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Analyzing Social and Political Change A Casebook of Methods by Angela Dale

Analyzing Social and Political Change A Casebook of Methods


Analyzing Social and Political Change A Casebook of Methods by Angela Dale

Understanding change over time is a central concern for research in sociology, political science, education, geography and related disciplines. It is also an issue which presents significant methodological problems, in response to which different techniques have been developed - for example, time series analysis, multilevel models, log-linear models and event history analysis. Outlining the nature of such techniques, this accessible collection covers: the respective values of cross-sectional and longitudinal data in the analysis of change; the variety of methods available for the analysis of change over time; the types of research objective to which various techniques are suited; the limitations and constraints of individual methods; and the different philosophies which underlie particular approaches.


`[A] valuable sourcebook.... It starts with a lucid introductory chapter by the editors in which they review the main benefits of using longitudinal data and describe the different sorts of such data that are becoming increasingly available, identifying the research questions each may address and the statistical methods appropriate to each. Chapter 2 by Davies is an elegant demonstration of the benefits of longitudinal over cross-sectional analysis, particularly in separating ageing and cohort effects. In each of the subsequent seven chapters a specific method of statistical analysis is presented, giving a worked example of how it can be used to investigate changes over time. Some are technically complex but the reader is ably assisted by the editors, who introduce each chapter with a few pages explaining the key points in an accessible way. Looking through these editorial guides will quickly establish which method is the most appropriate to the reader's research question and data. The book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting an update on developments in statistical techniques that help to unravel the complexities of social and political change' - Political Studies

`The editors provide a solid introduction to each chapter. I found this useful particularly in those subjects where I am less familiar. There is an excellent index - something which is not a feature of all article collections.... a good knowledge of statistical theory is generally assumed, but this book should be in every institute library' - Participation

`This volume covers many types of longitudinal data and statistical techniques for analyzing them. Does it manage to build a bridge between the advanced statistical techniques and the needs felt by the social researcher in his/her everyday practice? Yes, I think it does. The book is readable and one learns a lot' - Acta Sociologica

'There is much to recommend this book, especially to those who are interested in studying change processes....Provides a useful introduction to the problems and benefits associated with analysing longitudinal data in the social sciences' - Structural Equations Modeling

About the Author

he Vice-Chancellor is the University's chief executive and principal academic and administrative officer. Professor Richard B Davies was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University in 2003. He studied Engineering at Cambridge, Transportation and Traffic Planning at Birmingham University, and obtained a PhD in Geography/Statistics at Bristol University. His first academic appointment was at Bristol University. Subsequently, he was a lecturer and then senior lecturer in the department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, now Cardiff University. He was appointed to a Chair in Applied Statistics at Lancaster University in 1989. He was successively director of this five star department, Dean of an Applied Sciences faculty, and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Lancaster. As an applied statistician, Professor Davies has worked across an unusually wide range of disciplines including Medicine, Metallurgy, and Social Science. He has about one hundred publications in academic journals and books and has worked extensively in industry with companies including Rolls Royce, GEC, and Nuclear Electric. He has also undertaken contract research for government ministries and led the statistical analyses for the Lord Woolf Enquiry into the civil justice system. Professor Davies has served on the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and its Audit and Risk Committee, and on the Welsh Assembly Government's Higher Education and Economic Development Task and Finish Group. He was founding chair of the Northwest Universities Association Research and Strategic Development Committee and a member of the Northwest Science Council 'core group' (the group which managed the business for the Science Council established by the Northwest Development Agency).

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Book Info

Publication date

5th July 1994


Angela Dale

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SAGE Publications Ltd


240 pages


Social research & statistics



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