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Generally Speaking

Generally Speaking

An Invitation to Concept-Driven Sociology

by Eviatar Zerubavel
Publication Date: 27/11/2020
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In this invitation to "concept-driven" sociology, defying the conventional split between "theory" and "methodology" (as well as between "quantitative" and "qualitative" research), Eviatar Zerubavel introduces a yet unarticulated "Simmelian" method of theorizing specifically designed to reveal fundamental, often hidden social patterns. Insisting that it can actually be taught, he examines the theoretico-methodological process (revolving around the epistemic and analytical acts of focusing, generalizing, "exampling," and analogizing) by which concept-driven researchers can distill generic social patterns from the culturally, historically, and domain-specific contexts in which they encounter them empirically. Disregarding conventionally noted substantive variability in order to uncover conventionally disregarded formal commonalities, Generally Speaking draws on cross-cultural, cross-historical, cross-domain, and cross-level analogies in an effort to reveal formal parallels across disparate contexts. Using numerous examples from culturally and historically diverse contexts and a wide range of social domains while also disregarding scale, Zerubavel thus introduces a pronouncedly transcontextual "generic" sociology.
Publication Date:
Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Country of origin:
United States
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