The status of the social sciences as knowledge presents two fundamental problems. The first is epistemological: in what sense is the subject of the social sciences known and knowable? The second is pragmatic: can knowledge generated by the social sciences be applied, and with what consequences? In this book, Nico Stehr offers a major reassessment of the latter question of the utility of social science knowledge, including economics. Arguing for a reconception of the ways in which social scientific knowledge can be and is applied, this book will be of interest to a broad range of social scientists.
This volume is a one-of-a-kind contribution to applied social science and the product of a long collaboration between an established, interdisciplinary sociologist and a successful banking executive. Together, Neil Smelser and John Reed use a straightforward approach to presenting substantive social science knowledge and indicate its relevance and applicability to decision-making, problem-solving and policy-making. Among the areas presented are space-and-time coordinates of social life; cognition and bias; group and network effects; the role of sanctions; organizational dynamics; and macro-changes associated with economic development. Finally, the authors look at the big picture of why society at large demands and needs social-science knowledge, and how the academy actually supplies relevant knowledge.
Economics as a Social Science is a highly readable critique of economic theory, based on a wide range of research, that endeavors to restore economics to its proper role as a social science. Contrary to conventional economic theory, which assumes that people have no free will, this book instead bases economics on the realistic assumption that human beings can choose; that we are complex beings affected by emotion, custom, habit, and reason; and that our behavior varies with circumstances and times. It embraces the findings of history, psychology, and other social sciences and the insights from great literature on human behavior as opposed to the rigidity set by mathematical axioms that define how economics is understood and practiced today. Andrew M. Kamarck demonstrates that only rough accuracy is attainable in economic measurement, and that understanding an economy requires knowledge from other disciplines. The canonical hypotheses of economics (perfect rationality, self-interest, equilibrium) are shown to be inadequate (and in the case of "equilibrium" to be counterproductive to understanding the forces that dominate the economy), and more satisfactory assumptions provided. The market is shown to work imperfectly and to require appropriate institutions to perform its function reasonably well. Further, Kamarck argues that self-interest does not always lead to helping the general interest. Economics as a Social Science examines and revises the fundamental assumptions of economics. Because it avoids jargon and explains terms carefully, it will be of interest to economics majors as well as to graduate students of economics and other social sciences, and social scientists working in government and the private sector. Andrew M. Kamarck is former Director, Economic Development Institute, the World Bank.
Claude Ake's study is primarily concerned with what he terms 'the most perinicious form of imperialism' namely scientific knowledge. Ake analyses how Western social sciences, whether consciously or inadvertently, foist capitalist values and capitalist development on the Third World, and serve imperialist ends. He unravels the theory of political development/'westernisation', exposing its ideological character and condemning 'Western development studies as worse than useless'. He then develops his analysis of the imperialist and ideological characteristics of Western social sciences to posit alternatives which may more successfully overcome permanent underdevelopment; and advocates a struggle for a new model of social sciences which is socialist-orientated, and that developing countries reject Western models. The study was first published in 1979, revised in 1982, is newly reissued, and for the first time, widely available outside Africa. Claude Ake (1939-1996) was one of Africa's most distinguished political and social scientists and democrats of the twentieth century, writing widely and polemically on what were his life-long concerns of democracy and the future of the African continent.
Sterling Professor of Economics and Political Science Charles E Lindblom
Author: Sterling Professor of Economics and Political Science Charles E Lindblom
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Social Science
The problem that gives rise to this book is dissatisfaction with social science and social research as instruments of social problem solving. Policy makers and other practical problem solvers frequently voice disappointment with what they are offered. And many social scientists and social researchers think they should be more drawn upon, more useful, and more influential. Out of the discontent have come numerous diagnoses and prescriptions. This thoughtful contribution to the discussion provides an agenda of basic questions that should be asked and answered by those who are concerned about the impact of social science and research on real life problems. In general, Cohen and Lindblom believe that social scientists are crippled by a misunderstanding of their own trade, and they suggest that the tools of their trade be applied to the trade itself. Social scientists do not always fully appreciate that professional social inquiry is only one of several ways of solving a problem. They are also often engaged in a mistaken pursuit of authoritativeness, not recognizing that their contribution can never be more than a partial one. Cohen and Lindblom suggest that they reexamine their criteria for selecting subjects for research, study their tactics as compared to those of policy makers, and consider more carefully their role in relation to other routes to problem solving. To stimulate further inquiry into these fundamental issues, they also provide a comprehensive bibliography.
