measurement methods and basic statistics, this book introduces the basics of item response theory (IRT) and explains the application of IRT methods to problems in test construction, identification of potentially biased test items, test equating and computerized-adaptive testing. The book also includes a thorough discussion of alternative procedures for estimating IRT parameters and concludes with an exploration of new directions in IRT research and development.
Category: Psychology