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LARGE SCALE DATA COLLECTION AND MULTI-MOMENT MULTI-ACTOR MULTI-CONTEXT THEORIES WOUT ULTEE Radboud University Nijmegen Presentation at the ECSR conference.

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Presentation on theme: "LARGE SCALE DATA COLLECTION AND MULTI-MOMENT MULTI-ACTOR MULTI-CONTEXT THEORIES WOUT ULTEE Radboud University Nijmegen Presentation at the ECSR conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 LARGE SCALE DATA COLLECTION AND MULTI-MOMENT MULTI-ACTOR MULTI-CONTEXT THEORIES WOUT ULTEE Radboud University Nijmegen Presentation at the ECSR conference ‘Çomparative European Studies’ Paris November 25-26, 2005

2 THIS CONFERENCE CELEBRATES THE COMING OF AGE OF THE QUANTITIVE SOCIOLOGICAL COMPARISON OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN SOCIETIES. BUT PERHAPS SOCIOLOGY IS PRECISELY FOR THAT REASON IN A SORRY STATE.

3 SURE, IF SOCIOLOGY IS ABOUT SOCIETIES (AND NOT JUST PERSONS), AGGREGATES SHOULD BE COMPARED. STILL, SOCIOLOGY IS FULL OF CONTROVERSIES: - HEDSTRÖMS ‘ANALYTICAL SOCIOLOGY’ VERSUS HOMANS’ ‘A LIFE OF SYNTHESIS’ - HISTORICAL VERSUS CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY - QUALITATIVE VERSUS QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH - ONE-MOMENT ONE-PERSON DATA VERSUS 3M DATA -PANELS VERSUS RETROSPECTIVE DATA DO QUANTITATIVE SOCIETAL COMPARISONS SHARPEN OR BLOT

4 CONTROVERSIES CAN BE OVERCOME BY PROJECTING BEHIND TWO CATEGORIES A CONTINUOUS SCALE SUCH SCALES INDICATE DIRECTIONS IN WHICH DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD TAKE PLACE: FROM LESS TO MORE SYSTEMATIC METHODS AND MORE SYSTEMATIC METHODS MAKE FOR PROGRESS

5 MORE SYSTEMATIC METHODS FOR A)RAISING QUESTIONS B) BUILDING THEORIES BY SUBSUMPTION AND C)BUILDING THEORIES BY DERIVATION D) ANALYZING DATA E) CHOOSING RESEARCH UNITS F) COLLECTING DATA

6 QUESTIONS THESES COUNTER- EXAMPLES PROBLEM STRUCTURES QUESTION SEQUENCES MULTI-LAYERED THEORIES STATISTICAL MODELS FOR THE DEGREE OF APPROXIMATION OF PREDICTIONS BY RESEARCH FINDINGS OLD STUFF NOW GOALS DRIFT INTO FUTURE TOPICS CONCEPTS, TYPOLOGIES ILLUSTRATIVE CASES

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8 STAGNATION IN QUESTIONS INTRODUCTIORY TEXTBOOKS SOCIOLOGY PRESENT WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS AT BEST A LONG LIST OF TOPICS BOUDON ADMITS THAT SOCIOLOGY TREATS A MOTLEY COLLECTION OF TOPICS WHICH AMOUNTS TO SELLING OUT TO THE ENEMY

9 PROGRESS IN QUESTIONS I THE MACRO QUESTION: WHY IN THE NETHERLANDS BETWEEN 1960 AND 1971 A HIGHER PROPORTION OF CATHOLICS AND A LOWER PROPORTION OF PROTESTANTS? GIVES RISE TO TWO MICRO QUESTIONS: -DID PROTESTANTS CONVERT TO CATHOLICISM? - ARE CATHOLICS MORE FERTILE THAN PROTESTANTS, MASKING LOOSING ONE’S RELIGION AMONG CATHOLICS?

10 PROGRESS IN QUESTIONS II MICRO QUESTIONS ARE MORE TELLING THAN MACRO QUESTIONS MOVE ON FROM MACRO QUESTIONS TO MICRO QUESTIONS

11 PROGRESS IN QUESTIONS III THE QUESTION: WHY NOW IN VARIOUS EU-COUNTRIES A RELATION BETWEEN EDUCATION AND UNEMPLOYMENT? GIVES RISES TO TWO QUESTIONS: - ARE IN ALL COUNTRIES PERSONS WITH LOW EDUCATION MORE LIKELY TO LOOSE THEIR JOB? - ARE IN ALL COUNTRIES THE UNEMPLOYED WITH LOW EDUCATION LESS LIKELY TO FIND A NEW JOB?

