BMS English Abstracts 2003-2013 (N. 80-119)

BMS, English Abstracts 2003-2013 (80-119)

N. 80, October 2003


Philippe Robert, Marie-Lys Pottier, Renée Zauberman

Victimisation Surveys and Knowledge of Delinquency: This article is based on an 11 April 2002 presentation at the Survey Methods Seminar of INED and the French Society of Statistics at INED (salle Alfred Sauvy, 133, boulevard Davout, 75020 Paris). After presenting the historical background of victimisation surveys in the framework of quantitative data used in the analysis of crime, this article presents the contributions and limits of such surveys. It provides the basic structure for such questionnaires and various sample frameworks. In closing, it gives results based on a survey in the Paris region in 1998-2000, and compares them with related police statistics. Measuring Delinquency, Criminal Statistics, Victimisation Surveys.

N. 80


Karl-Heinz Reuband

The famous “allow”-“forbid” example of question-wording effect, originally published in 1941 by Daniel Rugg, is tested in a local survey in Germany, based on a quota sample and on face-to-face interviews (N=620). Not only the original question wording enters into the split-ballot experiment, but also an extended-version questionnaire where the response alternatives are explicitly stated (“allow or not allow”, “allow or forbid”). The original effect described in the literature turns out be primarily the result of formulating the question in a one-sided manner without explicit alternatives. The specific wording itself has a minor effect. Respondents with lower education are primary affected by the one-sided formulation; respondents with higher education seem to be more frequently influenced by the wording itself. Allow, Forbid, Questionnaire Construction, Question Wording.

N. 80


Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS)

The Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS), which is a graduate school and research center, was founded in 1989 and includes the University of Groningen, Utrecht University and the University of Nijmegen. Last year, along with re-accreditation by the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), a number of important changes took place at the ICS which are developed in detail in its recently-published Annual Report from which this article was developed. The ICS research program now includes a Social Networks, Solidarity and Inequality branch which is presented here along with the four other branches and the full list of ICS Ph.D students and their thesis topics. Netherlands, Social Science Research, Sociological Methodology.


N. 81, January 2004


Volker Stocké, Bettina Langfeldt

In the following article we analyze whether or not and to what extent respondents’ evaluations of past interview experiences affect their generalized attitudes towards surveys. In particular, our study compares the relative significance of three orthogonal evaluation dimensions: the burden caused by interview participation, the “entertainment value” of an interview and the irritation due to confusing question wording. As a first result, the mode of administration of the last interview proved to be a significant predictor of the evaluation of surveys in general. The second and most important finding is that the burden experienced during the last interview, but not the other evaluation dimensions, has a significant effect on the generalized evaluation of surveys. In addition, the association between the subjective burden and survey attitudes is found to be conditioned by the cognitive accessibility of these evaluations, as measured by response latencies. Thus, cognitively more accessible and more salient instances of burdensome interview experiences are especially relevant for the respondents’ attitudes, and therefore influence most likely cooperation in future surveys. Attitude Accessibility, Attitudes Towards Surveys, Respondents’ Burden, Respondents’ Cooperation, Response Latency, Survey Experience, Survey Sponsor.

N. 81


Béatrice Maurines, Angel Sanhueza

Renewing Field Work through Photography, Cooperation between an Ethnologist and a Photographer: This article is dedicated to the discovery of sensitive worlds rich in import for the analysis of social representations. At its origin is a joint research project of an ethnologist and a photographer in industrial anthropology. The article describes the development of the research project where pictures were used not only as a means of illustration but with the intention of obtaining a better understanding of this field work. Indeed, certain sectors are barely explorable with “classic” qualitative and quantitative means (interviews, observations, questionnaires). In our perspective, the enthnologist’s work should facilitate the passage “from the visible to the readable”, but it should be able to address the invisible — invisible for the researcher and often even for the informant — and the non-expressible without mediation. Photography, Methodological Use of Photography, Industrial Anthropology, Ethnologist-Photographer Cooperation.

N. 81


Karl M. van Meter, Philippe Cibois, Mathilde de Saint Léger

Using Trideux factorial correspondence analysis and Calliope co-occurrence of key word analysis, we apply them to the data base of key words characterizing each research article or ongoing research report published by the BMS from December 1993 to October 2003. We present the results of these analyses, followed by the complete list of tables of contents, the author index and the article-title index for the articles and reports analyzed. BMS, Correspondence Analysis, Trideux, Co-Word Analysis, Calliope, Scientometry.

