How Does Social Science Work? Reflections on Practice

ISBN-10: 0822954753
ISBN-13: 9780822954750
Edition: N/A
Authors: Paul Diesing
List price: $29.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: The culmination of a lifetime spent in a variety of fields - sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, and philosophy of science - -How Does Social Science Work?takes an innovative, sometimes iconoclastic look at social scientists at work in  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 3/16/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

The culmination of a lifetime spent in a variety of fields - sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology, and philosophy of science - -How Does Social Science Work?takes an innovative, sometimes iconoclastic look at social scientists at work in many disciplines.  It describes how they investigate and the kinds of truth they produce, illuminating the weaknesses and dangers inherent in their research.At once an analysis, a critique, and a synthesis, this major study begins by surveying philosophical approaches to hermeneutics, to examine the question of how social science ought to work.  It illustrates many of its arguments with untraditional examples, such as the reception of the work of the political biographer Robert Caro to show the hermeneutical problems of ethnographers.  The major part of the book surveys sociological, political, and psychological studies of social science to get a rounded picture of how social science works,Paul Diesling warns that “social science exists between two opposite kinds of degeneration, a value-free professionalism that lives only for publications that show off the latest techniques, and a deep social concern that uses science for propaganda.”  He argues for greater self-awareness and humility among social scientists, although he notes that “some social scientists . . . will angrily reject the thought that their personality affects their research in any way.”This profound and sometimes witty book will appeal to students and practitioners in the social sciences who are ready to take a fresh look at their field.  An extensive bibliography provides a wealth of references across an array of social science disciplines.

Paul Diesingnbsp;is professor emeritus of political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He did his graduate studies in philosophy from the University of Chicago and has taught at that university, the University of Illinois, and the University of Colorado. Diesing has also been a faculty associate at the Buffalo Center for International Conflict Studies, where he participated in the Center#39;s program of researching in bargaining theory and international crises. He is the author ofnbsp; Reason in Society: Five Types of Decisions and Their Social Conditions nbsp;andnbsp; Science and Ideology in the Policy Sciences .

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