Philosophy of Science deals with the problem, 'What is science?' It seems that the answer to this question can only be found if we have an answer to the question, 'How does science function?' Thus, the study of the methodology of social sciences is a prominent factor in any analysis of these sciences. The history of philosophy shows clearly that the answer to the question, 'How does science function?' was the conditio sine qua non of any kind of philosophy of science, epistemology and even of logic. Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, Russell, to mention a few classical authors, clearly emphasized the primacy of methodology of science for any kind of philosophy of science. One may even state that analyses of the presup positions, the foundations, the aims, goals and purposes of science are nothing else than analyses of their general and specific formal, as well as practical and empirical methods. Thus, the whole program of any phi losophy of science is dependent on the analysis of the methods of sciences and the establishment of their criteria. If the study of scientific method is the predominant factor in the philosophy of science, then all the other problems will depend on the outcome of such a study. For example, the old question of a possible unity of all social sciences will be brought to a solution by the study of the presuppositions, the methods, as well as of the criteria germane to all social sciences.
In this book, leading methodologists address the issue of how effectively to apply the latest developments in social network analysis to behavioural and social science disciplines. Topics examined include: ways to specify the network contents to be studied; how to select the method for representing network structures; how social network analysis has been used to study interorganizational relations via the resource dependence model; how to use a contact matrix for studying the spread of disease in epidemiology; and how cohesion and structural equivalence network theories relate to studying social influence. The book also offers some statistical models for social support networks.
From the beginning, the systems research movement has shown a high potential for offering a conceptual framework for the understanding of social systems. Much of this potential has been realized, but a major gap remains with regard to operational investigative aids. Developments of the last ten years with a method ological orientation and emphasis seem finally to be filling this gap. The purpose of this book is to describe the most advanced of these developments and to make them available to a wider audience. The emphasis is on developments that are primarily oriented toward interaction with expertise in the social sciences and that thus hold the most promise for social systems investigation. In particu lar, attempts have been made to provide substantiation and illustration of three main points: (1) the common motivation and essential integrability that systems research provides for developments and considerations along a very broad spec trum of interests; (2) the very diverse nature of the types and forms of considera tions that may be meaningfully integrated; and (3) the operational and usable nature that developments in systems methodology represent for research in the social sciences. The book is divided into three parts with a generally increasing degree of specificity. The first part (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) deals with foundational issues associated with modeling and methodology as areas worthy of study in their ix X PREFACE own right.
At a time when alarming numbers of people with HIV/AIDS seek help under cover of darkness, deeply ashamed of their plight, it is crucial to find ways to better comprehend and address the specific nature of stigma around HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. Drawing on a cross-disciplinary, critical review of academic literature on this issue, the authors explore a range of theoretical approaches to conceptualizing stigma. Highlights the theoretical and methodological approaches that are most relevant in southern Africa.
This book provides a bridge between the introductory research methods books and the discipline-specific, higher level texts. Its unique feature is the coverage of the detailed process of research rather than the findings of research projects. Chapter authors have been carefully selected by their expertise, discipline and location to give an eclectic range of perspectives. Particular care has been taken to balance positivist with interpretivist approaches throughout. The authors focus is on the practical consequences of research philosophies, strategies and techniques by using their own research and by evaluating the work of others. Advanced Research Methods in the Built Environment addresses common topics raised by postgraduate level researchers rather than dealing with all aspects of the research process. Issues covered range from the practicalities of producing a journal article to the role of theory in research. The material brought together here provides a valuable resource for the training and development of doctoral and young researchers and will contribute to a new sense of shared methodological understanding across built environment research.
About the Book: This second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated and efforts have been made to enhance the usefulness of the book. In this edition a new chapter The Computer: Its Role in Research have been added keeping in view of the fact tha
This volume is the first to provide a systematic introduction to the methods of social science for the legal professions and decision-makers in public policy fields. Designed as both a text and a convenient reference, the book provides an understanding of all the elements in the research process and acquaints the reader with the choices that are available in designing and conducting research. A particularly useful feature is each chapter's examination of research cited in specific court or public policy decisions, together with discussion of possible legal applications of various research approaches.