Realism and Sociology

Anti-Foundationalism, Ontology and Social Research

Author: Justin Cruickshank

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415436854

Category: Social Science

Page: 184

View: 5189

In recent years, methodological debates in the social sciences have increasingly focused on issues relating to epistemology. Realism and Sociology makes an original contribution to the debate, charting a middle ground between postmodernism and positivism. Critics often hold that realism tries to assume some definitive account of reality. Against this it is argued throughout the book that realism can combine a strong definition of social reality with an anti-foundational approach to knowledge. The position of realist anti-foundationalism that is argued for is developed and defended via the use of immanent critiques. These deal primarily with post-Wittgensteinian positions that seek to define knowledge and social reality in terms of 'rule-following practices' within different 'forms of life' and 'language games'. Specifically, the argument engages with Rorty's neo-pragmatism and the structuration theory of Giddens. The philosophy of Popper is also drawn upon in a critically appreciative way. While the positions of Rorty and Giddens seek to deflate the claims of 'grand theory', albeit in different ways, they both end up with definitive claims about knowledge and reality that preclude social research. By avoiding the general deflationary approach that relies on reference to 'practices', realism is able to combine a strong social ontology with an anti-foundational epistemology, and thus act as an underlabourer for empirical research.

Critical Realism and Housing Research

Author: Julie Lawson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134706650

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 2854

Since the nineteenth century various housing solutions have evolved, such as sprawling Australian home ownership and compact Dutch social rental housing. This phenomenon cannot be adequately explained with simple descriptions of key events, politics and housing outcomes. Critical Realism and Housing Studies pushes debate forward, arguing that a new ontological perspective is required to address fundamental issues in housing and comparative research. This book is clearly organized into three parts which: evaluate ontological and methodological alternatives for comparative housing research provide two historical case studies inspired by critical realist ontology compare the causal tendencies that explain diverging housing pathways in Australia and the Netherlands. Lawson proposes that we turn to critical realism for the solution. From this perspective the causal tendencies of complex, open and structured housing phenomena are highlighted. With this insight we are able to extract the key social arrangements which promote different housing solutions from the historical case studies. Social arrangements which are found to influence alternative pathways in housing history concern the property rights, circuit of savings and investment, as well as labour and welfare relations. As they develop differently over time and space they affect where, when and how housing solutions develop.

The Paradox of Generosity

Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose

Author: Christian Smith,Hilary Davidson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019939492X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 4628

Determining why, when, and to whom people feel compelled to be generous affords invaluable insight into positive and problematic ways of life. Organ donation, volunteering, and the funding of charities can all be illuminated by sociological and psychological perspectives on how American adults conceive of and demonstrate generosity. Focusing not only on financial giving but on the many diverse forms generosity can take, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson show the deep impact-usually good, sometimes destructive-that giving has on individuals. The Paradox of Generosity is the first study to make use of the cutting-edge empirical data collected in Smith's groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, five-year Science of Generosity Initiative. It draws on an extensive survey of 2,000 Americans, more than sixty in-depth interviews with individuals across twelve states, and analysis of over 1,000 photographs and other visual materials. This wealth of evidence reveals a consistent link between demonstrating generosity and leading a better life: more generous people are happier, suffer fewer illnesses and injuries, live with a greater sense of purpose, and experience less depression. Smith and Davidson also show, however, that to achieve a better life a person must practice generosity regularly-random acts of kindness are not enough. Offering a wide range of vividly illustrative case studies, this volume will be a crucial resource for anyone seeking to understand the true impact and meaning of generosity.

Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences

A Pluralist Perspective

Author: Donatella Della Porta,Michael Keating

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139474596

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 8535

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.

Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy

Empty Persons

Author: Mark Siderits

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351911899

Category: Philosophy

Page: 248

View: 7770

Since the publication of Mark Siderits' important book in 2003, much has changed in the field of Buddhist philosophy. There has been unprecedented growth in analytic metaphysics, and a considerable amount of new work on Indian theories of the self and personal identity has emerged. Fully revised and updated, and drawing on these changes as well as on developments in the author's own thinking, Personal Identity and Buddhist Philosophy, second edition explores the conversation between Buddhist and Western Philosophy showing how concepts and tools drawn from one philosophical tradition can help solve problems arising in another. Siderits discusses afresh areas involved in the philosophical investigation of persons, including vagueness and its implications for personal identity, recent attempts by scholars of Buddhist philosophy to defend the attribution of an emergentist account of personhood to at least some Buddhists, and whether a distinctively Buddhist antirealism can avoid problems that beset other forms of ontological anti-foundationalism.

