Quality & Quantity

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 213–225 | Cite as

What about theory? The consequences on a widened perspective of social theory

Article

Abstract

One of the leading debates in social sciences concerns research design. However, in comparative politics, the predominant way conducting research misses out crucial aspects that are central to social theory. This article shows how method and empirical research are highly dependent on the definition of theory. Arguing that theory should not only give an explanation of the social phenomena in question but should also show how this relationship is constructed, this article outlines the consequence of such a perspective, namely that the collection of data should reflect both macro and micro perspectives and the analyses of data should be carried out using mixed methods. In conclusion, such an integrated framework is the most appropriate way to give valuable theoretical feedback, either by examination and revision of already established theories or by a contribution to the construction of new theory in the social sciences. It is important, though, that such a framework is applied in a systematized way.

Keywords

Social theory Comparative politics Research design Mixed methods 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesMid Sweden UniversitySundsvallSweden

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