The Methodology of Herbert Blumer

Critical interpretation and repair

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The Methodology of Herbert Blumer is a comprehensive critical account of the contributions of this important American sociologist to the methodology of social research. In a close reading of Blumer's texts, the author charts the development of Blumer's thinking, revealing a tension between an essentially realist ontology and Blumer's emphasis on the relationship of theory to methodology. The author describes Blumer's conception of methodology as a self-reflective exercise in which the principles of scientific inquiry are developed and criticized, and not merely as a matter of technique. Blumer's concentration on the integral unity of theory and method relates suggestively to current thinking about methodology, while his examinations of this theme in such areas as public opinion research and variable analysis provide provocative criticisms of many current research practices. – Contents: Acknowledgments. Preface. – 1. What is methodology?; 2. Blumer's development; 3. Critical extensions; 4. Methodical holism: issues and applications. – Bibliography; Index.