For too long, argues Richard Harvey Brown, social scientists have felt forced to choose between imitating science's empirical methodology and impersonating a romantic notion of art, the methods of which are seen as primarily a matter of intuition, interpretation, and opinion. Developing the idea of a "cognitive aesthetic," Brown shows how both science and art—as well as the human studies that stand between them—depend on metaphoric thinking as their "logic of discovery" and may be assessed in terms of such aesthetic criteria of adequacy as economy, elegance, originality, scope, congruence, and form.
By recognizing this "aesthetic" common ground between science and art, Brown demonstrates that a fusion can be achieved within the human sciences of these two principal ideals of knowledge—the scientific or positivist one and the artistic or intuitive one. A path, then, is opened for creating a knowledge of ourselves and society which is at once objective and subjective, at once valid scientifically and significantly humane.
Complementing the focus on the structural and social-psychological aspects of measuring social change, this report establishes a research approach relating social measurement to antecedent and consequent political considerations: political values, policy impact, power consequences, administrative influences, institutionalization, and so forth. This study is directed to any social scientist interested in political phenomena and in the issue of the relationship between social science and public policy.
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
Harold Lasswell is one of America's most distinguished political scientists, a man whose work has had enormous impact both in the United States and abroad upon not only his own field but also those of sociology, psychology and psychiatry, economics, law, anthropology, and communications.
This collection of essays is the first full-scale effort to deal with the voluminous writings of Lasswell and explore his at once charming and baffling personality which is perhaps inseparable from the inventiveness, unconventionality, and unusual scope of his work.
The authors of these essays, many of whom are former students or collaborators, view their subject from a variety of perspectives. What emerges is a full assessment of Lasswell's many-faceted contribution to the social scholarship of his time.
Postmodernism may seem a particularly inappropriate term when used in conjunction with a region that is usually thought of as having only recently, and then unevenly, acceded to modernity. Yet in the last several years the concept has risen to the top of the agenda of cultural and political debate in Latin America. This collection explores the Latin American engagement with postmodernism, less to present a regional variant of the concept than to situate it in a transnational framework. Recognizing that postmodernism in Latin America can only inaccurately be thought of as having traveled from an advanced capitalist "center" to arrive at a still dependent neocolonial "periphery," the contributors share the assumption that postmodernism is itself about the dynamics of interaction between local and metropolitan cultures in a global system in which the center-periphery model has begun to break down. These essays examine the ways in which postmodernism not only designates the effects of this transnationalism in Latin America, but also registers the cultural and political impact on an increasingly simultaneous global culture of a Latin America struggling with its own set of postcolonial contingencies, particularly the crisis of its political left, the dominance of neoliberal economic models, and the new challenges and possibilities opened by democratization. With new essays on the dynamics of Brazilian culture, the relationship between postmodernism and Latin American feminism, postmodernism and imperialism, and the implications of postmodernist theory for social policy, as well as the text of the Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatatista National Liberation Army, this expanded edition of boundary 2 will interest not only Latin Americanists, but scholars in all disciplines concerned with theories of the postmodern.
Contributors. Xavier Albó, José Joaquín Brunner, Fernando Calderón, Enrique Dussel, Néstor García Canclini, Martín Hopenhayn, Neil Larsen, the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group, Norbert Lechner, María Milagros López, Raquel Olea, Aníbal Quijano, Nelly Richard, Carlos Rincón, Silviano Santiago, Beatriz Sarlo, Roberto Schwarz, and Hernán Vidal
Drawing on the work of Foucault and Bourdieu, David Lindenfeld illuminates the practical imagination as it was exhibited in the transformation of the political and social sciences during the changing conditions of nineteenth-century Germany. Using a wealth of information from state and university archives, private correspondence, and a survey of lecture offerings in German universities, Lindenfeld examines the original group of learned disciplines which originated in eighteenth-century Germany as a curriculum to train state officials in the administration and reform of society and which included economics, statistics, politics, public administration, finance, and state law, as well as agriculture, forestry, and mining. He explores the ways in which some systems of knowledge became extinct, and how new ones came into existence, while other migrated to different subject areas.
Lindenfeld argues that these sciences of state developed a technique of deliberation on practical issues such as tax policy and welfare, that serves as a model for contemporary administrations.
Process-tracing in social science is a method for studying causal mechanisms linking causes with outcomes. This enables the researcher to make strong inferences about how a cause (or set of causes) contributes to producing an outcome. In this extensively revised and updated edition, Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen introduce a refined definition of process-tracing, differentiating it into four distinct variants and explaining the applications and limitations of each. The authors develop the underlying logic of process-tracing, including how one should understand causal mechanisms and how Bayesian logic enables strong within-case inferences. They provide instructions for identifying the variant of process-tracing most appropriate for the research question at hand and a set of guidelines for each stage of the research process.
