The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 57: Set Theoretic Methods
Set Theoretic Methods
There are various ways to analyze social phenomena. The traditional, qualitative, and quantitative approaches involve specialized languages and seemingly incompatible methods – but such phenomena can also be framed in terms of set relations, as it is often the case in common, everyday language. For instance, poverty research can either employ quantitative, nationally representative samples, or they can use case studies to unfold particular, exemplar life stories that are usually obscured by numbers, or it can be framed in a set theoretical perspective, as recently demonstrated by Ragin and Fiss (2017).
Ragin and Fiss studied the relation between poverty and various configurational patterns that include race, class, and test scores and found that white people ...