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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.
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.
In its second edition, Method in Social Science was widely praised for its penetrating analysis of central questions in social science discourse. This revised edition comes with a new preface and a full bibliography. The book is intended for students and researchers familiar with social science but having little or no previous experiences of philosophical and methodological discussion, and for those who are interested in realism and method.
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. Part I provides a guide to the key features of critical realism, illustrated with relevant and accessible examples of empirical research which it has informed. Part II presents a sympathetic critique of postmodernist themes in social science, such as anti-essentialism, social constructionism and the critique of grand narratives. This acknowledges many of the problems raised by postmodernism but offers novel ways of resolving them. Part III addresses issues concerning the role of space in social theory and problems of 'geohistorical explanation'. Part IV assesses arguments that social scientists must necessarily be critical of the societies they study, and presents a case for ending the exclusion of normative theories from social science. Realism and Social Science will be essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of social theory.
John Henry Schlegel recovers a largely ignored aspect of American Legal Realism, a movement in legal thought in the 1920s and 1930s that sought to bring the modern notion of empirical science into the study and teaching of law. In this book, he explores individual Realist scholars' efforts to challenge the received notion that the study of law was primarily a matter of learning rules and how to manipulate them. He argues that empirical research was integral to Legal Realism, and he explores why this kind of research did not, finally, become a part of American law school curricula. Schlegel reviews the work of several prominent Realists but concentrates on the writings of Walter Wheeler Cook, Underhill Moore, and Charles E. Clark. He reveals how their interest in empirical research was a product of their personal and professional circumstances and demonstrates the influence of John Dewey's ideas on the expression of that interest. According to Schlegel, competing understandings of the role of empirical inquiry contributed to the slow decline of this kind of research by professors of law. Originally published in 1995. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
A constructive critique and development of the new realist philosophy of social science as it is specifically applied to sociology and social psychology. Dr Layder argues that while the realist project is a move in the right direction (i.e. to provide a viable alternative to positivism), there are certain problems and ambiguities in the realist programme as it now stands. The book confronts these problems and ambiguities in an innovative and controversial way while remaining committed to the general objectives of realism. In so doing the book attempts to go beyond current realist ideas and thereby expand its explanatory base and power.

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