The future of rational choice theory and its relationships to quantitative macro-sociological research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Job candidates with training in rational choice command a premium in American political science departments. True, the rational choice journal Rationality and Society is surviving, although its readership and contributors are multidisciplinary. And rational choice sociologists recently have managed to establish their own sections in the American and International Sociological Associations which afford scholars the opportunity to present relevant research at regularly scheduled meetings. Since the long-term prospects for rational choice theory in sociology depend on institutionalization, its present situation clearly represents an unstable equilibrium. The resulting skirmishes extend beyond the borders of the social sciences, raising questions about the nature of rationality and the scientific method. Hans-Peter Blossfeld and Gerald Prein seem to believe that rational choice theorists need quantitative macro-sociology more than vice versa. The chasm between the two research styles and—more to the point—communities discussed by Blossfeld and Prein as well as Goldthorpe is a very real one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRational Choice Theory and Large-Scale Data Analysis
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages281-290
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000237078
ISBN (Print)9780367285005
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Hechter, M. (2019). The future of rational choice theory and its relationships to quantitative macro-sociological research. In Rational Choice Theory and Large-Scale Data Analysis (pp. 281-290). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429303753-17