Subjective Causality and Counterfactuals in the Social Sciences
The article explores the role that subjective evidence of causality and associated counterfactuals and counterpotentials might play in the social sciences where comparative cases are scarce. This scarcity rules out statistical inference based upon frequencies and usually invites in-depth ethnographic studies. Thus, if causality is to be preserved in such situations, a conception of ethnographic causal inference is required. Ethnographic causality inverts the standard statistical concept of causal explanation in observational studies, whereby comparison and generalization, across a sample of cases, are both necessary prerequisites for any causal inference. Ethnographic causality allows, in contrast, for causal explanation prior to any subsequent comparison or generalization.
Citation : Abell, P. and Engel, O. (2019) Subjective Causality and Counterfactuals in the Social Sciences: Towards an Ethnographic Causality. Sociological Methods & Research.
Research Institute : Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes