Causality in Sociological Research by Jakub KarpinskiCausality in Sociological Research by Jakub Karpinski

Causality in Sociological Research

byJakub Karpinski

Paperback | September 20, 2011

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The general treatment of problems connected with the causal conditioning of phenomena has traditionally been the domain of philosophy, but when one examines the relationships taking place in the various fields, the study of such conditionings belongs to the empirical sciences. Sociology is no exception in that respect. In that discipline we note a certain paradox. Many problems connected with the causal conditioning of phenomena have been raised in sociology in relatively recent times, and that process marked its empirical or even so-called empiricist trend. That trend, labelled positivist, seems in this case to be in contradiction with a certain type of positivism. Those authors who describe positivism usually include the Humean tradition in its genealogy and, remembering Hume's criticism of the concept of cause, speak about positivism as about a trend which is inclined to treat lightly the study of causes and confines itself to the statements on co-occurrence of phenomena.
Title:Causality in Sociological ResearchFormat:PaperbackPublished:September 20, 2011Publisher:Springer NetherlandsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9401067090

ISBN - 13:9789401067096


Table of Contents

I. Conditioning of Events versus Causal Conditioning.- 1. Kinds of events and kinds of conditions.- 2. Some properties of the relation of conditioning: symmetry and transitivity.- 3. Temporal relations among events. The broadest interpretation of causal conditioning.- 4. A narrower interpretation of causal conditioning: events as changes.- 5. Other narrower approaches to causal determination.- 5.1. Causal relation as a non-spurious statistical relationship.- 5.2. Causal relationship as a relationship confirmed under experimental conditions.- 5.3. Experiment and spurious relationship.- 6. Relations among events, among features and among variables.- 7. Kinds of methods of establishing causal relations.- 8. Conclusions.- II. The Simplest Case of Causal Analysis.- 1. Preliminary remarks.- 2. Statistical relationship.- 3. Dichotomous systems.- 4. Interactions among variables.- 5. Causal relationship as a relationship which is not spurious.- 6. Probabilistic definition of cause.- 7. Cause as a necessary component of a sufficient condition.- 8. Conclusions.- III. The Causal Interpretation of Relationships in Non-experimental Single Studies.- 1. The occurrence and non-occurrence of causal relationships.- 1.1. Functional relationships and systems of linear equations.- 1.2. The role of coefficients in a linear equation.- 1.3. Causal valuation, the recursive model.- 1.4. The case of three variables.- 1.5. Partial correlation.- 1.6. Variables external to the model.- 1.7. An example of causal analysis.- 2. Intensity of causal relationships.- IV. Verification of Statements on Causal Relationships in Diachronic Research.- 1. Kinds of processes and methods of studying changes.- 1.1. Classification of processes relative to the kind of their dependence on time.- 1.2. The structural classification of processes.- 1.3. Continuous registration and registration in time cuts.- 1.4. Trend analysis.- 2. The panel method and the verification of statements on causal relationships.- 2.1. The study of turnover.- 2.2. Transition matrix.- 2.3. Change of relationship in time.- 2.4. Asymmetry of interactions.- 2.5. Correlation with time lag.- 2.6. Assumptions made in inference about causes.- 2.7. Panel studies and processes with continuous time.- V. Verification of Statements on Causal Relationships in Experimental Research.- 1. Classical experiment.- 2. Experiment with four groups and with the possibility of controlling the effect of the first study.- 3. Incomplete schemata of experiments.- 3.1. Experiment without a control group.- 3.2. Experiment with a double not repeated observation.- 3.3. Experiment with a single time cut.- 3.4. Experiment with a single time cut and without a control group.- 4. Enriched schemata of experiments.- 5. Conclusions.- VI. Causal Analyses and Theoretical Analyses.- 1. Causal analyses as theories.- 2. Causal "models".- 3. The concept of cause.- 3.1. Exception-free sequence and temporal relations.- 3.2. Agenthood.- 3.3. Operational definitions.- 4. The problem of determinism.- VII. Human Beings and Collectivities. The Problem of the "Level of Analysis" in Sociology.- 1. Three meanings of membership in a collectivity.- 2. Social wholes.- 3. Classification of variables.- 4. Contextual properties.- 5. Ecological correlation.- 6. Reductionism.- Concluding Remarks: Problems Raised and Results Obtained.- Notes.- Bibliographical Postscript.- Index of Names.