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Strategies in comparative sociology

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Chapter Summary

There is no such thing as comparative chemistry or contextual physics. In comparative research, the various strategies are complementary. They can be combined and used successively at various stages of the analysis and synthesis. In international comparisons we may distinguish anomalies, deviant cases and exceptional cases. It is a matter of degree. An anomaly is an unexpected position in a ranking, curve or diagram. Statistical eccentricities can be discovered by crossing variables in a scattergram. For instance, life expectancy in Bulgaria is higher than we would expect considering the other correlates of this country. The number of students per thousand inhabitants in India appears "abnormal" for a country with such a low standard of living. An anomaly can be revealed only in a comparative light. In comparative sociology it may play the same role as the clinical case in biology or medicine.

Keywords: anomalies; Bulgaria; comparative chemistry; comparative sociology; contextual physics; statistical eccentricities



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