N. 81


Henk Flap, Beate Völker

On 30-31 October 2003, an international colloquium took place on “The Creation and Returns of Social Capital. The State of the Art”, organised by the Royal Netherlands’ Academy of the Arts and Sciences at the Trippenhuis (Kloveniersburgwal 29) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. About fifty people took part in the conference. Below, you will find abstracts of the contributions, addresses of the persons who presented a paper, and a short summary of the main results of discussions during the conference. Social Capital, Amsterdam, Royal Netherlands’ Academy of the Arts and Sciences.


N. 82, April 2004

Méthode et stratégie d’analyse des  questions ouvertes du Panel Electoral Français

M. Brugidou, N. Mandran, M. Moine, A.-C. Salomon

Method and Strategy of Analysis of Open Quesitons of the French Electoral Panel: This article presents a voting survey method which includes many open questions, the detailed strategies of analysis employed and also, based on analyzed examples, the methodololgical advances – and their limits – of such strageties which mix quantitative and qualitative approaches. During the spring 2002 elections, a survey apparatus was set up including a panel which would permit the measuring of French political opinions and behavior over three waves of the survey. The first part of this article addresses problems engendered by this survey apparatus and how they have been handled. This involves the creation of a typology of open questions, the place of open questions in a questionnaire, interviewer/interviewee interactions, etc. Replies to part of the questions were transcribed and analyzed using the Alceste program. The choice of these questions and the use of a text analysis approach are discussed in the second part of the article. To return to a more explanatory approach, it is possible to cross-tabulate the classes produced by Alceste and the closed quesitons of the questionnaire. This procedure encounters several difficult problems that are both technical and epistomological that we address in the third part of the article. Open Questions,  Analysis of Textual Data, Discourse Analyse, Themes, Alceste.

N. 82

Une méthode de traitement sociologique de données filmées

Odile Rissoan

A Method for Treating Filmed Sociological Data: This article presents a method of analysis of filmed observations developed during research which also involved opened interviews and questionnaires. This method of coding images resulted in the construction of standardized and quantitifed data on the informal behaivor or behavior that is only slightly objectified in the subjects’ dscourse. The steps of this standardization and the difficulties encountered are described. A preliminary analysis of these data shows the value of their construction and their confrontation or comparison with other data collected during the interviews. Surveys with filmed observations; Analysis of filmed data; Method for codifying filmed observations.

N. 82


Thorsten Faas

The article compares the results of three surveys that were conducted in methodologically very different ways in the run-up to the last German federal election. The first survey is a representative sample of the German population, the second one is a representative online survey of Internet users, the third one is an unsolicited open online survey with self-selected participants. The comparison yields considerable differences among the three surveys concerning demographic (age, sex, education) as well as substantial variables (voting intentions, interest in politics). It is also shown that these differences continue to exist after weighting the samples by sex and age. Voting Survey, Survey by Internet, Survey on the Web.


N. 83, July 2004

Computer Assisted Pretesting of CATI Questionnaires (CAPTIQ)

Frank Faulbaum

Observational pretesting or standard pretesting of CATI-questionnaires is problematic because the recording of observed respondent behavior has either to be carried out during the interview itself or after completion of the interview by filling out observation forms. Recording during the interview often places a heavy additional burden on the interviewer above and beyond conducting the interview correctly. Recording after the interview introduces the problem of reliability. In this paper, we present a method for Computer-Assisted Pretesting of Telephone Interview Questionnaires (CAPTIQ) which allows respondents’ behavior to be coded during the interview without overburdening the interviewer. The interviewers are able to code without interrupting the flow of the interview. The pretest data collected by CAPTIQ for each question and each respondent may be seen as longitudinal data which can be represented by a graph called an IPD (Interview Process Graph). The IPG, much like an electrocardiogram, reveals any problem zones occurying during the interview. As a result, information is collected on problems concerning response scales and on the learning process initiated by the respondents going through item batteries. Comprehension difficulties related to question wording or other factors also manifest themselves as oscillations of the IPG. The paper describes the CAPTIQ method and presents an illustration of the IPG by evaluating a CATI questionnaire used for a nationwide survey of health and media use. Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews, Pretesting Questionnaires, Respondent Behavior, Interview Process Graph.

