Focusing on the methodological principles which underlie sociologists' study of social reality, this text offers clarification and outlines how the different approaches to study originate from various methodogical and philosophical traditions.
Author: Donatella Della Porta
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2008-08-28
Genre: Political Science
A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.
Author: Max Horkheimer
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 1972
These essays, written in the 1930s and 1940s, represent a first selection in English from the major work of the founder of the famous Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Horkheimer's writings are essential to an understanding of the intellectual background of the New Left and the to much current social-philosophical thought, including the work of Herbert Marcuse. Apart from their historical significance and even from their scholarly eminence, these essays contain an immediate relevance only now becoming fully recognized.
Author: George Steinmetz
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2005-04-25
Genre: Social Science
The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences provides a remarkable comparative assessment of the variations of positivism and alternative epistemologies in the contemporary human sciences. Often declared obsolete, positivism is alive and well in a number of the fields; in others, its influence is significantly diminished. The essays in this collection investigate its mutations in form and degree across the social science disciplines. Looking at methodological assumptions field by field, individual essays address anthropology, area studies, economics, history, the philosophy of science, political science and political theory, and sociology. Essayists trace disciplinary developments through the long twentieth century, focusing on the decades since World War II. Contributors explore and contrast some of the major alternatives to positivist epistemologies, including Marxism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, narrative theory, and actor-network theory. Almost all the essays are written by well-known practitioners of the fields discussed. Some essayists approach positivism and anti-positivism via close readings of texts influential in their respective disciplines. Some engage in ethnographies of the present-day human sciences; others are more historical in method. All of them critique contemporary social scientific practice. Together, they trace a trajectory of thought and method running from the past through the present and pointing toward possible futures. Contributors. Andrew Abbott, Daniel Breslau, Michael Burawoy, Andrew Collier , Michael Dutton, Geoff Eley, Anthony Elliott, Stephen Engelmann, Sandra Harding, Emily Hauptmann, Webb Keane, Tony Lawson, Sophia Mihic, Philip Mirowski, Timothy Mitchell, William H. Sewell Jr., Margaret R. Somers, George Steinmetz, Elizabeth Wingrove
Author: Paul Zarembka
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Release Date: 2011-11-07
Genre: Political Science
Amidst a capitalist crisis that has upturned mainstream orthodoxies, this title underscores the importance of historical and materialist understandings of capitalist economies. It exposes the limitations of neoclassical economics' endogenous growth theory and how it, in fact, gropes for understandings well established within Marxism.
Author: Richard W. Miller
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1987
In this bold work of broad scope and rich erudition, Richard W. Miller sets out to reorient the philosophy of science. By questioning both positivism and its leading critics, he develops new solutions to the most urgent problems about justification, explanation and truth. Using a wealth of examples from the the natural and the social sciences, "Fact and Method" applies the new account of scientific reason to specific questions of method in virtually every field of inquiry including biology, physics, history, sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology and literary theory. For the past quarter-century, the philosophy of science has been in a crisis brought on by the failure of the positivist project of resolving all basic methodological questions by applying absolutely general rules, valid for all fields at all times. "Fact and Method" presents a new view of science in which what counts as an explanation, a cause, a confirming test or a compelling case for the existence of an unobservable is determined by frameworks of specific substantive principles, rationally adopted in light of the actual history of inquiry. Although the history of science has usually been the material for relativism, Professor Miller uses arguments of Darwin, Newton, Einstein, Galileo and others both to undermine positivist conceptions of rationality and to support the positivists' optimism that important theoretical findings are often justifiable from all reasonable perspectives. "Fact and Method" includes new accounts of causation, explanatory adequacy, approximate truth and confirmation, together with a defense of scientific realism freed from the positivist assumptions that Professor Miller locates on both sides of the realism controversy. Throughout, the new philosophical ideas are applied to specific topics confronting social scientists or natural scientists, for example: value-freedom, methodological individualism, functional explanation, the nature of evolutionary theory, and the scope of statistical inference. In a long final chapter, Miller uses the new notions of causation, confirmation and meaning to defend a realist, yet radically anti-classical, interpretation of quantum physics. The explicit and up-to-date analysis of the leading alternative views, the clear explanations of technical and historical issues, and the wealth of examples makes "Fact and Method" an ideal introduction to the philosophy of science, as well as a powerful attempt to change the field. Like the works of Hempel, Reichenbach, and Nagel in an earlier generation, "Fact and Method" will challenge, instruct, and help anyone with an interest in science and its limits.