Conjectures and Refutations

The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

Author: Karl Popper

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135971374

Category: Philosophy

Page: 608

View: 1030

Conjectures and Refutations is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.

Interdisciplinarity and Wellbeing

A Critical Realist General Theory of Interdisciplinarity

Author: Roy Bhaskar

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351709968

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 1229

In this book, the authors provide a much-needed general theory of interdisciplinarity and relate it to health/wellbeing research and professional practice. In so doing they make it possible for practitioners of the different disciplines to communicate without contradiction or compromise, resolving the tensions that beset much interdisciplinary work. Such a general theory is only possible if we assume that there is more to being (ontology) than empirical being (what we can measure directly). Therefore, the unique approach to interdisciplinarity applied in this book starts from ontology, namely that there is a multimechanismicity (a multiplicity of mechanisms) in open systems, and then moves to epistemology. By contrast, the mainstream approach, which fails to acknowledge ontology, is "unserious" and tends to result in a methodological hierarchy, unconducive of interdisciplinarity, in which empiricist science is overtly or tacitly assumed to be the superior version of science. This book is primarily aimed at those people interested in improving health and wellbeing - such as researchers, policy-makers, educators, and general practitioners. However, it will also be useful to academics engaged in the broader academic debate on interdisciplinary metatheory.

A Realist Theory of Science

Author: Roy Bhaskar

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134050860

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 8249

First Published in 2008. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Explaining Society

An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences

Author: Berth Danermark,Mats Ekstrom,Liselotte Jakobsen,Jan ch. Karlsson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134737483

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 8975

This book will be immensely valuable for students and researchers in social science, sociology and philosophy in that it connects methodology, theory and empirical research. It provides an innovative picture of what society and social science is, along with the methods used to study and explain social phenomena.

Critical Realism

The Difference it Makes

Author: Justin Cruickshank

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134402813

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 3391

Critical realism is a movement in philosophy and the human sciences most closely associated with the work of Roy Bhaskar. Since the publication of Bhaskars A Realist Theory of Science, critical realism has had a profound influence on a wide range of subjects. This reader makes accessible, in one volume, key readings to stimulate debate about and within critical realism. It explores the following themes: * transcendental realist * the theory of explanatory critique * dialectics * Bhaskar's critical naturalist philosophy of science.

Realism and Social Science

Author: Andrew Sayer

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 9780761961246

Category: Social Science

Page: 211

View: 1310

Realism and Social Science offers an authoritative guide to critical realism and an assessment of its virtues in comparison with other leading traditions in social science. It is illustrated throughout with relevant and accessible examples.

Information communication technologies

concepts, methodologies, tools and applications

Author: Craig Van Slyke

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Computers

Page: N.A

View: 1090

"This collection meets these research challenges; compiling breaking research in the pivotal areas of social adaptation to information technology. It covers ad-hoc networks, collaborative environments, e-governance, and urban information systems, case studies, empirical analysis, and conceptual models. Over 300 chapters contributed by experts, this six-volume compendium will provide any library's collection with the definitive reference on ICTs"--Provided by publisher.

Realism, Philosophy and Social Science

Author: K. Dean,J. Joseph,J. Roberts,C. Wight

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230502075

Category: Social Science

Page: 199

View: 8595

The authors examine the relationship between social science and philosophy and ask what sort of work social science and an accompanying philosophy should do. They reintroduce the question of ontology, through the work of Roy Bhaskar. The book argues against philosophising and is committed to a philosophical approach grounded in the social sciences.