12 PROGRESS IN QUESTIONS IV ONE MOMENT (STATIC) QUESTIONS ARE SUPERFICIAL, EVENT (DYNAMIC) QUESTIONS GO DEEPER. MOVE ON FROM STATIC QUESTIONS TO DYNAMIC QUESTIONS.

13 PROGRESS IN QUESTIONS V SINCE MAYER’S & BLOSSFELD’S BERLIN MAX PLANCK: DYNAMIC QUESTIONS ON - GETTING A HIGHER LEVEL JOB - MARRYING OR STSYING SINGLE - MARRYING UP OR DOWN - BEARING A CHILD - GETTING A DIVORCE

14 IMPLICATIONS OF THE SHIFT FROM SUPERFICIAL STATIC QUESTIONS TO DEEPER DYNAMIC QUESTIONS: COLLECT MULTI-MOMENT DATA ON INDIVIDUALS. Multi-moment data can be quantitative. Considering a person’s life history does not necessitate qualitative research.

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16 STAGNATION IN THEORY BUILDING TEXTBOOKS ON ‘THEORY’ ALL TOO OFTEN DEAL WITH THE strong and weak points OF VARIOUS ‘PERSPECTIVES’, AND ADMIT THAT NOTHING IS PERFECT AND EVERYTHING HAS SOME USE. FOLLOWING ARON, PERSPECTIVES SHOULD BE CURRENTS, WORKING WITHIN THEM SHOULD SHOW PROGRESS, BUT FOR DECADES NOW SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ARE QUAGMIRES.

17 PROGRESS IN THEORY BUILDING I The unsurpassed lines from Le suicide, p. 222: - SUICIDE VARIES INVERSELY WITH THE DEGREE OF INTEGRATION INTO RELIGIOUS SOCIETY - SUICIDE VARIES INVERSELY WITH THE DEGREE OF INTEGRATION INTO DOMESTIC SOCIETY -SUICIDE VARIES INVERSELY WITH THE DEGREE OF INTEGRATION INTO POLITICAL SOCIETY Durkheim subsumed these hypotheses under a more general one: -SUICIDE VARIES INVERSELY WITH THE DEGREE OF INTEGRATION INTO ANY TYPE OF GROUP

18 PROGRESS IN THEORY BUILDING II A yet more general hypothesis is at hand, which makes the explanation multi-layered: THE MORE PEOPLE ARE INTEGRATED INTO NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF GROUP, THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO LIVE UP TO THE NORM OF THIS GROUP ABOUT SUICIDE, WHICH USUALLY FORBIDS IT AND SOMETIMES ALLOWS, ENCOURAGES OR OBLIGES IT. An even more general hypothesis: THE MORE PEOPLE ARE INTEGRATED IN NO MATTER WHAT GROUP, THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO LIVE UP TO ANY NORM OF THIS GROUP

19 PROGRESS IN THEORY BUILDING III Derivations following Lazarsfeld and Butler & Stokes: AND THE DECLINE IN CLASS VOTiNG MIGHT BE EXPLAINED BY LOWER TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP AMONG THE MANUAL CLASSES, MORE SOCIAL MOBILITY INTO AND OUT OFF THESE CLASSES THE DECLINE OF LIVING IN WORKING CLASS DISTRICTS Derivations by Lazarsfeld’s pupil Hirschi: THE WEAKER THE TIES OF JEVENILES TO PARENTS, SCHOOL AND PEERS, THEY MORE LIKELY THEY ARE DELINQUENT

20 PROGRESS IN THEORY BUILDING IV A MULTI-LAYERED THEORY CONNECTS DISPARATE TOPICS. IF A GENERAL HYPOTHESIS CAN BE SUMSUMED UNDER AN EVEN MORE GENERAL ONE, CONDITIONS CAN BE SPECIFIED UNDER WHICH THE FORMER HYPOTHESIS DOES NOT HOLD: A MULTI-LAYERED THEORY CORRECTS EXPLANATIONS WHICH INVOKE ONLY LOWER LAYERS.

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22 THEORETICAL NON-ISSUES I The sociological hypothesis that human beings follow rules nowadays often is contrasted with the supposedly better hypothesis from economics that human beings act rationally. THIS CONTRAST BETWEEN PERSPECTIVES IS MISLEADING.

23 THEORETICAL NON-ISSUES II Neo-classical economics does not only presuppose that societies consist of individuals and that they act rationally. Neo-classical economics also presupposes that the behaviour of individuals is coordinated by markets.

