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All social scientists learn the celebrated theories and frameworks of their predecessors, using them to inform their own research and observations. But before there can be theory, there must be theorizing. Theorizing in Social Science introduces the reader to the next generation of theory construction and suggests useful ways for creating social theory. What makes certain types of theories creative, and how does one go about theorizing in a creative way? The contributors to this landmark collection—top social scientists in the fields of sociology, economics, and management—draw on personal experiences and new findings to provide a range of answers to these questions. Some turn to cognitive psychology and neuroscience's impact on our understanding of human thought, others encourage greater dialogue between and across the arts and sciences, while still others focus on the processes by which observation leads to conceptualization. Taken together, however, the chapters collectively and actively encourage a shift in the place of theory in social science today. Appealing to students and scientists across disciplines, this collection will inspire innovative approaches to producing, teaching, and learning theory.
All social scientists learn the celebrated theories and frameworks of their predecessors, using them to inform their own research and observations. But before there can be theory, there must be theorizing. Theorizing in Social Science introduces the reader to the next generation of theory construction and suggests useful ways for creating social theory. What makes certain types of theories creative, and how does one go about theorizing in a creative way? The contributors to this landmark collection—top social scientists in the fields of sociology, economics, and management—draw on personal experiences and new findings to provide a range of answers to these questions. Some turn to cognitive psychology and neuroscience's impact on our understanding of human thought, others encourage greater dialogue between and across the arts and sciences, while still others focus on the processes by which observation leads to conceptualization. Taken together, however, the chapters collectively and actively encourage a shift in the place of theory in social science today. Appealing to students and scientists across disciplines, this collection will inspire innovative approaches to producing, teaching, and learning theory.
In the social sciences today, students are taught theory by reading and analyzing the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and other foundational figures of the discipline. What they rarely learn, however, is how to actually theorize. The Art of Social Theory is a practical guide to doing just that. In this one-of-a-kind user's manual for social theorists, Richard Swedberg explains how theorizing occurs in what he calls the context of discovery, a process in which the researcher gathers preliminary data and thinks creatively about it using tools such as metaphor, analogy, and typology. He guides readers through each step of the theorist’s art, from observation and naming to concept formation and explanation. To theorize well, you also need a sound knowledge of existing social theory. Swedberg introduces readers to the most important theories and concepts, and discusses how to go about mastering them. If you can think, you can also learn to theorize. This book shows you how. Concise and accessible, The Art of Social Theory features helpful examples throughout, and also provides practical exercises that enable readers to learn through doing.
Social exclusion attempts to make sense out of multiple deprivations and inequities experienced by people and areas, and the reinforcing effects of reduced participation, consumption, mobility, access, integration, influence and recognition. This book works from a multidisciplinary approach across health, welfare, and education, linking practice and research in order to improve our understanding of the processes that foster exclusion and how to prevent it. Theorising Social Exclusion first reviews and reflects upon existing thinking, literature and research into social exclusion and social connectedness, outlining an integrated theory of social exclusion across dimensions of social action and along pathways of social processes. A series of commissioned chapters then develop and illustrate the theory by addressing the machinery of social exclusion and connectedness, the pathways towards exclusion and, finally, experiences of exclusion and connection. This innovative book takes a truly multidisciplinary approach and focuses on the often-neglected cultural and social aspects of exclusion. It will be of interest to academics in fields of public health, health promotion, social work, community development, disability studies, occupational therapy, policy, sociology, politics, and environment.
A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
In the fiftieth anniversary of this book’s first release, Winch’s argument remains as crucial as ever. Originally published in 1958, The Idea of a Social Science and Its Relation to Philosophy was a landmark exploration of the social sciences, written at a time when that field was still young and had not yet joined the Humanities and the Natural Sciences as the third great domain of the Academy. A passionate defender of the importance of philosophy to a full understanding of 'society' against those who would deem it an irrelevant 'ivory towers' pursuit, Winch draws from the works of such thinkers as Ludwig Wittgenstein, J.S. Mill and Max Weber to make his case. In so doing he addresses the possibility and practice of a comprehensive 'science of society'.

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