Realist Inquiry In Social Science

Author: Brian D. Haig
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1473943116
Size: 71.82 MB
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Realist Inquiry in Social Science is an invaluable guide to conducting realist research. Written by highly regarded experts in the field, the first part of the book sets out the fundamentals necessary for rigorous realist research, while the second part deals with a number of its most important applications, discussing it in the context of case studies, action research and grounded theory amongst other approaches. Grounded in philosophical methodology, this book goes beyond understanding knowledge justification only as empirical validity, but instead emphasises the importance of theoretical criteria for all good research. The authors consider both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and approach methodology from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Using abductive reasoning as the starting point for an insightful journey into realist inquiry, this book demonstrates that scientific realism continues to be of major relevance to the social sciences.

A Realist Philosophy Of Social Science

Author: Peter T. Manicas
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139457063
Size: 38.75 MB
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This introduction to the philosophy of social science provides an original conception of the task and nature of social inquiry. Peter Manicas discusses the role of causality seen in the physical sciences and offers a reassessment of the problem of explanation from a realist perspective. He argues that the fundamental goal of theory in both the natural and social sciences is not, contrary to widespread opinion, prediction and control, or the explanation of events (including behaviour). Instead, theory aims to provide an understanding of the processes which, together, produce the contingent outcomes of experience. Offering a host of concrete illustrations and examples of critical ideas and issues, this accessible book will be of interest to students of the philosophy of social science, and social scientists from a range of disciplines.

Approaches To Social Enquiry

Author: Norman Blaikie
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745634494
Size: 62.25 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Since its initial publication, this highly respected book has provided students with a much needed critical review of the major research paradigms in the social sciences and the logics or strategies of enquiry associated with them. Approaches to Social Enquiry draws together a vast body of literature from the philosophy of science, the philosophy of social science, social theory and research methodology. It focuses on questions such as: How is new social scientific knowledge produced or existing knowledge further developed? What status does this knowledge have and how can this be established? To what extent can the ways of advancing knowledge in the natural sciences be used in the social sciences? What major dilemmas do social researchers face in the development of new knowledge? No other text offers such a clear and accessible, but still rigorous, account of these sometimes complex debates. This second edition has been thoroughly updated to encompass the most contemporary debates about the conduct and underpinnings of social research. More attention is also paid to research practice. In addition, integrated empirical examples have been included to illustrate and extend the philosophical and theoretical discussion. Approaches to Social Enquiry will be invaluable to advanced undergraduate and graduate students who are planning their own research or studying research methods, and to researchers across a wide range of disciplines.

Evidence Based Policy

Author: Ray Pawson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1847878199
Size: 46.47 MB
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In this important new book, Ray Pawson examines the recent spread of evidence-based policy making across the Western world. Few major public initiatives are mounted these days in the absence of a sustained attempt to evaluate them. Programmes are tried, tried and tried again and researched, researched and researched again. And yet it is often difficult to know which interventions, and which inquiries, will withstand the test of time. The evident solution, going by the name of evidence-based policy, is to take the longer view. Rather than relying on one-off studies, it is wiser to look to the 'weight of evidence'. Accordingly, it is now widely agreed the most useful data to support policy decisions will be culled from systematic reviews of all the existing research in particular policy domains. This is the consensual starting point for Ray Pawson's latest foray into the world of evaluative research. But this is social science after all and harmony prevails only in the first chapter. Thereafter, Pawson presents a devastating critique of the dominant approach to systematic review - namely the 'meta-analytic' approach as sponsored by the Cochrane and Campbell collaborations. In its place is commended an approach that he terms 'realist synthesis'. On this vision, the real purpose of systematic review is better to understand programme theory, so that policies can be properly targeted and developed to counter an ever-changing landscape of social problems. The book will be essential reading for all those who loved (or loathed) the arguments developed in Realistic Evaluation (Sage, 1997). It offers a complete blueprint for research synthesis, supported by detailed illustrations and worked examples from across the policy waterfront. It will be of especial interest to policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and students working in health, education, employment, social care, criminal justice, regeneration and welfare.

