A History of Causal Analysis in the Social Sciences

Sondra N. Barringer, Scott R Eliason, Erin Leahey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this chapter we provide an overview of the history of causal analysis in the social sciences. We review literature published from the mid-1800s to the present day, tracing the key strains of thought that lead to our current understandings of causal analysis in the social sciences. Given space limitations, we focus on three of the most important strands of causal analysis – those based on (1) constant conjunction and regularity accounts, (2) correlational and path analytic techniques, and (3) potential outcomes and counterfactual frameworks. We then return to the complexity of a Weberian approach, which contains nearly all of the elements of these three major frameworks into a single case-oriented method to causal analysis. We conclude by speculating on the future of causal analysis in the social sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Pages9-26
Number of pages18
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Sociology and Social Research
ISSN (Print)1389-6903
ISSN (Electronic)2542-839X

Keywords

  • Average Treatment Effect
  • Causal Analysis
  • Causal Effect
  • Female Labor Force Participation
  • Structural Equation Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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