Fuzzy-Set Social Science / Edition 1

Fuzzy-Set Social Science / Edition 1

by Charles C. Ragin
     
 

In this innovative approach to the practice of social science, Charles Ragin explores the use of fuzzy sets to bridge the divide between quantitative and qualitative methods. Paradoxically, the fuzzy set is a powerful tool because it replaces an unwieldy, "fuzzy" instrument—the variable, which establishes only the positions of cases relative to each other, with a… See more details below

Overview

In this innovative approach to the practice of social science, Charles Ragin explores the use of fuzzy sets to bridge the divide between quantitative and qualitative methods. Paradoxically, the fuzzy set is a powerful tool because it replaces an unwieldy, "fuzzy" instrument—the variable, which establishes only the positions of cases relative to each other, with a precise one—degree of membership in a well-defined set.

Ragin argues that fuzzy sets allow a far richer dialogue between ideas and evidence in social research than previously possible. They let quantitative researchers abandon "homogenizing assumptions" about cases and causes, they extend diversity-oriented research strategies, and they provide a powerful connection between theory and data analysis. Most important, fuzzy sets can be carefully tailored to fit evolving theoretical concepts, sharpening quantitative tools with in-depth knowledge gained through qualitative, case-oriented inquiry. This book will revolutionize research methods not only in sociology, political science, and anthropology but in any field of inquiry dealing with complex patterns of causation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226702773
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
08/01/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
370
Sales rank:
836,502
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction3
Pt. 1Diversity-Oriented Research
1Diversity-Oriented Research: Between Complexity and Generality21
2Constituting Populations43
3Studying Cases as Configurations64
4Causal Complexity88
5The Logic of Diversity-Oriented Research120
Pt. 2Fuzzy-Set Methods
6Fuzzy Sets and the Study of Diversity149
7Using Fuzzy Sets to Constitute Cases and Populations181
8Fuzzy Sets and Necessary Conditions203
9Using Fuzzy Sets to Study Sufficient Conditions230
10Causal Complexity: Applying Fuzzy-Set Methods261
11Fuzzy Sets and the Dialogue between Ideas and Evidence309
Bibliography335
Index345

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