Saturday, April 23, 2011

sociology, cont.

As I was saying...
"Sociology has had a substantial period of time within which to develop as a separate discipline, so one might expect a coherent sociological analysis of social interactions to have developed by now. Not so. Examination of recent sociological research does not reveal a shared, discipline-wide perspective. Some sociologists describe interactions in language that suggests economic thinking. Others give prominence to concepts that play little or no role in modern economics: class, community, culture, influence, status, gender roles, and so on. Indeed, an economist reading sociological research is struck by the sheer number of concepts that sociologists employ. Economics has sufficed with a remarkably small set of basic concepts: preferences, expectations, constraints and equilibrium. Why does sociology require so many more concepts? I believe that the abundance of concepts in sociology is connected closely to the dearth of formal analysis in the discipline. Whereas the typical research article in economic theory uses mathematical language to define concepts and then goes on to state and prove propositions, most articles in sociological theory begin and remain verbal throughout."

-Charles F. Manski, 2000, "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions"

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