Process-tracing in social science is a method for studying causal mechanisms linking causes with outcomes. This enables the researcher to make strong inferences about how a cause (or set of causes) contributes to producing an outcome. Derek Beach and Rasmus Brun Pedersen introduce a refined definition of process-tracing, differentiating it into three distinct variants and explaining the applications and limitations of each. The authors develop the underlying logic of process-tracing, including how one should understand causal mechanisms and how Bayesian logic enables strong within-case inferences. They provide instructions for identifying the variant of process-tracing most appropriate for the research question at hand and a set of guidelines for each stage of the research process.
Andrew Abbott University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress HM585.A237 2016 | Dewey Decimal 301.01
For the past twenty years, noted sociologist Andrew Abbott has been developing what he calls a processual ontology for social life. In this view, the social world is constantly changing—making, remaking, and unmaking itself, instant by instant. He argues that even the units of the social world—both individuals and entities—must be explained by these series of events rather than as enduring objects, fixed in time. This radical concept, which lies at the heart of the Chicago School of Sociology, provides a means for the disciplines of history and sociology to interact with and reflect on each other.
In Processual Sociology, Abbott first examines the endurance of individuals and social groups through time and then goes on to consider the question of what this means for human nature. He looks at different approaches to the passing of social time and determination, all while examining the goal of social existence, weighing the concepts of individual outcome and social order. Abbott concludes by discussing core difficulties of the practice of social science as a moral activity, arguing that it is inescapably moral and therefore we must develop normative theories more sophisticated than our current naively political normativism. Ranging broadly across disciplines and methodologies, Processual Sociology breaks new ground in its search for conceptual foundations of a rigorously processual account of social life.
In big cities, major museums and elite galleries tend to dominate our idea of the art world. But beyond the cultural core ruled by these moneyed institutions and their patrons are vibrant, local communities of artists and art lovers operating beneath the high-culture radar. Producing Local Color is a guided tour of three such alternative worlds that thrive in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Pilsen, and Rogers Park.
These three neighborhoods are, respectively, historically African American, predominantly Mexican American, and proudly ethnically mixed. Drawing on her ethnographic research in each place, Diane Grams presents and analyzes the different kinds of networks of interest and support that sustain the making of art outside of the limelight. And she introduces us to the various individuals—from cutting-edge artists to collectors to municipal planners—who work together to develop their communities, honor their history, and enrich the experiences of their neighbors through art. Along with its novel insights into these little examined art worlds, Producing Local Color also provides a thought-provoking account of how urban neighborhoods change and grow.
In Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Susan Peck MacDonald tackles important and often controversial contemporary questions regarding the rhetoric of inquiry, the social construction of knowledge, and the professionalization of the academy. MacDonald argues that the academy has devoted more effort to analyzing theory and method than to analyzing its own texts. Professional texts need further attention because they not only create but are also shaped by the knowledge that is special to each discipline. Her assumption is that knowledge-making is the distinctive activity of the academy at the professional level; for that reason, it is important to examine differences in the ways the professional texts of subdisciplinary communities focus on and consolidate knowledge within their fields.
Throughout the book, MacDonald stresses her conviction that academics need to do a better job of explaining their text-making axioms, clarifying their expectations of students at all levels, and monitoring their own professional practices. MacDonald’s proposals for both textual and sentence-level analysis will help academic professionals better understand how they might improve communication within their professional communities and with their students.
This splendid introduction to social research describes an area of scientific investigation that profoundly influences our daily lives and thoughts, but about which most of us know very little. We can picture a research chemist at work, white-coated and surrounded by beakers and test tubes—but what is the nature of social research? For interested general readers and particularly for students entering the various social science fields, Morton Hunt paints an immensely informative and accessible portrait. He begins with a lucid overview of the important varieties of social research, describing their advantages and limitations. Against this background, Hunt then details five remarkable case histories, eyewitness accounts of significant recent episodes in social research. Woven skillfully through each narrative are explorations of the basic methodological, practical, moral and political issues raised by social research. The story of a noteworthy series of sociopsychological experiments on teamwork, for example, enables Hunt to weigh the merits of using a laboratory setting to study social behavior and the ethics of deceiving human subjects. In similar fashion, Hunt depicts a historic cross-sectional survey on segregated schooling; a complex attempt to measure the impact of welfare programs; a real-world experiment with guaranteed annual incomes; and a path-breaking study of human aging that followed its subjects for a generation. This engaging and intelligent book will give readers a new understanding of the breadth and richness of social research as well as an informed appreciation of its significance for their lives.