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Social surveys and social science

Record type: Article

Random sample surveys have become one of the key research tools in quantitative social science. Some of the claims for statistical methods in general, and for sample surveys in particular, have been exaggerated. The limitations of the survey method are explored. Inferences from sample surveys fall into two classes, descriptive (enumerative) and analytic (explanatory). The role of these two types of inference is examined and related to the controversy between randomization and model-based inference. An alternative role is proposed for sample surveys within the social sciences.

Le sondage aléatoire est devenu l'un des outils de recherche clé en science sociales quantitatives. Certaines des prétentions des méthodes statistiques en général et des sondages en particulier ont été exagérées. Nous explorerons ici les limitations de la méthode d'enquête. Les inférences de sondages peuvent être classées dans deux catégories: descriptives (ennumératives) et analytiques (explanatoires). Nous examinerons le rôle de ces deux types d'inférence et le relierons à la controverse entre la randomisation et l'inférence fondée sur le modèle. Un autre rôle va être proposé au sciences sociales pour le sondage.

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Citation

Smith, T.M. Fred (1997) Social surveys and social science Canadian Journal of Statistics, 25, (1), pp. 23-38. (doi:10.2307/3315360).

More information

Published date: March 1997
Keywords: complexity, description, explanation, heterogeneity, history, limitations of statistics, randomization and model-based inference
Organisations: Statistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 30020
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/30020
ISSN: 0319-5724
PURE UUID: 3712cb24-500e-425d-afe7-90cefb241864

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:56

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Contributors

Author: T.M. Fred Smith

University divisions


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