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Introduction

  • Angelo FusariEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Sociology book series (BRIEFSSOCY)

Abstract

The primary aim of the present book is to clarify the nature of some basic misunderstandings that afflict both the interpretation and management of modern dynamic societies. The roots of this theoretical and practical confusion are identified with the adoption within the social sciences of the method of observation and verification. This may seem surprising in the light of the fact that the triumph of this method facilitated the emergence of the modern natural (and mechanical) sciences. And in fact, just this success has propelled the extension of the observation-verification method into the social sciences, where it is today dominant. The deficiencies of this method in the analysis of social reality are, however, masked by the trappings of scientific rigour imparted, which is often enhanced by additional borrowing of method from the mathematical and formal sciences. It must be recognized that the observation-verification works well when applied to quasi-stationary societies, where the key hypothesis of the repetitiveness (or quasi-repetitiveness) of events typical of the natural sciences is fulfilled. But with the advent of modern dynamic society, itself very much an effect of the great advancement of the natural and formal sciences, the failure of the methodologies of these sciences with regard to the analysis of social reality has become increasingly marked, its consequences ever more devastating. My book Methodological Misconceptions in the Social Sciences was dedicated to an accurate analysis of this embarrassing situation and a consideration of ways to remedy it. Unfortunately, the observation-verification method continues to enjoy great prestige in the social studies. This is mainly due to the fact that it is based on de facto situation with regard to established interests and hence enjoys the favor of dominant social classes. The present book, therefore, sets out to provide a simple and clear description of the situation, the related confusion, and the ways to remedy the problem.

Keywords

The question of method A third method for social studies versus the current methods of natural and logic-formal sciences Social change versus repetitiveness Observational view, as congenial to established interests of dominant social classes 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RomeItaly

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