Author: Austin Harrington
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2005-01-01
Genre: Social Science
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the leading topics, theories, and debates in modern social theory. Fourteen chapters have been written by specialists in the field, providing up-to-date guidance on the full sweep of the modern sociological imagination, from the legacies of the classical figures of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, and Parsons to the work of cutting-edge contemporary theorists.* Provides coverage of both classical and contemporary social theory in a single volume, offering a one-stop guide to all the major topics in the theoretical foundations of modern sociology * Covers the legacies of the classical figures of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, and Parsons but lays special emphasis on recent developments in social theory since the later twentieth century * Covers the centre ground of modern sociology but also reaches out to the many current interdisciplinary debates in cultural studies, anthropology, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, philosophy, and political science * All chapters are supplied with questions for discussion, study boxes, guidance on further reading, and useful web site address
Author: Jay Coakley
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Social Science
This vital new handbook marks the development of sports studies as a major new discipline within the social sciences. Edited by the leading sociologist of sport, Eric Dunning, and author of the best selling textbook on sport in the USA, Jay Coakley, it both reflects and richly endorses this new found status. Key aspects of the Handbook include: an inventory of the principal achievements in the field; a guide to the chief conflicts and difficulties in the theory and research process; a rallying point for researchers who are established or new to the field, which sets the agenda for future developments; a resource book for teachers who wish to establish new curricula and develop courses and programmes in the area of sports s
Author: Tim May
Publisher: Open University Press
Release Date: 2001-09-01
Genre: Social Science
"a welcome third edition of an already well-known and widely used text... truly 'user-friendly' " Network "The third edition of this tried and tested book works very well and should be extremely successful...its strength is that it covers all the principal areas of research in an accessible and lively style, treating each approach in relation to the philosophical and methodological debates that underpin them. It is logically organised and each chapter is well-structured...complex topics are clearly explained for the inexperienced reader, at the same time it contains enough of substance and food for thought for more advanced students." - John Scott, University of Essex Praise for the previous edition: "This is the finest introduction to social research I have ever read...Methods are meticulously worked through from official statistics to comparative research via surveys, interviews, observation and documentary analysis...The writing is clear, concise and scholarly with the bibliography a delightful A to Z compendium of the best in sociology." - British Sociological Association Network The fully revised and updated third edition of this hugely popular text incorporates the latest developments in the interdisciplinary field of social research, while retaining the style and structure that appealed to so many in the first two editions. Tim May successfully bridges the gap between theory and methods in social research, clearly illuminating these essential components for understanding the dynamics of social relations. The book is divided into two parts, with Part I examining the issues and perspectives in social research and Part II setting out the methods and processes. Revisions and additions have been made to Part I to take account of new ways of thinking about the relationship between theory and research, and values and ethics in the research process. These take on board advances in post-empiricist thinking, as well as the relations between values, objectivity and data collection. Where necessary, recommended readings and references to studies that form the bases of discussions throughout the book have been updated. In Part II, additions have been made to the chapter on questionnaires, and elsewhere new discussions have been introduced, for example, on research on the internet, narratives, case studies and new technologies. The reader will detect many other changes, the intention of which is to aid understanding by staying up-to-date with the latest innovations in social research. The chapters follow a common structure to enable a clear appreciation of the place, process and analysis of each method, and to allow the comparison of their strengths and weaknesses in the context of discussions in Part I. The clear writing style, chapter summaries, questions for reflection and signposts to further readings continue to make this book the ideal companion to social research for students across the social sciences. In addition, it will be recognised as an invaluable source of reference for those practising and teaching social research who wish to keep abreast of key developments in the field.
Author: David Pavon-Cuellar
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2016-12-19
The methods developed by Freud and Marx have enabled a range of scholars to critically reflect upon the ideological underpinnings of modern and now postmodern or hypermodern western societies. In this intriguing book, the discipline of psychology itself is screened through the twin dynamics of Marxism and psychoanalysis. David Pavón-Cuéllar asks to what extent the terms, concerns and goals of psychology reflect, in fact, the dominant bourgeois ideology that has allowed it to flourish. The book charts a gradual psychologization within society and culture dating from the nineteenth century, and examines how the tacit ideals within mainstream psychology – creating good citizens or productive workers – sit uneasily against Marx and Freud’s ambitions of revealing fault-lines and contradictions within individualist and consumer-oriented structures. The positivist aspiration of psychology to become a natural science has been the source of extensive debate, critical voices asserting the social and cultural contexts through which the human mind and behaviour should be understood. This challenging new book provides another voice that, in addressing two of the most influential intellectual traditions of the past 150 years, widens the debate still further to examine the foundations of psychology.
Author: Lynn Meskell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Social Science
The Companion to Social Archaeology is the first scholarly work to explore the encounter of social theory and archaeology over the past two decades. Grouped into four sections - Knowledges, Identities, Places, and Politics - each of which is prefaced with a review essay that contextualizes the history and developments in social archaeology and related fields. Draws together newer trends that are challenging established ways of understanding the past. Includes contributions by leading scholars who instigated major theoretical trends.
