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The art of social theory

Author: Richard Swedberg
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2014]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the social sciences today, students are taught theory by reading and analyzing the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and other foundational figures of the discipline. What they rarely learn, however, is how to actually theorize. The Art of Social Theory is a practical guide to doing just that. In this one-of-a-kind user's manual for social theorists, Richard Swedberg explains how theorizing occurs in what he calls  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Richard Swedberg
ISBN: 9780691168135 069116813X 9780691155227 0691155224
OCLC Number: 928274960
Description: 283 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction: Why Theorize and Can You Learn to Do It? --
Part 1. How to Theorize: Chapter 1. Starting Anew; Chapter 2. Social Observation; Chapter 3. Naming, Concept, and Typology; 4. Analogy, Metaphor, and Pattern; Chapter 5. Coming Up with an Explanation --
Part 2. Preparing for Theorizing: Chapter 6. Heuristics; Chapter 7. Practical Exercises; Chapter 8. The Role of Theory; Chapter 9. Imagination and Art; Chapter 10. Summary and More --
Appendix: How to Theorize according to Charles S. Peirce
Responsibility: Richard Swedberg

Abstract:

In the social sciences today, students are taught theory by reading and analyzing the works of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and other foundational figures of the discipline. What they rarely learn, however, is how to actually theorize. The Art of Social Theory is a practical guide to doing just that. In this one-of-a-kind user's manual for social theorists, Richard Swedberg explains how theorizing occurs in what he calls the context of discovery, a process in which the researcher gathers preliminary data and thinks creatively about it using tools such as metaphor, analogy, and typology. He guides readers through each step of the theorist's art, from observation and naming to concept formation and explanation. To theorize well, you also need a sound knowledge of existing social theory. Swedberg introduces readers to the most important theories and concepts, and discusses how to go about mastering them. If you can think, you can also learn to theorize. This book shows you how. Concise and accessible, The Art of Social Theory features helpful examples throughout, and also provides practical exercises that enable readers to learn through doing"

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"[C]oncise and readable... Writing in accessible language and using the canon of social theorists to illustrate points, Swedberg meets a need for practitioners and students alike."--Choice

 
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