Realism and Social Science 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0761961246
ISBN-10: 0761961240
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Paperback, February 11, 2000
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Realism and Social Science + Explaining Society: An Introduction to Critical Realism in the Social Sciences (Critical Realism: Interventions)
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Editorial Reviews


`Sayer makes a direct contribution to the glaring academic divide between law finding, positivists and relativist post-modernist researchers, providing a middle pathway via critical realism (CR) to scientific explanation. He offers a clear definition of CR and successfully tackles various misunderstandings and critisims of this alternative approach. While this is not cutting edge CR, the arguments contained are well worth repeating to a discipline that is a little hard of hearing.... a number of Sayer's provocative arguments have stayed with me, long after setting his book "to rest" on the shelf, challenging my own research agenda' -Journal of Economic and Social Geography

`This is a most welcome addition to the growing literature on critical realism and its implications for social science. For some time now a book has been needed that is inter-disciplinary in its content and lucid in its exposition of critical realism. The author is to be congratulated in aiming to fill this gap' - Tim May, Dept of Sociology, University of Durham

About the Author

Andrew Sayer is Professor of Social Theory and Political Economy at Lancaster University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd; 1 edition (February 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761961240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761961246
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,328,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christian Smith on November 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The other review giving this book one star is ridiculous. Sayer is an important theorist of critical realism and this book makes a serious contribution, particularly on the matter of critical realism, postmodernism, and space in social theory. The Introduction itself is the best starting point for beginners learning critical realism in print now, in my view. So, right, it's not perfect and, yes, it is overpriced by the publisher. But no way is this a one-star book. I give it five stars and recommend it as good reading for those interested in learning more about critical realism by one of its leading thinkers.
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2 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tyro on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
The author engages in loose, impressionistic musing about problems in the highly politicized field of social science. On page 56, for instance, during a discussion of the use of the term "gendered," Sayer writes, "On the whole, I find it hard to think of much that is good about masculinity." Sayer is arguing, however, that we shouldn't assume that everything masculine is bad, as some in the field tend to do. And why not? Well, it's difficult to say what is masculine and what is not (56-58); these are rather general rubrics. Why, then, does Sayer express disdain for most things that are masculine? Probably to avoid getting into trouble by appearing to be pro-masculine in spite of his attempt to argue that masculinity is not always bad. Books like this will occupy the landfills of the near future, and rightly so.
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