Realism and Sociology

Anti-Foundationalism, Ontology and Social Research

Author: Justin Cruickshank

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 184

View: 914

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:

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 487

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.

Critical Realism and Housing Research

Author: Julie M. Lawson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 303

View: 462

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

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 374

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.

Information Communication Technologies

Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications

Author: Craig Van Slyke

Publisher: Information Science Publishing

ISBN:

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 4288

View: 852

"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.

The Intellectual as Stranger

Studies in Spokespersonship

Author: Dick Pels

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 679

The Intellectual as Stranger explores the historical association between images of the intellectual and those of the stranger, or the outsider to society. Using detailed case-studies, Pels examines the ambiguous strangerhood of political intellectuals such as Marx, Durkheim, Sorel, Freyer and Hendrik de Man.