Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 November 2021

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.

Keywords: surveys, analytical sociology, social facts, social mechanisms, aggregation, interdependent action, survey design, interaction-based explanation, causal inference, observational data

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.