Method in Social Science
Revised 2nd Edition
By Andrew Sayer
Routledge – 2010 – 318 pages
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.
'A thoroughly absorbing and at times quite stunning book.' - Sociological Review
'A challenging, illuminating, clearly written and very useful contribution to the literature.' - Sociology
'Sayer's book is refreshing in that it is written in plain English while tackling some major problems of explanation in social science in a rigorous fashion … it would be eminently suitable reading for a seminar course in methodology.' - Geography
'…unconditionally recommended for geographers…This is the most sophisticated and well developed book on geographic method to appear in years. Sayer seeks nothing less than a complete overhaul of discourse in the social sciences.' - Annals of the Association of American Geographers
"Sayer is one of the most profound thinkers and researchers of our time – cogent, lucid and provocative on the key issues of our day. Method in Social Science has been an essential guide on epistemology and methodology for 25 years - written not only for researchers and colleagues in the social sciences but also for students." -
Mark Smith, Open University, UK
Preface to the second edition. Introduction. 1. Knowledge in context 2. Theory, observation and practical adequacy 3. Theory and method I: abstraction, structure and cause 4. Theory and method II: types of system and their implications 5. Some influential misadventures in the philosophy of science 6. Quantitative methods in social science 7. Verification and falsification 8. Popper's 'falsificationism' 9. Problems of explanation and the aims of social science. Notes and references. Bibliography. Index
Andrew Sayer is a Professor in the department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster. His research interests include social theory and political economy, and the philosophy of social research. Recent publications include The New Social Economy: Reworking the Division of Labor (Blackwell, 1992), Realism and Social Science (Sage, 2000), and The Moral Significance of Class (Cambridge University Press, 2005).