Longitudinal Research in Social Science: Some Theoretical Challenges
AbstractEvery advance carries with it potential problems, and longitudinal analysis is no exception. This paper focuses on the problems related to the massive amounts of data generated by longitudinal surveys. It is argued that a proliferation of data may be to the good but it will not necessarily lead to better scientific knowledge. Most demographers think the logical positivist way that theory arises out of empirical generalisations, but massive empirical investigations have only led to disappointing theoretical outcomes in demography. This paper discusses one way out of this impasse - to adopt a different view of theory, a model-based view of science. Theoretical models based on empirical generalisation should become the main representational device in science.
Copyright (c) 2019 Thomas K. Burch
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The following copyright statement applies to content published in Volumes 1 - 45 of Canadian Studies in Population.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).