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Methodology of Sociological Research: General Problems

General Problems. 'Synthese Library / Studies in Epistemo…
von S. Nowak
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Titel: Methodology of Sociological Research: General Problems
Autor/en: S. Nowak

ISBN: 9027704864
EAN: 9789027704863
General Problems.
'Synthese Library / Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science'.
Auflage 1977.
Sprache: Englisch.
Übersetzt von Maria Olga Lepa
SPRINGER VERLAG GMBH

30. April 1977 - gebunden - 521 Seiten

This is the first part of a textbook for students of sociology, and for those students of other social sciences who wish to make use in their work of the research methods elaborated in the course of the develop­ ment of empirical sociology over the last few decades. The development of empirical sociological research in our country and the growing demand both for a practical application of its results and for graduates of sociological studies in various fields of social practice testifies to a much broader trend. It is evidence of a desire to base our understanding and conscious transformation of social phenom­ ena on a sound, scientific perception of social processes and the mechanisms governing them. The increasing volume of studies in Poland is accompanied by a growing need for a particular type of re­ search method, namely one in which questions addressed to the socio­ logist would be answered in a manner as free as possible of conclusions based on impressions and defining as unambiguously as possible both the limits of the generality and the degree of validity of the inferences drawn from the results of the research. These conditions are met by the so-called standardized methods of investigating social phenomena which, together with statistical methods of analyzing collected material, consti­ tute the principal means of conducting sociological research in the world today.