Author: William Lewis
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2005-10-17
Throughout the course of the twentieth century communism has enjoyed direct competition with all other governmental and economic systems. Often, communist countries produced their own special brand of party intellectual. These figures rightly occupied their place within their own national context and within the context of the International. Some communist intellectuals, through the high level of erudition exhibited in their writing, have received a wider reception, despite their direct linkage to party politics e.g. Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukacs, and, Victor Serge are good examples. After 1956, when Kruschev exposed Stalin's atrocities to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and, as a result, to the entire world, Marxist philosophy was widely discredited. It had been assumed that Stalin's excesses were somehow encouraged or supported through Marx's thought. When, in the mid 1960s, Louis Althusser first offered his re-readings of Marx's philosophy it, and communist political practice, were in ruin. However Althusser was in a unique cultural and historical position. Thinking and writing concomitant with the structuralists and poststructuralists in France and also having access to certain theoretical tools while, simultaneously, committing himself entirely to Marxist thought-Althusser was, conceivably the last of his tradition. He was a Marxist philosopher who, unlike Sartre at the end of his life, did not abandon communism to, for instance existentialism. In Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism William Lewis gives readers a striking example of intellectual biography and critical theory. His approach, considering the work and life of Althusser within French Marxism and French intellectual culture, fills a void in contemporary scholarship. But, much more importantly, Lewis is able to show how Althusser's thought is the result of and a response to specific French intellectual and political traditions of reading Marx. It is through this combination of concerns that Louis Althusser and the Traditions of French Marxism offers us a contemporary and poignant Althusser whose ideas, under the weight of Lewis's pen, can help us better understand what resources it may hold for philosophy, political thought, and cultural thought today.
Author: Stuart C. Aitken
Release Date: 2014-12-01
Genre: Social Science
"The book covers some of the (traditionally) most obtuse and difficult-to-grasp philosophical ideas that have influenced geographers/geography. The fact that these are presented in an inclusive and accessible manner is a key strength. Many students have commented that the chapters they have read have encouraged them to read more in this field, which is fantastic from a lecturer's perspective." - Richard White, Sheffield Hallam University A new edition of the classic Approaches text for students, organised in three sections, which overviews and explains the history and philosophy of Human Geographies in all its applications by those who practise it: Section One – Philosophies: Positivist Geography / Humanism / Feminist Geographies / Marxisms / Structuration Theory / Human Animal / Realism / Postmodern Geographies/ Poststructuralist Theories / Actor-Network Theory, / Postcolonialism / Geohumanities / Technologies Section Two – People: Institutions and Cultures / Places and Contexts / Memories and Desires / Understanding Place / Personal and Political / Becoming a Geographer / Movement and Encounter / Spaces and Flows / Places as Thoughts Section Three – Practices: Mapping and Geovisualization / Quantification, Evidence, and Positivism / Geographic Information Systems / Humanism / Activism / Feminist Geographies / Poststructuralist Theories / Psychoanalysis / Environmental Inquiry / Contested Geographies and Culture Wars Fully updated throughout and with eight brand new chapters - this is the core text for modules on history, theory, and practice in Human Geography.
Author: Helena Sheehan
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2018-01-23
A masterful survey of the history of Marxist philosophy of science. Now with a new afterword. Skillfully deploying a large cast of characters, Sheehan retraces the development of Marxist philosophy of science through detailed and highly readable accounts of the debates that have characterized it. Approaching Marxism from the perspective of the philosophy of science, Sheehan shows how Marx's and Engel's ideas on the development and structure of natural science had a crucial impact on the work of early twentieth-century natural philosophers, historians of science, and natural scientists. From the ideas of Marx and Engels, those of the Marxist theoreticians of the Second International to the debates within Russian Marxism up to World War II, Sheehan masterfully surveys the history of marxist philosophy of science, concluding with a close analysis of the development of the debate among non-Soviet Marxists, placing particular emphasis on the contributions of leading British Marxists in the 1930s.
Author: George McCarthy
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
political economy. With this in mind the reader will be taken through three meta-theoretical levels of Marx' method of analysis of the struc tures of capitalism: (1) the clarification of 'critique' and method from Kant's epistemology, Hegel's phenomenology, to Marx' political economy (Chapter One); (2) the analysis of 'critique' and time, that is, the temporal dimensions of the critical method as they evolve from Hegel's Logic to Marx' Capital and the difference between the use of the future in explanatory, positivist science and 'critique' (Chapter Two); (3) and finally, 'critique' and materialism, a study of the complexity of the category of materialism, the ambivalence and ambiguity of its use in Marx' critical method, and the ontological and logical dilemmas created by the Schelling-Feuerbach turn toward materialism in their critique of Hegel (Chapter Three). The critique of political economy is, therefore, examined at the levels of methodology, temporality, and ontology. To what do the categories of political economy really refer when the positivist interpretations of Marx have been shattered and 'critique' be comes the method of choice? What kind of knowledge do we have if it is no longer "scientific" in the traditional sense of both epistemology and methodology? And what kind of applicability will it have when its format is such as not to produce predictive, technical knowledge, but practical knowledge in the Greek sense of the word (Praxis)? What be comes of the criterion of truth when epistemology itself, like science, is