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Social Science Methodology
A Unified Framework

2nd Edition

$39.99 (X)


Part of Strategies for Social Inquiry

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521132770

$ 39.99 (X)

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About the Authors
  • John Gerring's exceptional textbook has been thoroughly revised in this second edition. It offers a one-volume introduction to social science methodology relevant to the disciplines of anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. This new edition has been extensively developed with the introduction of new material and a thorough treatment of essential elements such as conceptualization, measurement, causality and research design. It is written for students, long-time practitioners and methodologists and covers both qualitative and quantitative methods. It synthesizes the vast and diverse field of methodology in a way that is clear, concise and comprehensive. While offering a handy overview of the subject, the book is also an argument about how we should conceptualize methodological problems. Thinking about methodology through this lens provides a new framework for understanding work in the social sciences.

    • Places social science methodology in a broad historical and intellectual context
    • Relies on basic level criteria of adequacy to ground the methods and practices of the social sciences
    • Identifies broad themes of social science methodology that are useful to practitioners
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Gerring is one of the few political scientists who is equally adept at both qualitative and quantitative research, and can make the advantages of each approach clear to students. This book sheds more light on how to study causation in the social sciences than any other text -- I recommend it to everyone from active researchers to beginning students." - Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University

    "Social Science Methodology speaks across paradigms. It is a 'must read' not just for graduate students, but for scholars across fields as Gerring gets to the core of what social scientists do. The bottom line is that readers reach a practical end, which is knowing what approach to use when and how to adapt based on the question posed."
    Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science, Courtesy Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Program in Statistics and Methodology, Ohio State University

    "Gerring's book is simultaneously provocative and wise. It is the former in that it advocates for a unified (though not singular) social science methodology. It is the latter in the many ways it recommends that we think about and do science. On the one hand, Gerring has offered a compelling case for what unifies social science methodology. This should be debated for years to come. On the other hand, students of social science will benefit enormously by closely reading this sage volume. They will find particularly valuable his thorough, but nontechnical presentation of causal analysis."
    Christopher Winship, Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

    "The second edition presents a remarkable updating and expansion of Gerring's arguments and presentation. A tremendous amount of careful work went into the revisions, and both methodologists and teachers of methodology owe Gerring an enormous debt for producing an even more compelling version of what was already an outstanding book."
    David Collier, Chancellor's Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley

    "Social Science Methodology is a book with a wealth of well-organised material aimed at both students and practitioners of social science."
    Acta Politica

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521132770
    • length: 518 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 176 x 24 mm
    • weight: 1.02kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A unified framework
    Part I. General:
    2. Beginnings
    3. Arguments
    4. Analyses
    Part II. Description:
    5. Concepts
    6. Descriptive arguments
    7. Measurements
    Part III. Causation:
    8. Causal arguments
    9. Causal analyses
    10. Causal strategies: X and Y
    11. Causal strategies: beyond X and Y
    12. Varying approaches to causal inference
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    13. Unity and plurality
    14. Setting standards
    Postscript: justifications
    Appendix: a few words on style.

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    Social Science Methodology

    John Gerring

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

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  • Author

    John Gerring, University of Texas, Austin
    John Gerring is Professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he teaches courses on methodology and comparative politics. He has published several books including Social Science Methodology: A Criterial Framework (Cambridge, 2001), Case Study Research: Principles and Practices (Cambridge, 2007) and A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (Cambridge, 2008). He served as a fellow of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, as a member of The National Academy of Sciences' Committee on the Evaluation of USAID Programs to Support the Development of Democracy, as President of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research and is the current recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to collect historical data related to colonialism and long-term development.

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