What constitutes a causal explanation, and must an explanation be causal? What warrants a causal inference, as opposed to a descriptive regularity? What techniques are available to detect when causal effects are present, and when can these techniques be used to identify the relative importance of these effects? What complications do the interactions of individuals create for these techniques? When can mixed methods of analysis be used to deepen causal accounts? Must causal claims include generative mechanisms, and how effective are empirical methods designed to discover them? The Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research tackles these questions with nineteen chapters from leading scholars in sociology, statistics, public health, computer science, and human development.
This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of social psychological research on inequality for a graduate student and professional audience. Drawing on all of the major theoretical traditions in sociological social psychology, its chapters demonstrate the relevance of social psychological processes to this central sociological concern. Each chapter in the volume has a distinct substantive focus, but the chapters will also share common emphases on: • The unique contributions of sociological social psychology • The historical roots of social psychological concepts and theories in classic sociological writings • The complementary and conflicting insights that derive from different social psychological traditions in sociology. This Handbook is of interest to graduate students preparing for careers in social psychology or in inequality, professional sociologists and university/college libraries.
The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science are the essential guide to the state of political science today. With engaging contributions from major international scholars The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology provides the key point of reference for anyone working throughout the discipline.
The philosophy of the social sciences considers the underlying explanatory powers of the social (or human) sciences, such as history, economics, anthropology, politics, and sociology. The type of questions covered includes the methodological (the nature of observations, laws, theories, and explanations) to the ontological — whether or not these sciences can explain human nature in a way consistent with common-sense beliefs. This Handbook is a major, comprehensive look at the key ideas in the field, is guided by several principles. The first is that the philosophy of social science should be closely connected to, and informed by, developments in the sciences themselves. The second is that the volume should appeal to practicing social scientists as well as philosophers, with the contributors being both drawn from both ranks, and speaking to ongoing controversial issues in the field. Finally, the volume promotes connections across the social sciences, with greater internal discussion and interaction across disciplinary boundaries.
Building on the success of the 2003 Handbook of the Life Course, this second volume identifies future directions for life course research and policy. The introductory essay and the chapters that make up the five sections of this book, show consensus on strategic “next steps” in life course studies. These next steps are explored in detail in each section: Section I, on life course theory, provides fresh perspectives on well-established topics, including cohorts, life stages, and legal and regulatory contexts. It challenges life course scholars to move beyond common individualistic paradigms. Section II highlights changes in major institutional and organizational contexts of the life course. It draws on conceptual advances and recent empirical findings to identify promising avenues for research that illuminate the interplay between structure and agency. It examines trends in family, school, and workplace, as well as contexts that deserve heightened attention, including the military, the criminal justice system, and natural and man-made disaster. The remaining three sections consider advances and suggest strategic opportunities in the study of health and development throughout the life course. They explore methodological innovations, including qualitative and three-generational longitudinal research designs, causal analysis, growth curves, and the study of place. Finally, they show ways to build bridges between life course research and public policy.
Analytical sociology is a strategy for understanding the social world. It is concerned with explaining important social facts such as network structures, patterns of residential segregation, typical beliefs, cultural tastes, and common ways of acting. It explains such facts by detailing in clear and precise ways the mechanisms through which the social facts were brought about. Making sense of the relationship between micro and macro thus is one of the central concerns of analytical sociology. The approach is a contemporary incarnation of Robert K. Merton's notion of middle-range theory and presents a vision of sociological theory as a tool-box of semi-general theories each of which is adequate for explaining certain types of phenomena. The Handbook brings together some of the most prominent sociologists in the world. Some of the chapters focus on action and interaction as the cogs and wheels of social processes, while others consider the dynamic social processes that these actions and interactions bring about.
This sparkling Handbook offers an unrivalled resource for those engaged in the cutting edge field of social network analysis. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are: Network theory Interdisciplinary applications Online networks Corporate networks Lobbying networks Deviant networks Measuring devices Key Methodologies Software applications. The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students which offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. The Handbook provides a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.
Electronic Inspection Copy available for instructors here 'This book provides an excellent reference guide to basic theoretical arguments, practical quantitative techniques and the methodologies that the majority of social science researchers are likely to require for postgraduate study and beyond' - Environment and Planning 'The book provides researchers with guidance in, and examples of, both quantitative and qualitative modes of analysis, written by leading practitioners in the field. The editors give a persuasive account of the commonalities of purpose that exist across both modes, as well as demonstrating a keen awareness of the different things that each offers the practising researcher' - Clive Seale, Brunel University 'With the appearance of this handbook, data analysts no longer have to consult dozens of disparate publications to carry out their work. The essential tools for an intelligent telling of the data story are offered here, in thirty chapters written by recognized experts. ' - Michael Lewis-Beck, F Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Iowa 'This is an excellent guide to current issues in the analysis of social science data. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for authoritative introductions to the state of the art. Each chapter offers a comprehensive review and an extensive bibliography and will be invaluable to researchers wanting to update themselves about modern developments' - Professor Nigel Gilbert, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey This is a book that will rapidly be recognized as the bible for social researchers. It provides a first-class, reliable guide to the basic issues in data analysis, such as the construction of variables, the characterization of distributions and the notions of inference. Scholars and students can turn to it for teaching and applied needs with confidence. The book also seeks to enhance debate in the field by tackling more advanced topics such as models of change, causality, panel models and network analysis. Specialists will find much food for thought in these chapters. A distinctive feature of the book is the breadth of coverage. No other book provides a better one-stop survey of the field of data analysis. In 30 specially commissioned chapters the editors aim to encourage readers to develop an appreciation of the range of analytic options available, so they can choose a research problem and then develop a suitable approach to data analysis.