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In this innovative approach to the practice of social science, Charles Ragin explores the use of fuzzy sets to bridge the divide between quantitative and qualitative methods. Paradoxically, the fuzzy set is a powerful tool because it replaces an unwieldy, "fuzzy" instrument--the variable, which establishes only the positions of cases relative to each other, with a precise one--degree of membership in a well-defined set.
Ragin argues that fuzzy sets allow a far richer dialogue between ideas and evidence in social research than previously possible. They let quantitative researchers abandon "homogenizing assumptions" about cases and causes, they extend diversity-oriented research strategies, and they provide a powerful connection between theory and data analysis. Most important, fuzzy sets can be carefully tailored to fit evolving theoretical concepts, sharpening quantitative tools with in-depth knowledge gained through qualitative, case-oriented inquiry. This book will revolutionize research methods not only in sociology, political science, and anthropology but in any field of inquiry dealing with complex patterns of causation.
|List of Illustrations|
|List of Tables|
|Diversity-Oriented Research: Between Complexity and Generality|
|Studying Cases as Configurations|
|The Logic of Diversity-Oriented Research|
|Fuzzy Sets and the Study of Diversity|
|Using Fuzzy Sets to Constitute Cases and Populations|
|Fuzzy Sets and Necessary Conditions|
|Using Fuzzy Sets to Study Sufficient Conditions|
|Causal Complexity: Applying Fuzzy-Set Methods|
|Fuzzy Sets and the Dialogue between Ideas and Evidence|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 1st August 2000
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Dimensions (cm): 27.8 x 15.4 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.62