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Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts

Research Methods in the Social Sciences: An A-Z of key concepts (1st edn)

Jean-Frédéric Morin, Christian Olsson, and Ece Özlem Atikcan
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date: 07 December 2023


A Multidimensional Classificationlocked


A Multidimensional Classificationlocked

  • Jean-Frédéric Morin,
  • Christian Olsson
  •  and Ece Özlem Atikcan


This chapter assesses typology. The importance of typologies is contested. Some scholars view them as fundamental to concept construction, while others consider that they are temporary devices at best and actually discourage their use. The chapter focuses on the less problematic, heuristic roles of typologies. In this respect, typologies are a proven and widely used instrument for organizing knowledge and ideas at various stages of research, and especially for jump starting the process of generating hypotheses. Moreover, theories are often presented, e.g. for didactic purposes, by means of typologies. Before turning to the uses of typologies, the chapter differentiates between typology, classification, and taxonomy.

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