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Interpretivism and Generalisation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2000

Malcolm Williams
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK
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This article is concerned with the status of generalisation in interpretive sociology. The case made is that generalisation is inevitable, desirable and possible. It is held that interpretivism must employ a special kind of generalisation, characterised here as moderatum. However, an acknowledgement that such generalisations can be made must bring us to specify the limits of generalisation in interpretive research. These limits are the limits of interpretivism itself and the paper concludes that this implies the adoption of methodological pluralism in order to realise the full potential of the method.

Research Article
2000 BSA Publications Ltd

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