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Analytical sociology and computational social science
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1102-4342
2018 (English)In: Journal of Computational Social Science, ISSN 2432-2717, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 3-14Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analytical sociology focuses on social interactions among individuals and the hard-to-predict aggregate outcomes they bring about. It seeks to identify generalizable mechanisms giving rise to emergent properties of social systems which, in turn, feed back on individual decision-making. This research program benefits from computational tools such as agent-based simulations, machine learning, and large-scale web experiments, and has considerable overlap with the nascent field of computational social science. By providing relevant analytical tools to rigorously address sociology’s core questions, computational social science has the potential to advance sociology in a similar way that the introduction of econometrics advanced economics during the last half century. Computational social scientists from computer science and physics often see as their main task to establish empirical regularities which they view as “social laws.” From the perspective of the social sciences, references to social laws appear unfounded and misplaced, however, and in this article we outline how analytical sociology, with its theory-grounded approach to computational social science, can help to move the field forward from mere descriptions and predictions to the explanation of social phenomena.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 1, no 1, p. 3-14
Keywords [en]
Computational methods Explanation Induction and deduction Online experiments Social dynamics Social mechanisms
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145109DOI: 10.1007/s42001-017-0006-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145109DiVA, id: diva2:1182090
Available from: 2018-02-12 Created: 2018-02-12 Last updated: 2018-02-12

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Keuschnigg, MarcLovsjö, NiclasHedström, Peter
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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