Please find further information on ISA RC33 (Research Committee on Logic & Methodology of the International Sociology Association) on http://www.rc33.org/
Social theory is often interested in how social meso and macro phenomena or social contexts (e.g. organizations, markets, cities, regions, societies) and micro phenomena (e.g. everyday practices, interaction, communicative action, individual action) interact, causally influence and change each other.
However, analyzing such questions empirically pose methodological problems which have to be solved simultaneously: Not only is a (1) multi-level analysis needed, but (2) meso and macro phenomena typically change only on the longue durée, thus requiring either longitudinal analysis, historical methods or archival methods which typically make use of QUAL documentary analysis or QUAN public administrative data, structural or trend data. Although today, there are many sources of secondary data available, typically these data were produced continuously in their respective historical times and face the problems of selectivity and availability. (3) In contrast, micro phenomena either address the individual lifecourse or biographies which are typically either analyzed with QUAN survey data or QUAL narrative interviews. Alternatively, very short-term social processes are addressed, which are typically grasped by methods such as ethnography and video analysis. Data are collected today and any past events are reconstructed from the perspective of the present – which poses the particular problem of how to reconstruct past events and social practices on the micro level.
In summary, process-oriented micro-macro-analyses typically combine or mix different data sorts (e.g. ethnography and public administrative data) which address different time layers. Based on these observations and building on the prior debates at the RC33 Conferences in Naples and Sydney as well the HSR Special Issues on “Linking Theory and Data: Process-Generated and Longitudinal Data for Analysing Long-Term Social Processes” and “Social Bookkeeping Data: Data Quality and Data Management” (both 2009), the session asks how to conduct process-oriented micro-macro-analyses.
While papers can also discuss general methodological questions and problems in process-oriented micro-macro-analysis (e.g. sampling, linking data, data analysis), papers discussing specific methodological problems using a concrete mix or combination of data in a specific research project are especially welcome.
Nina Baur (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lilli Alexa Braunisch (email@example.com); Jannis Hergesell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Maria Norkus (email@example.com), and Isabell Stamm (firstname.lastname@example.org).