Methodos Series

Methodology and Epistemology of Multilevel Analysis

Approaches from Different Social Sciences

Editors: Courgeau, D. (Ed.)

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About this book

3 the observation focus on aggregate or individual behaviours? Will the meth­ ods used to identify the relationships between the values measured be the same or totally different depending on the level of observation? Can several aggregation levels be used simultaneously? and so on. The social scientist will also need to address the issue of time: Will it be historical time, in which the events studied unfold, or, on the contrary, the time lived by the individual who experiences the events? Will the observation point be a precise moment of that "lived" time, in order to explain the behaviours occurring then by con­ ditions prevailing immediately beforehand? Or, on the contrary, will the ob­ servation span an individual's entire life, involving constantly changing conditions? These issues have been present from the very beginning of social­ science research. We shall address them throughout this volume, and try to find satisfactory solutions. The multilevel approach-which has recently gained ground-tackles the issues from a fresh angle. Within the framework of a single model, it seeks to achieve a synthesis connecting individuals to the society in which they live. For this purpose, it uses intermediate levels, which can vary from one science to another: for example, class and school, in education; the village, the town, and the region, in human geography; the family, the household, and the con­ tact circle, in demography.

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This is a remarkable and unusual volume. It is written by practitioners about practice but their common focus is on the array of methodological difficulties and limitations of practice. These are confronted directly and neither ignored nor finessed. … The contributors to this volume seek to develop an approach to the part-whole or holism-individualism problem. Their approach comprises a variety of syntheses of individual and society at intermediate levels. Among other things, their approach helps avoid extreme, fundamentalist formulations and enables consideration of the influence of individuals on the group and of the group on individuals. Reciprocal relations, cumulative causation, overdetermination—call it what you will, it is a substantively rich and promising approach, rich too in its ability to cope with various methodological assumptions." (Warren Samuels, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, 2005).

"To the accumulating stock of textbooks and journal articles (didactic and empirical studies), Daniel Courgeau has contributed this volume that is a blend of history, philosophy, and statistics. It is hardly surprising that Courgeau would assemble a volume with just this blend, since he has long occupied a singular position in the field, with his enthusiasm both for rather abstract excursions into the epistemology that governs the population sciences and for technical innovations that extend the frontiers of empirical research. Accordingly, the volume has a dual purpose: first, to consider how multilevel models can provide a more complete and balanced portrait of empirical reality than alternative models; and, second, to describe how multilevel analysis is performed, with particular attention to some recent technical innovations. This makes for an unusual and stimulating volume—I am aware of no other collection of papers on multilevel analysis with this distinctive blend— … It seems that there are few scholars with Courgeau’s capacity to handle both kinds of material with intelligence and authority." (John Casterline, Population Studies, 2005).

"The book is characterized by a few themes which are repeatedly tackled, such as the opposition between holism and individualism in the social sciences, the pitfalls of the ecological fallacy and the opposed atomistic fallacy, the ability of models to throw light on causal relationships, the role of time in the social sciences and its connections with the hierarchical levels. Though the contributions are very different, due to the diversity of the fields and to the more or less theoretical level chosen by the authors, the book has its own identity thanks to the pages written by Daniel Courgeau, who opens and closes the book and also briefly introduces every chapter with some lines of presentation. …The target audience of the book is potentially wide, ranging from social scientists to philosophers of science. The book is of interest also to trained statisticians who are willing to go beyond the technical aspects of the models in order to fully understand the potentialities and limitations of multilevel analysis with respect to several fields of application. In fact the book gives the reader the chance to compare several different views of the topic, while each of the many textbooks on multilevel models takes a single view." (Leonardo Grilli and Carla Rampichini, European Journal of Population, 2004).

"As the title says, the text deals both with methodology and epistemology. It should therefore be of interest to the very wide public of social scientists, statisticians, and philosophers concerned with explanation in the social sciences. …As one of the major promoters of event history analysis in demography, Courgeau is ideally suited for the task, and his chapter should be mandatory reading for all demographers interested in the development of their discipline, though its wider scope is of interest to other disciplines too. … As I said at the beginning, it should be of interest to a wide public of scientists, not only those interested in multilevel modelling per se but also the wider audience raising questions on the nature of explanation in the social sciences." (Anonymous referee).

