University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Construyendo explicaciones: el uso de modelos en la sociología

Salgado, Mauricio (2009) Construyendo explicaciones: el uso de modelos en la sociología Persona y Sociedad.


Download (800kB)


The process of model building is a basic activity for any scientific discipline, and sociology is no exception to this rule. The sociological literature devoted to clarify the epistemological and methodological assumptions behind each modelling technique is rather scarce, however. This article intends to provide some ideas on this topic. In order to do so, it tackles onto the scientific status of modelling techniques in sociology, especially those expressed in artificial or formal languages. In addition, it stresses the importance of these techniques in building or validating causal explanations, and of the role played by social theory in the specification of such models. The three most common and widely used modelling techniques in sociological research are considered, namely, statistical modelling, mathematical modelling and social simulation. The article emphasises the theoretical underpinnings of these modelling techniques, the kind of explanation we can draw from them, and the main drawbacks, both practical and substantive, they present for social research.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 1 December 2009
Additional Information : Published in: Persona y Sociedad, Vol. XXIII, No 3, p29-60. Copyright © Persona y Sociedad
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 27 May 2010 14:42
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:02

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800