American Legal Realism And Empirical Social Science

Author: John Henry Schlegel
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807864366
Size: 50.52 MB
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John Henry Schlegel recovers a largely ignored aspect of American Legal Realism, a movement in legal thought in the 1920s and 1930s that sought to bring the modern notion of empirical science into the study and teaching of law. In this book, he explores individual Realist scholars' efforts to challenge the received notion that the study of law was primarily a matter of learning rules and how to manipulate them. He argues that empirical research was integral to Legal Realism, and he explores why this kind of research did not, finally, become a part of American law school curricula. Schlegel reviews the work of several prominent Realists but concentrates on the writings of Walter Wheeler Cook, Underhill Moore, and Charles E. Clark. He reveals how their interest in empirical research was a product of their personal and professional circumstances and demonstrates the influence of John Dewey's ideas on the expression of that interest. According to Schlegel, competing understandings of the role of empirical inquiry contributed to the slow decline of this kind of research by professors of law. Originally published in 1995. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

Karl Popper And The Social Sciences

Author: William A. Gorton
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 0791482219
Size: 52.49 MB
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The first systematic treatment of Karl Popper’s contribution to the philosophy of the social sciences.

Explaining Global Poverty

Author: Branwen Gruffydd Jones
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134164688
Size: 37.11 MB
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The twenty-first century is characterized by extremes of poverty and wealth, of scarcity and abundance. The vast inequalties of wealth distribution between the developed west and the impoverished developing world is a complex problem. This book recognises that Africa in particular has manifested this global disgrace and symbolizes the nature of poverty to the western world. In order to truly emancipate the poverty stricken around the world we must necessarily understand the reasons for its existence. In a departure from traditional critical realist theory, Gruffydd-Jones argues the benefits of reassessing the relevance of objective inquiry and emphasizes its primacy over normative theory in the battle to truly understand the reasons for the African crisis. This approach brings us a book of real relevance for inequality in the modern world and gives us an important platform from which to move forwards in the fight against poverty.

Antipositivist Theories Of The Sciences

Author: N. Stockman
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401576785
Size: 18.74 MB
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The sciences are too important to be left exclusively to scientists, and indeed they have not been. The structure of scientific knowledge, the role of the sciences in society, the appropriate social contexts for the pursuit of scientific inquiry, have long been matters for reflection and debate about the sciences carried on both within academe and outside it. Even within the universities this reflection has not been the property of any single discipline. Philosophy might have been first in the field, but history and the social sciences have also entered the fray. For the latter, new problems came to the fore, since reflection on the sciences is, in the case of the social sciences, necessarily also reflection on themselves as sciences. Reflection on the natural sciences and self-reflection by the social sciences came to be dominated in the 1960s by the term 'positivism'. At the time when this word had been invented, the sciences were flourishing; their social and material environment had become increasingly favourable to scientific progress, and the sciences were pointing the way to an optimistic future. In the later twentieth century, however, 'positivism' came to be a word used more frequently by those less sure of nineteenth century certainties. In both sociology and philosophy, 'positivism' was now something to be rejected, and, symbolizing the collapse of an earlier consensus, it became itself the shibboleth of a new dissensus, as different groups of reflective thinkers, in rejecting 'positivism', rejected something different, and often rejected each other.

Measuring The Intentional World

Author: J. D. Trout
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198026706
Size: 60.73 MB
Format: PDF
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Scientific realism has been advanced as an interpretation of the natural sciences but never the behavioral sciences. This exciting book introduces a novel version of scientific realism--Measured Realism--that characterizes the kind of theoretical progress in the social and psychological sciences that is uneven but indisputable. Trout proposes a theory of measurement--Population-Guided Estimation--that connects natural, psychological, and social scientific inquiry. Presenting quantitative methods in the behavioral sciences as at once successful and regulated by the world, Measuring the Intentional World will engage philosophers of science, historians of science, sociologists of science, and scientists interested in the foundations of their own disciplines.