24 THEORETICAL NON-ISSUES III According to institutional economics (Heilbroner 1953) markets are but one mechanism for coordinating the actions of a society’s members: The others are tradition and organization. Tradition nowadays is called culture, community, networks; Durkheim’s intermediary groupings make for living up to norms or traditions. Organization nowadays is called the state and the legitimate monopoly on the means of violence, taxation and law making.

25 THEORETICAL NON-ISSUES IV Markets coordinate rational human behavior by way of financial incentives. States coordinate rational human behavior by way of physical punishments. Traditions coordinate rational human behavior by way of the celebration of heroes (people who live up to cummunal norms) and the down grading of deviants (shunning people who trespass communal norms).

26 THEORETICAL NON-ISSUES V Durkheimian integration hypotheses follows from the assumption that individuals act rationally under the condition of the existence of intermediary groupings, just like the neo-classical economic hypothesis that free markets lead to efficient equilibria follows from the assumption that individuals act rationally and the free markets initial condition.

27 Economic approaches until now have suggested several explanations for just one empirical regularity, which strongly contrast with Durkheimian integration hypotheses that explain a high number of regularities with one and the same principle. Rational choice theories until now are not deductive and have not led to synthesis.

28 MARKETS, TRADITIONS AND STATES ARE THREE CONTEXTS WITHIN WHICH PERSONS ACT. COLLECT DATA FOR THESE CONTEXTS. These data can be quantitative, doing away with the argument that contexts are something qualitative.

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30 STAGNATION IN DATA ANALYSIS I EUROSTAT, LIVING CONDITIONS IN EUROPE , p. 70 PRESENTS GINI’S FOR INCOME INEQUALITY FOR EACH COUNTRY OF THE EU-15 AND A GINI FOR THE EU-15 ITSELF THE EU-15 GINI IS JUST THE AVARAGE OF THE COUNTRY GINI’S THE COUNTRY GINI’S SHOULD HAVE BEEN WEIGHTED BY A COUNTRY’S NUMBER OF INHABITANTS AND BY A COUNTRY’S AVERAGE INCOME.

31 STAGNATION IN DATA ANALYSIS II NORRIS & INGLEHART, SACRED AND SECULAR, SOLVE THE PARADOX THAT WORLD-WIDE RELIGION IS ON THE RISE AND IN EUROPE IT DECLINES, BY POINTING TOWARDS THE HIGHER FERTILITY OF RELIGIOUS PERSONS AND STRONGER POPULATION GROWTH IN COUNTRIES WITH MORE RELIGIOUS PERSONS COMPARED WITH LESS RELIGIOUS PERSONS. IF THEY HAD FULLY FOLLOWED THEIR ARGUMENT, THEY WOULD HAVE PRESENTED NOT ONLY THE UNWEIGHTED AVERAGE POPULATION GROWTH RATE OF MORE AND OF LESS RELIGIOUS COUNTRIES.

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33 SELECTING RESEARCH UNITS I NO PROGRESS SINCE APPLICATION RANDOM SAMPLES. SOME TROUBLE SHOOTING: INDIVIDUAL POST-MATERIALISM SCORES DEPEND UPON THE UNEMPLOYMENT LEVEL IN A COUNTRY. WHY A SURVEY EACH 5 YEARS UNDER 2500 PERSONS? BETTER IS A CONTINUOUS SURVEY EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR (EXCEPT 2 SUMMER MONTHS) FOR 10 YEARS AMONG 50 PERSONS A MONTHS, SINCE IT ALLOWS FOR THE SEPARATION OF SHORT TERM FLUCTUATIONS FROM LONG TERM TRENDS.

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35 STAGNATION IN DATA COLLECTION I METHODOLOGY TEXTBOOKS ASSUME A KIT FULL OF PERFECT TOOLS, WHEREAS TOOLS NEVER ARE PERFECT AND THEIR OPINIONS ABOUT THE BETTER TOOL MAY BE WRONG.

36 STAGNATING DATA COLLECTION II UNTIL NOW SURVEYS, EVEN IF REPEATED FROM TIME TO TIME, PROVIDE ONE MOMENT DATA FOR A PERSON. THEY MEASURE WHAT HAS CHANGED RATHER THAN WHAT WILL CHANGE. THEY PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO SCALING. THEY HAVE NEGLECTED EXPLANATORY FACTORS PARTICULARLY FACTORS REFERRING TO A RESPONDENT’S PARENTS AND SPOUSE. WHAT IS THERE BEYOND ONE MOMENT AND ONE ACTOR DATA COLLECTION AND THE REPETITION OF ONE-MOMENT AND ONE-ACTOR DATA COLLECTION?

