Ford, Joseph Brandon
September 1972
International Review of Modern Sociology;Sep72, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p255
Academic Journal
This is a proposal for a paradigm for bridging the gap between microsociological and macrosociological research and theory. The proposal involves contextual content analysis, as used already implicitly or explicitly in significant macrosocial research. After a review of several standard usages of the terms, Kroeber's contextual content- analysis in his magnum opus on cultural configurations is taken for intensive analysis. Kroeber's categories and indicators have some flaws, and he does not attain the refinements and precision that microsocial content analyses have achieved. Still, he offers a paradigamtic study that illuminates major directions and potentials for a model that would meet the stern requisites that Kuhn found lacking in social sciences. More explicit and refined content analyses on the microsocial and middle- range levels give us clues for improvement and extension of such research, as do works on the possible use of computers for storing, replication, and unparalleled enhancement of the quantity of data that can be developed and exploited for such contextual content-analysis. Finally, the elements and limits of a paradigm for macrosociology are briefly appraised in the light of Kuhn's major criteria. These bring into clearer focus, what may prove a significant contribution to a true conception of the "core sociological enterprise." It will take long labor, but like Rome macrosociology cannot be built in a day.


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