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Social Science Methodology: A Unified Framework / Edition 2

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Overview

This book offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. It is written for students and practitioners, as well as methodologists, and applies to work conducted in qualitative and quantitative style. While offering a handy overview of this vast and diverse subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Tasks and criteria, the author argues - not fixed rules of procedure - best describe the search for methodological adequacy. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding and conducting work in the social sciences.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gerring is one of the few political scientists who is equally adept at both qualitative and quantitative research, and can make the advantages of each approach clear to students. This book sheds more light on how to study causation in the social sciences than any other text -- I recommend it to everyone from active researchers to beginning students." - Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

"Social Science Methodology speaks across paradigms. It is a 'must read' not just for graduate students, but for scholars across fields as Gerring gets to the core of what social scientists do. The bottom line is that readers reach a practical end, which is knowing what approach to use when and how to adapt based on the question posed." - Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science, Courtesy Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Program in Statistics and Methodology, Ohio State University

"Gerring's book is simultaneously provocative and wise. It is the former in that it advocates for a unified (though not singular) social science methodology. It is the latter in the many ways it recommends that we think about and do science. On the one hand, Gerring has offered a compelling case for what unifies social science methodology. This should be debated for years to come. On the other hand, students of social science will benefit enormously by closely reading this sage volume. They will find particularly valuable his thorough, but nontechnical presentation of causal analysis." - Christopher Winship, Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

"The second edition presents a remarkable updating and expansion of Gerring's arguments and presentation. A tremendous amount of careful work went into the revisions, and both methodologists and teachers of methodology owe Gerring an enormous debt for producing an even more compelling version of what was already an outstanding book." - David Collier, Chancellor's Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521132770
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Strategies for Social Inquiry
  • Edition description: Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 723,900
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gerring is Professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he teaches courses on methodology and comparative politics. He has published several books including Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He served as a fellow of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, New Jersey), as a member of The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Evaluation of USAID Programs to Support the Development of Democracy, as President of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research and is the current recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to collect historical data related to colonialism and long-term development.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Preface
1 The Problem of Unity Amid Diversity 1
2 A Criterial Framework 19
3 Concepts: General Criteria 35
4 Strategies of Definition 65
5 Propositions: General Criteria 89
6 Description and Prediction 118
7 Causation 128
8 Research Design: General Criteria 155
9 Methods 200
10 Strategies of Research Design 230
Postscript: Justifications 244
References 259
Index 293
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