N. 83

L’enquête d’opinion dans l’étude des pratiques sportives de montagne

Jean Corneloup

Opinion Surveys in the Study of Mountain Sports: In the framework of the theory of social conflicts developed by J. P. Pagès, we have done research on practice of mountain sports. We first develope the structure of opinions on sports in the mountains with the objective of understanding the interplay between these opinions in the management of that space of practice. Beyond the presentations of the explanatory variables for these differecnes, the article presents the theoretical framework and methodology used in this particular survey. As part of the constructivist perspective, the construction of opinion questionnaires requires the mastery of a particular methodological procedure that is also presented here. Mountains, Sports, Public Opinion, Social Conflicts, Constructivism, Structuralism..

N. 83


Renáta Németh

The problem of drawing a person from a household often occurs at the final stage of an address-based sample survey design; e.g., in telephone surveys after the households are contacted. The Kish grid gives an algorithm for this random selection. When evaluating the representativeness of samples obtained by this design, researchers often refer to the undersampling of males and overrepresentation of elderly people, the phenomenon originating from the practical realisation of the interview; e.g., males are more difficult to find at home, and less willing to participate. In the paper, some theoretical evidence will be given that explains the representation problems in the case of address-based samples without considering these assumptions. We found that, contrary to the opinion held by some researchers, the grid is not capable of providing representativeness by gender and age. The misconception stems from the fact that when the Kish grid was developed in the 1950’s, both randomness and representativeness could be achieved using the method, due to the household structure of the USA. We show that today this does not hold for most countries. Finally, a modification of the Kish grid is suggested that is more appropriate for selecting a representative sample. Since the performance of the grid depends on the household structure within the target population, its modification varies country to country. In the paper, those countries are considered where the Kish grid is in use. The main lesson is that in cases when the implementation of both address-based samples and population register samples is feasible, it may be worth considering the above mentioned aspects and deciding to choose a population register sample. Address-based Sample, Kish Grid, Kish Tables, Population Register Sample.

N. 83


Louise Corti

This report was prepared by one of the organizers of this conference and the head of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) Qualidata service. The conference was in honour of Colin Bell and brought together several of his former colleagues and students, and covered past, present and future topics of community studies. Colin Bell, Great Britain, Community Studies.


N. 84, October 2004

L’analyse longitudinale de réseaux sociaux totaux avec SIENA – Méthode, discussion et application

Ainhoa de Federico de la Rúa

Longitudinal Analysis of Total Social Networks with SIENA – Method, Discussion and Applications: This article explains the functional basis of the SIENA statistical model for the analysis of longitudinal total social networks. In the first part, we explain the specificity of statistical models for analyzing network structure and give a brief history of the major models proposed in the past which produced dynamic models such as SIENA. We then present the basis on which SIENA is constructed and we discuss the theoretical implications. Model specification follows with a presentation of the principal effects which can be studied with this model. We end with an example of application on a network of international friendships. Longitudinal analysis of social networks, SIENA.

N. 84

Assessing the Human Development Index through the Structure of Welfare

Erik H. Cohen

In this study, we assess the validity of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), a multi-faceted indicator of national welfare.  For this purpose, the HDI is introduced into a previously published typology of welfare indicators (Cohen, E. H. 2000).  The HDI appears to be a well-balanced indicator of welfare, close to the semantic center of the structure.  However, it is somewhat more strongly correlated with the education and population rates regions of the structure than with the production and media regions. Human Development Index (HDI), Welfare, Smallest Space Analysis (SSA), External variables.

N. 84

De la portée des récits de vie dans l’analyse des processus globaux

Blandine Veith

The Impact of Life Histories in the Analysis of Global Processes: This article shows the far-reaching impact of research based on the collection of life histories. While the compiling and comparison of life histories, item by item, allows us to construct typologies, the analysis of internal coherence of each life history and the comparison of individual and collective logics permits us to truely treate the complexity of social phenomena and related certain seemingly contradictory processes. To establish the scientific validity of such a procedure, researchers have experimented with different approaches: discourse form analysis, identifying biographical indicators and events, cross verification of life histories with other materials, preceding a qualitative survey with a quantitative survey, crossing life histories between each other at the collective membership leve, contextualizing them by situating them within monographies. Life Histories, Comparing Life Histories, Biographical Events, Calenders, Qualitative Research.


