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The Art of Social Theory$
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Richard Swedberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155227

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155227.001.0001

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Naming, Concept, and Typology

Naming, Concept, and Typology

(p.52) Chapter 3 Naming, Concept, and Typology
The Art of Social Theory

Richard Swedberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the next processes in building out the theory: coming up with a name for the phenomenon one is studying; developing some concepts that will help analyze it; and developing a typology. There exist different approaches to naming in social science. One can, for example, use existing words or invent new ones. Once the stage of observation is over and the phenomenon has been named, the name often needs to be turned into a concept. Turning some phenomenon into a concept means, for one thing, to make it more rational. Finally, as part of the process of creating a full tentative theory with the help of empirical material, one may use a typology or a classification. Classifications, more than typologies, are used to bring order into the empirical material at an early stage.

Keywords:   theory, naming, social science, concept, empirical material, typology, classification

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