"Le travail accompli par Daniel Courgeau y est triple. Pionnier en France de cette approche, il est le maître d’œuvre d’un effort collectif de réflexion méthodologique qui transcende les clivages disciplinaires. La réunion de plusieurs traditions théoriques élargit la portée de la réflexion en même temps qu’elle démontre au plus grand nombre l’originalité de l’analyse multiniveau. Les démographes y trouveront néanmoins l’importante contribution personnelle de l’éditeur qui dresse un tableau historique et prospectif de la méthode démographique pour présenter l’analyse multiniveau comme une nécessité argumentée avec érudition et une vision prospective. Enfin, saluons le travail de l’éditeur qui accompagne le lecteur tout au long de l’ouvrage avec pédagogie. Chaque chapitre est introduit avec mieux qu’un résumé : une mise en perspective du cheminement, souvent singulier, de la discipline vers l’analyse multiniveau. Multipliant les références épistémologiques et scientifiques, les exemples concrets et les pistes nouvelles, l’introduction et la conclusion de l’ouvrage s’adressent tant au novice curieux qu’au praticien expérimenté de cette approche." (Daniel Delaunay, Population, 2004).

"Pour un statisticien, la définition de l’unité statistique est la première clé de toute analyse. Si celle-ci s’impose à l’évidence dans plusieurs types d’applications, il en va tout autrement dans d’autres. C’est ainsi que les sciences sociales ont vu se concurrencer, voire s’affronter, diverses approches selon que l’unité de base est l’individu (l’être humain) ou le groupe social (à un certain niveau d’agrégation). L’analyse multiniveaux vise à dépasser cette opposition : le présent ouvrage en discute les divers aspects méthodologiques et épistémologiques. Si une bonne part des questions soulevées est commune à diverses disciplines, d’autres aspects sont plus spécifiques à l’une ou à l’autre. …Mais il est remarquable que, contrairement à ce qui se passe souvent dans ce type d’ouvrage, l’ensemble présente une grande unité et très peu de redondances, sans doute à cause de l’important travail d’édition : c’est ainsi qu’une introduction et une conclusion générales substantielles, par Daniel Courgeau, donnent en début d’ouvrage une vue d’ensemble permettant de bien suivre les développements spécifiques des divers chapitres, en fin d’ouvrage des pistes de discussion et d’approfondissement valables pour l’ensemble des disciplines concernées (et au delà…). Ainsi, au delà des éléments plus spécifiquement liés à l’ensemble des disciplines envisagées, l’ouvrage contient quantité de matière susceptible d’alimenter la réflexion de tout statisticien car, de façon générale, les questions abordées débouchent sur des perspectives intéressantes quant aux besoins de développer certains aspects de méthodologie statistique. Je recommande donc chaudement sa lecture à tous les statisticiens qui souhaitent mieux comprendre les tenants et aboutissants de leur discipline et/ou prospectent quelques voies de développement."(Henri Caussinus, Journal de la Société Française de Statistique, 2003)

"L’ouvrage en effet présente les concepts et les méthodes de l’analyse multiniveau en ce qu’elle constitue l’approche la plus prometteuse pour permettre d’intégrer simultanément l’influence des contextes, des caractéristiques individuelles et des effets de groupes pour modéliser et comprendre les comportements humains. Il est organisé en six chapitres qui parcourent les sciences sociales, de la démographie à la géographie, de l’épidémiologie aux sciences de l’éducation alliées à la statistique, de l’économie à la philosophie et l’épistémologie. Les auteurs des différents chapitres, tous reconnus dans leur discipline, se sont ici joints à l’éditeur dans la création d’un tout très complet. Et la cohérence d’ensemble du volume est assurée par Daniel Courgeau qui est également l’auteur de l’introduction générale, d’un chapitre portant sur la place de l’analyse multiniveau par rapport aux approches agrégées ou individuelles en démographie et des éléments de conclusion à la fin de l’ouvrage." (Eva Lelièvre, Mathématiques et Sciences Sociales, 2004).

"The main purpose of the book is to provide a theoretical grounding relating to the different methods, validity, and scope of multilevel modeling. The book is written in a style that is reasonably accessible to most social scientists interested in this topic. … As a newcomer to multilevel modelling I certainly found it informative. It introduces a number of key issues that are worthy of further consideration … . It is an ideal library purchase." (Kate Jones, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 32, 2005)


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-4675-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-1475-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-90-481-6365-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Methodology and Epistemology of Multilevel Analysis
Book Subtitle
Approaches from Different Social Sciences
Editors
  • D. Courgeau
Series Title
Methodos Series
Series Volume
2
Copyright
2003
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-4675-9
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-4675-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-1475-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-6365-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 238
Topics