Dealing with Methodological Failure in the Social Sciences
Author: Herbert J Kiesling
Publisher: World Scientific
Category: Business & Economics
This book argues that mainstream social scientists have failed to be useful because of misguided efforts to use objectivist methods employed in the natural sciences — of treating humans as “things”. It argues that the attempt to imitate the objectivism of natural scientists has caused social scientists to both neglect human collective goals and to overlook a virtual gold mine of empirical data which exists because humans can communicate their feelings, beliefs, and personal histories. This wealth of data exists because of the extraordinary amount of information humans possess due to their ability to interpret and remember their own experiences. Part 1 of the book discusses the ways in which objectivism has led to the undue neglect of human social goals across the social sciences. Part 2 deals with objectivist failures by using models where motivation depends equally upon all important social goals. Cooperative efforts are suggested, perhaps by using alternative organizational and institutional arrangements where universities would reorganize the social sciences into single divisions of human sciences. Contents:Methodological Failures:Collective Goods and Economic ScienceRationality and MotivationEmotionThe “Other” Social SciencesThe Evaluation of Collective Goods DeliveryNew Directions:What Can Be Done?Exploring the Human Subject Readership: Social scientists and policy practitioners. Keywords:Reviews: “Herb Kiesling's book challenges some of the basic assumptions and the ingrained habits of economists. He accuses them of scientism, or the inappropriate application of the methods of natural sciences to social science problems, and of neglecting whole categories of evidence derivable from introspection and careful interviewing techniques. The standard methodology of economics is wholly inadequate for dealing with people's valuations of collective goods and, as a result, policy advice coming from economists is biased against some of the collective goals important to us all. This provocative book raises important questions that should be addressed by economists and other social scientists.” Christopher Clague Emeritus Professor of Economics University of Maryland “An exciting and penetrating insight into the very human demand for collective goods and the unfortunate limits of social science and moral philosophy when they fail to offer guidance on how to integrate those human goals into analysis and policy formation.” C Eugene Steuerle Senior Research Associate and Section Chief The Urban Institute “Kiesling bluntly and courageously challenges us to find an integrative way of viewing human decision-making. A must read for anyone concerned with the methodology, reach, and rhetoric of social science and moral philosophy.” William Gorham President The Urban Institute
Most public service jobs require interpersonal contact that is either face-to-face or voice-to-voice - relational work that goes beyond testable job skills but is essential for job completion. This unique book focuses on this emotional labor and what it takes to perform it.The authors weave a powerful narrative of stories from the trenches gleaned through interviews, focus groups, and survey data. They go beyond the veneer of service delivery to the real, live, person-to-person interactions that give meaning to public service.For anyone who has ever felt apathetic toward government work, the words of caseworkers, investigators, administrators, attorneys, correctional staff, and 9/11 call-takers all show the human dimension of bureaucratic work and underscore what it means to work "with feeling."
Books in print is the major source of information on books currently published and in print in the United States. The database provides the record of forthcoming books, books in-print, and books out-of-print.