Sociological indices: Methodological reflection on the construction patterns

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Abstract


The author asserts the need for the methodological reflection on the logic and basic approaches to the construction of sociological indices under the growing interest to mathematical modeling in sociology in the nowadays context of information saturation. Due to the constant increase of information flows, there is an evident need for methodological improvements in some areas of data analysis and modeling in sociology. The author believes that indices as generalized (integrated) indicators can represent complex social phenomena adequately and comprehensively. Despite the current widest usage of sociological indices in empirical research (both by international organizations and in small research projects), there is not enough methodological reflection to ‘regulate’ the procedure of indices development and verification. Thus, the author defines the category ‘sociological index’; introduces different groups of indices - sociometric, universal, and ‘classic’; and considers the specifics of constructing logical and analytical indices. The article focuses on methods for constructing sociological indices (substantive and mathematical logic), and on the potential and limitations of such methodological experience. For instance, it allows to apply the existing indices for solving quite new tasks and for studying various social phenomena. The author suggests a general algorithm for constructing sociological indices as a mathematical model based on three sequential steps: methodological, technical and empirical-analytical.


About the authors

K G Gerasimova

Samara University

Author for correspondence.
Email: GerasimovaKG@gmail.com
Moskovskoye Sh., 34, Samara, 443086, Russia

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