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 : 80. 54 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.

Thinking Through Statistics

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 9780226567778
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89. 43 MB
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Simply put, Thinking Through Statistics is a primer on how to maintain rigorous data standards in social science work, and one that makes a strong case for revising the way that we try to use statistics to support our theories. But don’t let that daunt you. With clever examples and witty takeaways, John Levi Martin proves himself to be a most affable tour guide through these scholarly waters. Martin argues that the task of social statistics isn't to estimate parameters, but to reject false theory. He illustrates common pitfalls that can keep researchers from doing just that using a combination of visualizations, re-analyses, and simulations. Thinking Through Statistics gives social science practitioners accessible insight into troves of wisdom that would normally have to be earned through arduous trial and error, and it does so with a lighthearted approach that ensures this field guide is anything but stodgy.

The Explanation Of Social Action

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 9780199773442
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40. 74 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.

Social Structures

Author : John Levi Martin
ISBN : 1400830532
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31. 83 MB
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Social Structures is a book that examines how structural forms spontaneously arise from social relationships. Offering major insights into the building blocks of social life, it identifies which locally emergent structures have the capacity to grow into larger ones and shows how structural tendencies associated with smaller structures shape and constrain patterns of larger structures. The book then investigates the role such structures have played in the emergence of the modern nation-state. Bringing together the latest findings in sociology, anthropology, political science, and history, John Levi Martin traces how sets of interpersonal relationships become ordered in different ways to form structures. He looks at a range of social structures, from smaller ones like families and street gangs to larger ones such as communes and, ultimately, nation-states. He finds that the relationships best suited to forming larger structures are those that thrive in conditions of inequality; that are incomplete and as sparse as possible, and thereby avoid the problem of completion in which interacting members are required to establish too many relationships; and that abhor transitivity rather than assuming it. Social Structures argues that these "patronage" relationships, which often serve as means of loose coordination in the absence of strong states, are nevertheless the scaffolding of the social structures most distinctive to the modern state, namely the command army and the political party.

A Research Primer For The Social And Behavioral Sciences

Author : Miriam Schapiro Grosof
ISBN : 9781483258010
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60. 80 MB
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A Research Primer for the Social and Behavioral Sciences provides an introductory but comprehensive overview of the research process that primarily concerns human subjects. This book discusses the methods of acquiring knowledge, importance of a well-chosen problem, review of the literature, and relationship between theory-building and hypothesis-testing. The common sources of invalidity in practice, non-experimental research types, Stevens' classification of scales, and estimation based on probabilistic sampling are also elaborated. This text likewise covers the role of computer in research, techniques for analysis of data, univariate and bivariate statistics, and assumptions underlying analysis of variance. Other topics include the canonical correlation analysis, non-parametric analysis of variance, deterministic problem analysis techniques, and common errors in presentation of findings. This publication is intended for novice investigators in the broad category of social and behavioral sciences.

The Logic Of Social Research

Author : Arthur L. Stinchcombe
ISBN : 9780226774923
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 46 MB
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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 Research orients 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 terms quantitative, historical, ethnographic, and experimental to support their theories. Each method has value, and each has its uses for different research purposes. Accessible and astute, The Logic of Social Research offers an image of what sociology is, what it's all about, and what the craft of the sociologist consists of.

Monte Carlo Simulation And Resampling Methods For Social Science

Author : Thomas M. Carsey
ISBN : 9781483324920
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86. 21 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.

Statistics For The Social Sciences

Author : R. Mark Sirkin
ISBN : 141290546X
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 31. 19 MB
Format : PDF
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Popular in previous editions, this Third Edition continues to help build students' confidence and ability in doing statistical analysis by slowly moving from concepts that require little computational work to those that require more. Author R. Mark Sirkin once again demonstrates how statistics can be used so that students come to appreciate their usefulness rather than fear them. Statistics for the Social Sciences emphasizes the analysis and interpretation of data to give students a feel for how data interpretation is related to the methods by which the information was obtained.

The Reviewer S Guide To Quantitative Methods In The Social Sciences

Author : Gregory R. Hancock
ISBN : 9781135172992
Genre : Education
File Size : 83. 12 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.

Social Sequence Analysis

Author : Benjamin Cornwell
ISBN : 9781316368862
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41. 51 MB
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Social sequence analysis includes a diverse and rapidly growing body of methods that social scientists have developed to help study complex ordered social processes, including chains of transitions, trajectories and other ordered phenomena. Social sequence analysis is not limited by content or time scale and can be used in many different fields, including sociology, communication, information science and psychology. Social Sequence Analysis aims to bring together both foundational and recent theoretical and methodological work on social sequences from the last thirty years. A unique reference book for a new generation of social scientists, this book will aid demographers who study life-course trajectories and family histories, sociologists who study career paths or work/family schedules, communication scholars and micro-sociologists who study conversation, interaction structures and small-group dynamics, as well as social epidemiologists.

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