On Theory and Method
Time Matters focuses particularly on questions of time, events, and causality. Abbott grounds each essay in straightforward examinations of actual social scientific analyses. Throughout, he demonstrates the crucial assumptions we make about causes and events, about actors and interaction and about time and meaning every time we employ methods of social analysis, whether in academic disciplines, market research, public opinion polling, or even evaluation research. Turning current assumptions on their heads, Abbott not only outlines the theoretical orthodoxies of empirical social science, he sketches new alternatives, laying down foundations for a new body of social theory.
Prologue An Autobiographical Introduction
Part One Methods and Assumptions
1 Transcending General Linear Reality
2 Seven Types of Ambiguity
3 The Causal Devolution
Part Two Time and Method
4 What Do Cases Do?
5 Conceptions of Time and Events in Social Science Methods
6 From Causes to Events
Part Three Time and Social Structure
7 Temporality and Process in Social Life
8 On the Concept of Turning Point
9 Things of Boundaries
Epilogue Time Matters