From Max Weber and Rickert to Sombart and Rothacker
Author: Peter Koslowski
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Business & Economics
The volume gives an exposition of the achievement and present relevance of the Newer Historical School of Economics and of the theory of the Humane Sciences that accompanied its development. It describes the methodology of economics and the social sciences, the economic ethics, and the theory of the social and human sciences in the Historical School. It shows how its emphasis moved from an ethical economics or ethical economy to the methodology of the social and economic sciences. Together with the volume on the theory of ethical economy in the Older Historical School, the reader is provided with an encyclopedic description and analysis of the entire Historical School and of the German speaking tradition of economics and the social sciences in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century.
A Positive Approach to the Integration of Social Knowledge
Author: K.W. Kapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
THIS study is concerned with the search for a new unity of social knowledge and social inquiry. As such it is addressed to all those who see in the present compartmentalization and special ization of the social sciences the reason for the bewildering pro liferation of subject matters, the preoccupation with trivia and the failure to make the maximum use of our knowledge for human welfare. More specifically, I am addressing this book to those who are dealing with "interdisciplinary" problems such as the study of foreign areas, the analysis of sociocultural change, economic development of "backward" economies and the planning and teaching of "integrated" courses in the social sciences. The book suggests an answer to the question, How can our specialized knowledge about man and society be unified? As such the study reflects the conviction that all scientific knowledge, in order to make the greatest possible contribution to human welfare, must become comprehensive in character. In fact, such knowledge differs from popular and common-sense understanding precisely by the fact that it is systematically formulated and held together in terms of a few unifying conceptual frameworks. Indeed, all scientific understanding is, above all, an effort to simplify by unifying what has long appeared as unrelated and disparate. Those who believe that compartmentalization and specialization are the royal road to success in the social sciences may find this an irritating book.
This book presents different research designs, their respective purposes and merits as well as their underlying assumptions. Research designs are characterised by a certain combination of knowledge aims and strategies for data production. An adequate design is the key to carrying out a successful research project. Nevertheless, the literature on design is scarce, compared to the literature on methods. This book clarifies the basic distinction between variable-oriented designs and case designs, and proceeds to integrated, comparative and intervention-oriented designs. A step-by-step guide to the design process and the choices to make is also included. The book's clear style makes it an excellent guide for master students and PhD students doing their first research exercises, while it is also useful for more experienced researchers who want to broaden their design repertoire and keep up to recent innovations in the field of research design.
A Sociological Analysis of Contemporary Social Processes and Their Interrelationship with Science
Author: Niko Yahiel
Category: Social Science
Sociology and Social Practice: A Sociological Analysis of Contemporary Social Processes and Their Interrelationship with Science reviews the interaction of sociological knowledge and social practice, with emphasis on the role of the practical functions of sociological science in the various spheres of society. This treatise examines from the sociological standpoint some fundamental problems that have arisen in the process of building the new society in Bulgaria and how science can help solve these problems. This book is comprised of 10 chapters organized into three sections. After an introduction to the theoretical aspects of the relationship between sociological knowledge and social practice (political practice and policy-making in particular), the discussion turns to some topical and interrelated problems such as the scientific and technical revolution; the intellectualization of social practice; the intensification of socio-economic development; the efficiency of science; and the essence of the multiplier approach. The last section explores some key problems of science as a social institution and includes chapters that discuss the scientific manpower potential in Bulgaria; scientific-information activity; and the scientific community as a collective subject of scientific activity. This monograph will be useful to sociologists and social scientists.
Throughout the 1980s there have been calls, often from development organizations of global repute, for the incorporation of social science perspectives into the design and management of sustainable development programmes. Practising Development is the first collection to offer first-hand critical assessments of the success and failures found within actual responses to these calls. By combining academic and practical experience from anthropology, development and aid organizations the contributors examine the processes of intervention, the methods by which this intervention can be assessed, and explain the socio-economic and political worlds within which intervention and development evolve.
