|aRedesigning social inquiry :|bfuzzy sets and beyond /|cby Charles C. Ragin.
|aChicago :|bUniversity of Chicago Press,|c2008.
|aviii, 225 pages :|billustrations ;|c22 cm
|aIncludes bibliographical references (pages 213-219) and index.
|aPart I. Set-Theoretic versus Correlational Connections -- Set Relations in Social Research: Basic Concepts -- Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy-Set Relations -- Evaluating Set Relations: Consistency and Coverage -- Part II. Calibration versus Measurement -- Why Calibrate? -- Calibrating Fuzzy Sets -- Part III. Configurations of Conditions versus "Independent" Variables -- Configurational Thinking -- Configurational Analysis Using Fuzzy Sets and Truth Tables -- Part IV. Analysis of Causal Complexity versus Analysis of Net Effects -- Limited Diversity and Counterfactual Cases coauthored with John Sonnett -- Easy versus Difficult Counterfactuals -- The Limitations of Net Effects Thinking -- Net Effects versus Configurations: An Empirical Demonstration coauthored with Peer Fiss.
|aCharles Ragin's campaign to revitalize social science methodology continues, as he challenges the major aspects of the conventional template for social science research. This book proposes the use of set-rhetoric methods to find a middle path between quantitative and qualitative research.
For over twenty years Charles C. Ragin has been at the forefront of the development of innovative methods for social scientists. In Redesigning Social Inquiry, he continues his campaign to revitalize the field, challenging major aspects of the conventional template for social science research while offering a clear alternative. Redesigning Social Inquiry provides a substantive critique of the standard approach to social research—namely, assessing the relative importance of causal variables drawn from competing theories. Instead, Ragin proposes the use of set-theoretic methods to find a middle path between quantitative and qualitative research. Through a series of contrasts between fuzzy-set analysis and conventional quantitative research, Ragin demonstrates the capacity for set-theoretic methods to strengthen connections between qualitative researchers’ deep knowledge of their cases and quantitative researchers’ elaboration of cross-case patterns. Packed with useful examples, Redesigning Social Inquiry will be indispensable to experienced professionals and to budding scholars about to embark on their first project.