I. The Formulation of the Research Problem and the Choice of the Right Methods.
- 1. Problems with the Subject-matter and Scope of Sociology.
- 2. The Social and Scientific Sources of the Research Problems in Sociology.
- 3. The Object of Investigation and the Research Problem.
- 4. Kinds of Questions. Problem and Hypothesis.
- 5. Investigated Phenomena as an Object of Interest in Themselves and as a Sample of a Broader Class of Phenomena.
- 6. Modes of Research with an "Historical" Intention.
- 7. Specifying the Research Problem and Research Reconnaissance.
- 8. Choice of Research Methods and the Final Operationalization of the Research Problem.
- 9. The Research Assumptions.-
II. Social Phenomena and Processes.
- 1. Two Ways of Looking at People and Human Collectivities.
- 2. The Understanding of Social Phenomena and the Problem of the Specific Nature of the Humanities as Regards Methodology.
- 3. Objects of the Extrahuman World as Seen by the Sociologist.
- 4. Variables Characterizing Human Individuals in Social Research.
- 5. Human Collectivities as an Object of Interest to Sociologists; Semantic Variations of the Term "Group".
- 6. The Features of Human Collectivities and of the Individuals Constituting Them.
- 7. The Structural Features of Collectivities and the Normative Regulators of Human Behaviour.
- 8. Two Ways of Regarding Cultural Phenomena.
- 9. The Cross-sectional Characteristics of Human Collectivities and Dynamic Events and Processes Occurring in Them.-
III. Concepts and Indicators.
- 1. The Terms and Concepts of the Language of Sociology.
- 2. Singular and General, Universal and Historical Terms.
- 3. Defining Concepts.
- 4. Partial Definitions and Probabilistic Definitions.
- 5. Syndromatic Concepts and Theoretical Models of Phenomena.
- 6. Qualitative and Quantitative Variables.
- 7. Classifications and Typologies.
- 8. Observable Properties, Dispositional Features, and Inferred "Latent Variables" in the Content of Sociological Concepts.
- 9. Types of Indicators in Social Research.
- 10. Behaviour, Verbal Communications and Material Objects as Indicators of Sociological Variables.
- 11. Non-formal Criteria of the Usefulness of Sociological Concepts.
- 12. Emotionally Loaded Terms in the Conceptual Apparatus of Sociology.-
IV. Kinds of Propositions.
- 1. The Degree of Generality of Propositions.
- 2. Numerical Characterizations of Population; the Relative Frequencies of Phenomena and Statistical Relationships between Variables.
- 3. Probabilistic Propositions.
- 4. Space-time Relations and Other Structural Relations between the Elements of Sets.
- 5. Causal Statements and Statements about the Concomitance or Sequence of Events.
- 6. Types of Causal Relation between Dichotomous Variables.
- 7. Relationships between Quantitative and Qualitative Variables.
- 8. Functional Relationships between Two Quantitative Variables.
- 9. Multivariable Relationships of Quantitative Variables.
- 10. Types of Variables and the Character of Propositions about the Relationships between Them.
- 11. Types of Propositions about the Dynamics of Social Processes.
- 12. Elliptic or Indeterminate Statements in the Social Sciences.
- 13. Tautological Statements.
- 14. Empirical Statements and Value Judgements about Social Reality.-
V. Substantiation of Statements. Empirical Verification of Hypotheses.
- 1. The Role of Perceptual Judgements in Substantiating Propositions in the Empirical Sciences.
- 2. Singular Statements and Inductive Justification of General Propositions.
- 3. The Rules of Eliminative Induction.
- 4. Experimental Manipulation of Independent Variables and Verification of Causal Hypotheses.
- 5. Statistical or Historical Consequences of Conditional Relationships.
- 6. Difficulties in the Verification of Universal Social Laws and Substitute Functions of Spatiotemporal Coordinates.
- 7. Genetic Determination of Sociological Laws.
- 8. Experimental Investigations and Non-experimental Methods of Verification of Causal Hypothesis.
- 9. Generalizing from Conclusions and the Problem of the Representativeness of the Sample.
- 10. Principles of Statistical Inference.
- 11. Influence of Prior Knowledge on Interpretation of Research Results.-
VI. Explanation of Events.
- 1. The General Schema of Explanation.
- 2. Explanation of Events and Sets of Events by Means of Statistical Propositions.
- 3. Incomplete Explanation.
- 4. Hypothetical Explanations.
- 5. Contradictory and Complementary Explanations.
- 6. Explanation of Human Behaviour in Terms of Motives.
- 7. "Matrix" Laws in the Explanation of Human Behaviour.
- 8. Genetic Explanations.
- 9. Teleological Explanations.-
VII. Construction of Theories.
- 1. Different Meanings of the Term "Theory".
- 2. Inventories of Theoretical Propositions and Typological Systematizations.
- 3. Factorial Systematization of the Totality of Causes of the Same Effect.
- 4. Hypothetical "Latent Variables" in the Systematization of Causal Chains.
- 5. The Functional Approach.
- 6. Axiomatized Theories.
- 7. Simple Reductive Systematization.
- 8. Reduction of Laws about Social "Wholes" to Laws about Their Component Elements.
- 9. Theoretical Models of Social Phenomena and Processes.-
VIII. Prediction of Events and Practical Applications of Research Results.
- 1. Simple and Complex Prediction Schemata.
- 2. Probabilistic and Conditional Predictions.
- 3. Knowledge about the Structure and Culture of the Collectivity in the Process of Behaviour Prediction.
- 4. Prediction of Behaviour on the Basis of Intentions, Plans, and Attitudes Towards the Future.
- 5. Self-fulfilling Prognoses.
- 6. Extrapolation of Trends.
- 7. Long-term Prognoses.
- 8. The Role of Sociological Research in the Discovery and Diagnosis of Social Problems.
- 9. Theoretical and Diagnostic Knowledge in Social Engineering.
- 10. Manipulation of Sociological Variables in Social Engineering.
- 11. Empirical Evaluation of the Effects of Practical Action.
- 12. Some Problems Related to the Practical Application of Sociological Studies.
- 13. Applied Research and the Sociology of Particular Areas of Social Reality.
- 14. The Social Functions of Sociology and the Responsibility of the Scientist.- Index of Subjects.

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