Contributions to Social Ontology

Author: Clive Lawson,John Spiro Latsis,Nuno Martins

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136016066

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 4491

Recent years have seen a dramatic re-emergence of interest in ontology. From philosophy and social sciences to artificial intelligence and computer science, ontology is gaining interdisciplinary influence as a popular tool for applied research. Contributions to Social Ontology focuses specifically on these developments within the social sciences. The contributions reveal that this revived interest in social ontology involves far more than an unquestioning acceptance or application of the concepts and methods of academic philosophers. Instead as ontology permeates so many new areas, social ontology itself is evolving in new and fascinating ways. This book engages with these new developments, pushing it forward with cutting-edge new material from leading authors in this area, from Roy Bhaskar to Margaret Archer. It also explicitly analyzes the relationship between the new ontological projects and the more traditional approaches. This book will be of great interest to students and researchers alike across the social sciences and particularly in philosophy, economics and sociology.

Dictionary of Critical Realism

Author: Mervyn Hartwig

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317420705

Category: Social Science

Page: 560

View: 2094

Dictionary of Critical Realism fulfils a vital gap in the literature, Critical Realism is often criticised for being too opaque and deploying too much jargon, thereby making the concepts inaccessible for a wider audience. However, as Hartwig puts it 'Just as the tools of the various skilled trades need to be precision-engineered for specific, interrelated functions, so meta-theory requires concepts honed for specific interrelated tasks: it is impossible to think creatively at that level without them.' This Dictionary seeks to redress this problem; to throw open the important contribution of Critical Realism to a wider audience for the first time, by thoroughly explaining all the key concepts and key developments. It includes 500 entries on these themes, and has contributions from major players in field. However this text does not stop there, it goes further than simply elucidating the concepts and includes a number of essays which use the notions in important areas, thereby demonstrating the appropriate use of the concepts in action to encourage their wider use. This book will become a requisite reference tool for Critical Realist scholars and Philosophers and Social scientists alike will enjoy this vital introduction and explanatory text of the indispensable ideas contained within the dynamic and vibrant school of Critical Realism.

Critical Realist Applications in Organisation and Management Studies

Author: Professor of Organizational Analysis and Head of the Department of Organization Work and Technology Stephen Ackroyd,Stephen Ackroyd,Steve Fleetwood

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134283687

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 9421

Critical realism has become increasingly important in the way organization and management is studied. This innovative book argues for an alternative to the prevailing ontology, and shows how positivism and its empirical realist ontology can be abandoned without having to accept strong social constructionism. Critical Realist Applications in Organisation and Management Studies applies critical realism in four ways. First, in the removal of meta-theoretical obstacles that hinder the development of fruitful theoretical and empirical work. Second and third, as a meta-theoretical tool with which to develop appropriate methodological and theoretical frameworks which can then be used to inform appropriate empirical work, and finally, all of this is applied across a broad range of subject areas including critical management studies, accountancy, marketing, health care management, operations research, the nature of work, human resource management, labour process theory, regional analysis, and work and labour market studies. Ideal for postgraduates and professionals, this key book will be a valuable resource across a wide range of subjects.

Critical Theory

Selected Essays

Author: Max Horkheimer

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826400833

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 1081

These essays, written in the 1930s and 1940s, represent a first selection in English from the major work of the founder of the famous Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Horkheimer's writings are essential to an understanding of the intellectual background of the New Left and the to much current social-philosophical thought, including the work of Herbert Marcuse. Apart from their historical significance and even from their scholarly eminence, these essays contain an immediate relevance only now becoming fully recognized.

Assessing the Tradecraft of Intelligence Analysis

Author: Gregory F. Treverton,C. Bryan Gabbard

Publisher: Rand Corporation

ISBN: 0833046012

Category: Political Science

Page: 74

View: 461

This report assesses intelligence analysis across the main U.S. intelligence agencies and makes a number of recommendations, some of which parallel initiatives that have begun in the wake of the December 2004 legislation, for instance, create a Deputy Director of National Intelligence as a focal point for analysis, establish a National Intelligence University, build a Long Term Analysis Unit at the National Intelligence Council, and form an Open Source Center for making more creative use of open-source materials.

Revitalizing Causality

Realism about Causality in Philosophy and Social Science

Author: Ruth Groff

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134193661

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 8539

This cutting edge collection of new and previously published articles by philosophers and social scientists addresses just what it means to invoke causal mechanisms, or powers, in the context of offering a causal explanation. A unique collection, it offers the reader various disciplinary and inter-disciplinary divides, helping to stake out a new, neo-Aristotelian position within contemporary debate.