- The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- About the Contributors
- What is Analytical Sociology All About? An Introductory Essay
- Analytical Sociology and Theories of the Middle Range
- Social Dynamics from the Bottom Up: Agent-Based Models of Social Interaction
- Segregation Dynamics
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
- Social Influence: The Puzzling Nature of Success in Cultural Markets
- The Contagiousness of Divorce
- Collective Action
- Conditional Choice
- Network Dynamics
- Threshold Models of Social Influence
- Time and Scheduling
- Homophily and the Focused Organization of Ties
- Dominance Hierarchies
- Game Theory
- Analytic Ethnography
- Historical Sociology
- Name Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on surveys and their potential as a research methodology in the field of analytical sociology. It presents arguments to show how analytical sociologists can take advantage of the widespread use of surveys in sociology. First, surveys provide social facts, or empirical regularities that analytical sociology aims to explain. Second, surveys can be and have been used to empirically study social mechanisms. Third, survey data are better suited than data collected by many other methods to the analysis, comparison, and simulation of macro effects or aggregation and are therefore critical for studying interdependent action. The article also considers how survey design can exploit the full potential for interaction-based explanations and discusses the problem of causal inference with observational data. It suggests that surveys can and do provide useful data when anchored appropriately in time and social space.
Hannah Brückner is Professor of Sociology at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She works on a wide range of topics related to the life course, inequality, health, gender, and sexuality. Current research projects focus on adolescent romantic relationships, and timing and sequencing of family formation and career development. She has a long-standing interest in quantitative methodology and the integration of biological and sociological explanations of social structure and human behavior.
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