This edited volume focuses on big data implications for computational social science and humanities from management to usage. The first part of the book covers geographic data, text corpus data, and social media data, and exemplifies their concrete applications in a wide range of fields including anthropology, economics, finance, geography, history, linguistics, political science, psychology, public health, and mass communications. The second part of the book provides a panoramic view of the development of big data in the fields of computational social sciences and humanities. The following questions are addressed: why is there a need for novel data governance for this new type of data?, why is big data important for social scientists?, and how will it revolutionize the way social scientists conduct research? With the advent of the information age and technologies such as Web 2.0, ubiquitous computing, wearable devices, and the Internet of Things, digital society has fundamentally changed what we now know as "data", the very use of this data, and what we now call "knowledge". Big data has become the standard in social sciences, and has made these sciences more computational. Big Data in Computational Social Science and Humanities will appeal to graduate students and researchers working in the many subfields of the social sciences and humanities.
Research Methods for Business and Social Science Students aims to present a clear discussion of the research methods employed in various disciplines related to our daily life problems. The theoretical basis of research methods is explained clearly and succinctly. Collecting data is a key part of the book and this includes both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The book also describes in clear terms how students can analyse data, interpret results and link these to the literature review and hence their own contribution. It sets out a range of fundamental ideas in research methods, such as deductivism and inductivism, and explains why methodology is not the same as method. In this second edition every chapter has been re-written to be more readable and also to include more examples. The authors have also added a real student research proposal and a multiple-choice test with answers for the readers to test their own understanding of the ideas in the book. The book has been designed to illustrate research tools in a clear and accessible manner through chapters on such topics as formulating research, research design, data analysis and writing up the research results.
The Collected Papers of Vernon W. Ruttan and Yujiro Hayami
Author: Keijiro Otsuka
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Business & Economics
This collection of essays by Ruttan and Hayami spans their long career in the economics of technical and institutional change. At both a theoretical and empirical level, their analysis of induced innovation provides a solid foundation for understanding how and why technologies and institutions evolve in response to factors that constrain them. Can Economic Growth Be Sustained? provides a sweeping explanation of this process. As scholars, Ruttan and Hayami's abilities and experiences complemented each other. Together, they had great success in working across contexts to integrate Western models of technological change and more holistic Asian perspectives on multi-factorial interaction. Their perspectives are wide ranging, covering large geographical areas and thoroughly examining the historical development of agriculture in the United States, Japan, and many other countries. This volume collects their most influential papers, from which much can be learned.
Twelve lectures delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science tracing the development of the social sciences during the present century
Author: William Alexander Robson
Category: Social Science
One of the most significant movements in the world of learning in the twentieth century was the rise and development of the social sciences. However, few attempts have been made to see how far social scientists have travelled on the road to studying and understanding human society. First published in 1972, the lectures reprinted in this book aim to trace the development of the social sciences during the twentieth century and to show the role of the London School of Economics and Political Science in this development since it was founded in 1895. Each of the very distinguished lecturers was asked to take the larger view, to be critical where necessary, to treat his subject in the context of the world of learning. The result is a survey of exceptional interest in which the growth of the social sciences is analysed from a number of contrasting viewpoints, each of which ranges widely and often with provocative brilliance over themes that are of general concern. The introduction by Professor W.A. Robson, which was not part of the original lecture series, is in itself a critical assessment of the field that will be read with close attention.
'Knowledge', declared nineteenth-century students of social science, 'is power.' This exciting and iconoclastic work breaks away from orthodox interpretations of the development of social science to explore the subject as a contest for class and gender power. Yeo gives a vivid picture of the experiences which made men and women feel passionate about the social science project, and explores how different groups aimed at self-liberation, or power over others. She details the contribution made by working-class people and by women to the social science story, and shows how language and metaphor were used to construct social identities in dignifying or disabling ways. This makes the book important reading for those concerned with social and cultural history, the history of natural and social science, gender and women's studies, social policy, social work and social action.