Realism and Social Science
Realism and Social Science offers the reader an authoritative and compelling guide to critical realism and its implications for social theory and for the practice of social science. It offers an alternative both to approaches which are overly confident about the possibility of a successful social science and those which are defeatist about any possibility of progress in understanding the social world. Written by one of the leading social theorists in the field, it demonstrates the virtues of critical realism for theory and empirical research in social science, and provides a critical engagement with leading non-realist approaches.
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abstract actions actors analysis anti-realist argue arguments associated assume behaviour beliefs Bhaskar capitalism causal powers Chapter claims common concept concrete context contingent conWgurational course critical realism critical social science critique cultural debate depends deWned deWnition discourse discussion diYcult effects empiricism epistemological essences essentialism essentialist ethical example exist explanation fallibilism foundationalism gender geography geohistorical grand narratives groups hence hermeneutic human identity identiWed implies interpretations interpretivism involves inXuence John O’Neill kind knowledge labour Marxism matter mean merely natural science necessarily nomothetic normative noted O’Neill objects ontology particular philosophy political position possible postmodernism postmodernist practical adequacy problems processes produce question realist reason reductionism reference regarding reject relations relationship relativism Sayer scientiWc sense signiWcant situation social constructionism social phenomena social science social scientists social theory socially constructed society space spatial form speciWc standpoints structures studies things thinking tion truth values Wrms Wrst