Mechanism Concepts. Stability, latency and Theoretical- Methodological Implication in Social Sciences

Author/s Loris Di Giammaria
Publishing Year 2010 Issue 2010/91 Language Italian
Pages 22 P. 53-74 File size 442 KB
DOI 10.3280/SR2010-091003
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This contribution focuses on the notion of social mechanism and advances a conceptual proposal based on notions of stability and latency. A boundary line distinguishing between mechanisms defined as real, stable and latent entities and mechanisms conceived as analytical instruments used by the researcher, is considered useful. Similarities and differences between the approaches of Mertson, Hedström and of critical realism are analyzed, while considering a type of causal processes that distinguish between processes activated by mechanism and contingent processes. The essay’s theoretical, concep- tual and methodological implications seem to put a specific emphasis on procedures of concept operationalization and in general on the explanatory possibilities of social sciences.

Loris Di Giammaria, Concetti di meccanismo. Stabilità, latenza e alcune implicazioni teorico-metodologiche nelle scienze sociali in "SOCIOLOGIA E RICERCA SOCIALE " 91/2010, pp 53-74, DOI: 10.3280/SR2010-091003