N. 85, January 2005


Didier Demazière

Text-Analysis Programs Serving Sociological Innovation: Beginning with the idea that what text analysis programs do is closely associated with their manner of application to a corpus, the Methods Thematic Network of the French Sociological Association (AFS) organized the analysis of the same corpus by different programs. This comparative perspective allows us to show that these programs are not simple instruments for generating proofs, but, on the contrary, constitute applicable resources — among others — for testing interpretations, for enriching theories, and thus for encouraging sociological innovation. Textual Analysis, Computer Programs, Prospéro, Calliope, Trideux, Alceste.

N. 85

Le logiciel Prospéro à l’epreuve d’un corpus de resumes sociologiques

Patrick Trabal

The Program Prospéro Tried Out Against A Corpus of Sociological Abstracts: The objective of this article is to test the potential of the program, Prospéro, for analyzing the abstracts of the first congress of the French Sociological Association (AFS). Prospéro was conceived as a program for the analysis of corpora of texts characterized by a certain variability (particularly in their use of argumentation and time). We consider these abstracts as a “dossier”; that is as a collection of texts characterized by the unknowns and the obligations of authors proposing a presentation in a Thematic Network (TN) session. To begin with, we show how much recoding — done by the researcher in the case of Prospéro — is decisive in determining the level of analysis and of hypothesis testing. We then propose a model describing the expectations of a potential presenter and construct categories, collections and fictitious entities to test this model. The program, in this context, functions as an instrument for identifying singular properties of the corpus (for example, judging the use of a category or a collection to characterize a TN). But it also identifies atypical texts which can encourage the modification of the model. Finally, we study how presenters adapt to the requirements of a proximity between the abstract and the call for papers distributed a few months before by the TNs. This approach shows that only a few TNs bring together texts sharing similar characteristics. This work permits us to identify certain interesting aspects of French sociology and, in particular, the possibilities and the limits of Prospéro. The program functions as a research tool which can test a researcher’s interpretations, hypotheses and models. The program would be even more useful if corpora could be complemented by texts permitting a variation (particularly historic) which would benefit the analysis of sociological scientific production. Computer Programs, Prospéro, Analysis of Corpora, Coding, Interpretation, Proximity, Sociology.

N. 85


Mathilde de Saint Leger, Karl M. van Meter

The 2004 congress of the French Sociological Association (AFS) included more than 1,000 presentations. Considered as representative of contemporary French sociology, the corpus of abstracts is analyzed with Colliope, a text-analysis computer program based on the associated-words method. A cartography of the entire corpus shows the rather varied themes which are interconnected but also weakly structured. The role of the term WOMAN as attractor, in the sense that it is the link between many different themes. Cartographies of sub-sets of abstracts, grouped together by thematic network (RT), reveal more structured results which remain strongly interconnected. It would be interesting to compare these results with those of other text-analysis approaches which should be done soon. Text Analysis, Calliope, Associated-Words Method, Contemporary French Sociology.

N. 85

De quoi parlent les sociologues réunis en congrès ? Eléments de complémentarité entre une analyse lexicale ouverte et le cumul de variables fermées

Gérard Boudesseul

The first congress of the AFS was an occasion to provide a synthesis of the subjects of conversation current in French sociology, and we will attempt to analyze this vocabulary and its frequencies. This article confronts this first analysis with a more quantified one, based on the distance from the means, to find how the two approaches can be combined. The lexical analysis, with the Alceste program, stresses the co-occurence frequencies when words appear together in an abstract. The most frequent co-occurences are found in the class “society-inequality”, and the class “theory-authors”. Calculating the percentage difference from the means (program Trideux) stresses the differences, and puts into comparable position similar differences. In this case, the words that differ the least from the means will be those used the most by sociologists and are found in the classes “method” and “public polity”. If the authors are introduced into the analysis with variables for sex, institutional origin, location, and are associated with the words they use, we can combine the two methods and still conserve the families of words and those words which are the most significant, while cross-tabulating them with accumulated individual characteristics. The most discriminating variable est thus sex, with a concentration of women in the family “society-inequality”, and a concentration of men in the family “theory-authors”. The class on which there is the most agreement between the two methods is not mentioned individually in either method. It is the class “work-company”. Vocabulary, Occurrence of Key Words, Alceste, Trideux, Complementarity of Methods, AFS Congress, France, Sociology.


