Cover of Theorizing in Social Science by Edited by Richard Swedberg
Theorizing in Social Science
The Context of Discovery
Edited by Richard Swedberg


272 pages.
from $32.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804789417
Paperback ISBN: 9780804791090
Ebook ISBN: 9780804791199

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Excerpts and More

All social scientists learn the celebrated theories and frameworks of their predecessors, using them to inform their own research and observations. But before there can be theory, there must be theorizing. Theorizing in Social Science introduces the reader to the next generation of theory construction and suggests useful ways for creating social theory.

What makes certain types of theories creative, and how does one go about theorizing in a creative way? The contributors to this landmark collection—top social scientists in the fields of sociology, economics, and management—draw on personal experiences and new findings to provide a range of answers to these questions. Some turn to cognitive psychology and neuroscience's impact on our understanding of human thought, others encourage greater dialogue between and across the arts and sciences, while still others focus on the processes by which observation leads to conceptualization. Taken together, however, the chapters collectively and actively encourage a shift in the place of theory in social science today. Appealing to students and scientists across disciplines, this collection will inspire innovative approaches to producing, teaching, and learning theory.

About the author

Richard Swedberg is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University and author of numerous books, including The Max Weber Dictionary (SUP 2005) and Principles of Economic Sociology (2003), among others.

"The debate about methodology in the social sciences has almost completely bypassed discussion of the tools that we can use to build good theories. This book is giant step forward in correcting this omission. If we are lucky, it will stimulate a new branch of methodology devoted to the procedures that analysts can most productively use in the context of discovery."

—James Mahoney, Northwestern University