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Social Science Concepts

Social Science Concepts

ISBN 9780691124117
Edition 1
Publication Date
Purchase Type Buy New
Publisher Princeton University Press
Author(s)
Overview
Concepts lie at the core of social science theory and methodology. They provide substance to theories: they form the basis of measurement: they influence the selection of cases. Social Science Concepts explores alternative means of concept construction and their impact on the role of concepts in measurement, case selection, and theories. While there exists a plethora of books on measurement, scaling, and the like, there are virtually no books devoted to the construction and analysis of concepts and their role in the research enterprise. Social Science Concepts provides detailed and practical advice on the construction and use of social science concepts: a Web site provides classroom exercises. It uses a wide range of examples from political science and sociology such as revolution, welfare state, international disputes and war, and democracy to illustrate the theoretical and practical issues of concept construction and use. The book explores the means of constructing complex, multilevel, and multidimensional concepts. In particular, it examines the classic necessary and sufficient condition approach to concept building and contrasts it with the family resemblance approach. The consequences of valid concept construction are explored in both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Social Science Concepts will prove an indispensable guide for graduate students and scholars in the social sciences. More broadly, it will appeal to scholars in any field who wish to think more carefully about the concepts used to create theories and research designs. Review: 'Gary Goertz is at the forefront of a number of important methodological debates. He is one of the very few scholars who regularly crosses the boundary between quants and quals, and this book reflects his strength in both areas.' -- John Gerring, Boston University
Overview
Concepts lie at the core of social science theory and methodology. They provide substance to theories: they form the basis of measurement: they influence the selection of cases. Social Science Concepts explores alternative means of concept construction and their impact on the role of concepts in measurement, case selection, and theories. While there exists a plethora of books on measurement, scaling, and the like, there are virtually no books devoted to the construction and analysis of concepts and their role in the research enterprise. Social Science Concepts provides detailed and practical advice on the construction and use of social science concepts: a Web site provides classroom exercises. It uses a wide range of examples from political science and sociology such as revolution, welfare state, international disputes and war, and democracy to illustrate the theoretical and practical issues of concept construction and use. The book explores the means of constructing complex, multilevel, and multidimensional concepts. In particular, it examines the classic necessary and sufficient condition approach to concept building and contrasts it with the family resemblance approach. The consequences of valid concept construction are explored in both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Social Science Concepts will prove an indispensable guide for graduate students and scholars in the social sciences. More broadly, it will appeal to scholars in any field who wish to think more carefully about the concepts used to create theories and research designs. Review: 'Gary Goertz is at the forefront of a number of important methodological debates. He is one of the very few scholars who regularly crosses the boundary between quants and quals, and this book reflects his strength in both areas.' -- John Gerring, Boston University
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