Cohort Analysis in Social Research: Beyond the by William M. Mason, Stephen E. Fienberg

By William M. Mason, Stephen E. Fienberg

The lifestyles of the current quantity should be traced to methodological matters approximately cohort research, all of which have been obvious all through many of the social sciences by means of the overdue Seventies. For a few social scientists, they turned a part of a broader dialogue about the want for brand spanking new analytical strategies for examine in response to longitudinal information. In 1976, the Social technological know-how examine Council (SSRC), with money from the nationwide Institute of schooling, validated a Committee at the method of Longitudinal learn. (The students who comprised this committee are indexed on the entrance of this quantity. ) As a part of the efforts of this Committee, an interdisciplinary convention on cohort research used to be held in the summertime of 1979, in Snowmass, Colorado. a lot of the paintings provided the following stems from that convention, the aim of which used to be to advertise the advance of basic methodological instruments for the research of social swap. The convention integrated 5 significant displays through (1) William Mason and Herbert Smith, (2) Karl J6reskog and Dag S6rbom, (3) Gregory Markus, (4) John Hobcraft, Jane Menken and Samuel Preston, and (5) Stephen Fienberg and William Mason. The formal displays have been every one through broad dialogue, which concerned as members: Paul Baltes, William Butz, Philip communicate, Otis Dudley Duncan, David Freedman, William Meredith, John Nesselroade, Daniel fee, Thomas Pullum, Peter learn, Matilda White Riley, Norman Ryder, Warren Sanderson, Warner Schaie, Burton Singer, Nancy Tuma, Harrison White, and Halliman Winsborough.

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Rencontres Internationales de Geneve, La vie et Ie temps. Neuchatel: Baconniere, pp. 59-73. , Jr. (1960). Sex offenses; the marginal status of the 44 NORMAN B. RYDER adolescent. Law and Contemporary Problems, 309-333. Renouard, Y. (1953). La notion de generation en histoire. Revue Historique 209, 1-23. , and Glazer, N. (1950). The Lonely Crowd. New Haven: Yale University Press. Rintala, M. (1958). The problem of generations in Finnish Communism. American Slavic and East European Review 17, 190-202.

The life history has been called the long-section and the statistical the crosssection view of culture. The typical emphasis of the latter on simultaneity between corresponding events from different lives implies over-valuation of the existing situation-"the sociological error par excellence" (Dollard, 1935). Aggregate analysis destroys individual sequences, and diverts attention from process. By implying that the past is irrelevant, crosssectional analysis inhibits dynamic inquiry and fosters the illusion of immutable structure (Evan, 1959).

Yet such difficulties are not so much those of 40 NORMAN B. RYDER the method itself as meaningful reflections of the research investment necessary to study a long-lived species experiencing structural transformation. Measurement techniques should be designed to provide data that correspond with the theoretical formulations of the phenomena under examination. In the present essay, the purpose has been to present a frame of reference within which theories can be constructed and empirical inquiry prosecuted.

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