By Donatella della Porta, Michael Keating
A progressive new textbook introducing masters and doctoral scholars to the most important study techniques and methodologies within the social sciences. Written by way of a superb set of students, and derived from profitable path educating, this quantity will empower scholars to settle on their very own method of study, to justify this procedure, and to situate it in the self-discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social technological know-how, and proceeds to problems with method and examine layout crucial for generating an exceptional learn thought. It additionally introduces researchers to the most problems with debate and rivalry within the technique of social sciences, selecting commonalities, historical continuities and real changes.
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Extra resources for Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences: A Pluralist Perspective
She warns against considering variable-oriented research as setting the standard to which all social science research has to conform. Accepting shared standards does not mean adopting the same rules. The chapter addresses some of the main methodological choices: the relevant unit of analysis; the number of cases; the trade-oﬀ between most-similar and most-diﬀerent designs; the ways of addressing the time dimension. It also discusses recent attempts to bridge the gap between the two approaches, in particular with qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and recent reﬂections on the case-oriented strategy.
Then the data are arranged and ordered in a set. Interval, ordinal, nominal and dummy variables are deﬁned. He then discusses units and levels of analysis and the common problems posed in these, and the signiﬁcance of ﬁndings and how this is assessed. Next, Franklin takes us through multivariate and regression analysis. Finally, he warns of some common pitfalls in quantitative research. Philippe Schmitter’s chapter takes us into the process of research from a substantially positivist perspective, following the logic of causal analysis although not presenting this as the only possible aim of research.
Indeed, within the scope of a doctoral project, this is impossible, so that those interested in causal analysis might need to short-cut the earlier steps by using existing theories and concepts. Others might be interested precisely in reconceptualization, normative issues, or understanding as opposed to explanation (as explained in Chapter 2). So readers should not get the impression that this chapter is laying down ‘one best way’ for all research designs; they will notice that Schmitter’s insistence on always using variables rather than cases is not supported by, among others, della Porta, Vennesson and Bray in their chapters.