The Stress Process as a Successful Paradigm

  • Blair Wheaton


The philosophy of science invisibly guides much of our work, how we think, what we assume. Although social science is fundamentally empirical, the dictates of philosophy still tell us what we are supposed to achieve and how to behave in our work. We generally accept the dictum known as Occam’s Razor – that the simplest explanation is usually the best one. We still take our reference points in discussions of causation from the voluminous work in philosophy – discussions driven by the issue of causality in a physical, not social, world – and wonder how we can approximate the ideal set by this discourse.

Kuhn (1967) famously argued that scientific paradigms are qualitatively distinct eras in the history of science, involving major re-organizations of the assumptive universe, rather than a simple cumulative progression of findings. This argument has had a major influence on how we think about science – perhaps too much of an influence relative to the actual situation on the ground in the more data-infused sciences and social sciences at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


Chronic Stress Personal Resource Stress Process Quarter Century Status Attainment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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