Explaining Society: Critical Realism in the Social Sciences, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Explaining Society

Critical Realism in the Social Sciences, 2nd Edition

By Berth Danermark, Mats Ekström, Jan Ch. Karlsson

Routledge

248 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Description

Fully revised, with an updated bibliography and new, relevant illustrative examples based on work inspired by critical realism, this new edition of Explaining Society constitutes an up-to-date resource connecting methodology, theory and empirical research. Including discussions of more recent scholarship in the field which connects critical realism with interdisciplinary research, this second edition also clarifies concepts – such as retroduction and retrodiction – so as to render them consistent with developments within critical realism, which are covered in a new chapter. An accessible account of the nature of society and social science, together with the methods used to study and explain social phenomena, Explaining Society will appeal to scholars of sociology, philosophy, and the social sciences more broadly.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part I: Introduction to Critical Realism

2. Science and Reality

3. Conceptual Abstraction and Causality

Part II: Methodological Implications

4. Social Structures and Human Agency

5. Generalization, Scientific Inference and Models for Explanatory Social Science

6. Theory in the Methodology of Social Science

7. Critical Methodological Pluralism – Intensive and Extensive Research Design and Interdisciplinarity

8. Social Science and Practice

9. Conclusion

Glossary

Index

About the Authors

Berth Danermark is Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology in the School of Health Sciences at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University. He is the co-author of Interdisciplinarity and Wellbeing: A Critical Realist General Theory of Interdisciplinarity and co-editor of The Experience of Hearing Loss: Journey Through Aural Rehabilitation.

Mats Ekström is Professor in the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is the co-editor of Talking Politics in Broadcast Media: Media Talk and Political Elections in Europe and America and The Mediated Politics of Europe: A Comparative Study of Discourse.

Jan Ch. Karlsson is Professor of Organization in the Faculty of Business, Languages and Social Sciences at Østfold University College, Norway. He is the author of Organizational Misbehaviour in the Workplace, the co-author of Methods for Social Theory and Gender Segregation: Divisions of Work in Post-Industrial Welfare States, and the co-editor of Commitment to Work and Job Satisfaction and Flexibility and Stability in Working Life.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Critical Realism

Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.

Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.

For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.

The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit www.centreforcriticalrealism.com.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General