A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition
Show Less

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition

Edited by Patricia Kennett

The current context of social policy is one in which many of the old certainties of the past have been eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, domestic preoccupation of social policy has made way for a more integrated, international and outward approach to analysis which looks beyond the boundaries of the state. It is in this context that this Handbook brings together the work of key commentators in the field of comparative analysis in order to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary debates and issues in cross-national social policy research.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 14: Quantitative methods with survey data in comparative research

Jaak Billiet


Social scientists are interested in societies in which individuals live, and in social networks and institutions. They believe that these contexts have an influence on individual characteristics, attitudes, choices and behaviour. There is a long-standing tradition of cross-national research, especially in comparative political analysis in which political systems (e.g., nations) are analysed as cases or used as context. In the most general terms, comparative social research refers to research designs by which data from different societies and/or cultures, and/or data from particular societies and/or cultures at different time periods, are collected and compared (Allardt, 1990, p. 183). In the 1960s and 1970s a flow of handbooks and readers in comparative research with special attention to comparisons of large-scale units were published. Methodological problems related to aggregate data had a prominent place among academics at that time (Scheuch, 1966). The term ‘human ecology’ won general acceptance in the social sciences. In its broadest sense, the term was intended to cover all varieties of research on the adjustment of human beings to their environments. Other central issues discussed at that time were cross-national archiving, international cooperation in the organization of facilities and the development of techniques for quantitative analysis of data measured at several levels (Dogan and Rokkan, 1969, pp. 1–4).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.