37 * Actor or individual sociology – Individuals – One goal – One shot decisions – (all powerful) state * ActorS sociology – Egos and their networks – Several goals – Sequential decision processes – (intermediate) collective actors * Factor or macro forces sociology - Industrialization - Technology - Ideology - Average income - General rise in education THEORIES SCHEMATIZED FOR DATA COLLECTION PURPOSES

38 IMPLICATIONS OF SCHEMATIZED THEORIES FOR DATA COLLECTION COLLECT DATA FOR EGO NOW AND EGO IN THE PAST COLLECT DATA FOR EGO, PARTNER, PARENTS AND CHILDREN COLLECT DATA FOR CONTEXTS OF EGO, LIKE EMPLOYER, CHURCH, SPORT CLUB, NEIGBORHOOD, LOCAL LABOR MARKET COLLECT MULTI-MOMENT, MULTI- ACTOR, MULTI-CONTEXT DATA 3M DATA

39 WORLD VALUES SURVEYS AND EUROPEAN SOCIAL SURVEYS MOSTLY ARE ONE MOMENT ONE PERSON DATA. CONTEXTUAL CHARACTERISTICS ARE COUNTRY CHARACTERISTICS. WHO NOT ALSO EURO-REGION CHARACTERISTICS?

40 MAYER-BLOSSFELD BERLIN MAX PLANCK DATA ARE MULTI-MOMENT DATA BUT LIMITED MULTI- PERSON DATA UNTIL NOW CONTEXTUAL CHARACTERISTICS WERE AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE LÄNDER DATA AS CONTEXTS?

41 3M DATA COLLECTION DOES NOT ONLY DO AWAY WITH THE OPPOSITION BETWEEN QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH, BUT ALSO, IF DATA ARE COLLECTIED FOR SUCCESSIVE COHORTS, WITH THE OPPOSITION BETWEEN HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY.

42 FUTURE OF 3M DATA COLLECTION I PROSPECTIVE OR RETROSPECTIVE? IF LONG TERM SOCIETAL OPINION CHANGE IS A NOT A MATTER OF PEOPLE CHANGING THEIR MIND, BUT OF COHORT REPLACEMENT, PANELS ARE LESS USEFUL ANY POWERFUL PANEL IS RETROSPECTIVE, GIVEN TESTING FOR DURATION DEPENDENCY ACCURARY OF RETROSPECTIVE DATA CAN BE CHECKED AND CORRECTED BY SIBLING MEASURES FOR PARENTS AND SPOUSE MEASURES FOR RESPONDENTS THE EUROPEAN HOUSEHOLD PANEL CLOSED DOWN

43 FUTURE OF 3M DATA COLLECTION II PROSPECTIVE OR RETROSPECTIVE? PANELS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR TESTING CAUSAL HYPOTHESES ABOUT EFFECTS OF ATTITUDES SINCE ATTITUDES CAN BE MEASURED BY PAST BEHAVIOR BLAU & DUNCAN MEASURED FAMILY CLIMATE BY OLDERS BROTHER’S LEVEL OF EDUCATION

44 A NICER WRAPPING-UP OF THE QUESTION OF ATTITUDINAL EFFECTS IS THE QUESTION OF FUTURE EXPECTATIONS A PERSON’S BEHAVIOR IS NOT ONLY DETERMINED BY THIS PERSON’S PAST AND THE PRESENT NETWORK OF THIS PERSON, BUT ALSO BY THIS PERSON’S EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE. FUTURE EXPECTATIONS NOT MEASURED IN CURRENT PANEL AND RETROSPECTIVE STUDIES.

45 FAMILY SURVEY DUTCH POPULATION COLLECS 3M DATA PRIMARY RESPONDENT PARTNER PARENT CHILD SIBLING EMPLOYER SPORTS CLUB CHURCH NEIGHBORHOOD MUNICIPALITY UNDERTAKEN IN TO BE UNDERTAKEN AGAIN IN 2007 OR 2008

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47 FAMILY SURVEY DUTCH POPULATION 2007 OR 2008 SHOULD BE TURNED INTO A PANEL MEASURING ALSO FUTURE EXPECTATIONS.

48 FAMILY SURVEY DUTCH POPULATION SHOULD BE TURNED INTO A EUROPEAN WIDE 3M DATA COLLECTION, AND THE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH SHOULD DO MORE TO EFFECT 3M DATA COLLECTION.


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