Surveys

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article focuses on surveys and their potential as a research methodology in the field of analytical sociology. It presents arguments to show how analytical sociologists can take advantage of the widespread use of surveys in sociology. First, surveys provide social facts, or empirical regularities that analytical sociology aims to explain. Second, surveys can be and have been used to empirically study social mechanisms. Third, survey data are better suited than data collected by many other methods to the analysis, comparison, and simulation of macro effects or aggregation and are therefore critical for studying interdependent action. The article also considers how survey design can exploit the full potential for interaction-based explanations and discusses the problem of causal inference with observational data. It suggests that surveys can and do provide useful data when anchored appropriately in time and social space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages667-687
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780199215362
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Aggregation
  • Analytical sociology
  • Causal inference
  • Interaction-based explanation
  • Interdependent action
  • Observational data
  • Social facts
  • Social mechanisms
  • Survey design
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Brückner, H. (2017). Surveys. In The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology (pp. 667-687). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199215362.013.28