N. 86, April 2005

Aux abonnés absents : liste rouge et téléphone portable dans les enquêtes en population générale sur les drogues

François Beck, Stéphane Legleye, Patrick Peretti-Watel

Missing Subscribers, The Red List and Mobile Telephones in General Population Surveys Concerning Drugs: Survey designers using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) are confronted with four types of populations: Owners of land-line telephones which include those on the Red (unlisted number) List; Owners of only mobile telephones; and those who don’t own a telephone. Over the past few years, the proportion of land-line users has decreased as only mobile users increased. Even if the telephone remains an excellent means for contacting individuals residing in France (only 1.2% have no telephone), the increase in Red List numbers and only mobile users complicates methods developed since the early 1990; the choice of not contacting these persons should be made on a knowledgeable basis. Two types of research presented here allow us to extend our knowledge of these populations in relation to the use of psychoactive substances: a random survey of land-line users (n=13,685) allows us to characterize Red List members concerning declared drug use and associated opinions; a survey (n=2,009) concerning the social representation of drug users, including a sub-sample of only mobile users (n=201) permits us to obtain a summary description of the later and measure differences between them and line-liner users on these same questions. Methodology, Drugs, Telephone Surveys, Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis.

N. 86

Faire et défaire des groupes : L’information chiffrée sur les « populations difficiles à atteindre »

Marie-Ange Schiltz

Making and Unmaking Groups, Numerical Information on “Difficult-Access Populations”: After having underlined the divergent points of view between statistics and sociology on how to approach “difficult-access populations”, this article proposes to explore the different manners of defining a distance from a norm, the periphery in relation to a center, and to show how, according to the choice of criteria of inclusion adopted, the size and meaning of the statistical group thus constituted are extremely variable. Hidden Populations, Methodological Sensitivity, Surveys.

N. 86

Qui construit les données du sociologue ? Les problèmes posés par l’analyse secondaire des fichiers des licences fédérales

Claude Lafabrègue

Who Makes Sociology’s Data? Problems Posed by Secondary Analysis of National Sport Club Membership Files: The secondary analysis of national files of sport club membership is a possible research technique in investigating careers in sports. But before engaging in such work, one must know if the stored data can be used for scientific research. In this framework, we examined the yearly membership files of the Fédération Française de Voile. This critical analysis had two aspects. First, the information on members (wind-surfing or not, competitions or not) was compared with that provided by another high-quality source. This comparison reveals major differences. To interpret the meaning of these differences, we reconstructed the means by which the data was produced for the national files. This work permitted us to evaluate the pertinence of the two recorded variables for eventual longitudinal studies. The result is that the data could be used in longitudinal studies with only slight confidence. The data tends to describe the margins of interpretation left to local authorities by the federal guidelines, and not the real activity of members. Secondary Analysis, National Sports Leagues, Club Membership, Careers, Longitudinal Analysis.

N. 86

Report on the Third International Workshop on Comparative Survey Design and Implementation

Janet Harkness

The main goals of the Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) program are to provide a forum and platform for researchers concerned with methodological issues in cross-national and cross-cultural surveys; to foster co-operation on projects aimed at improving comparative research; and to disseminate knowledge and promote best and good practices. The Third International Workshop on CSDI was held in Madrid on 10-12 March 2005, during which plenary sessions, at which participants presented papers, were combined with break-out sessions in which work groups met to discuss work in progress, as well as a common set of questions described below. Cross-National and Cross-Cultural Surveys, Comparative Methodology.


N. 87, July 2005


P. Rousset, C. Guinot, J. Vero

Self-organising maps used for classification, illustration with several examples: The aim of this paper is to illustrate, with several examples, the possible uses of self-organizing maps (som), especially in classification and data-set visualization purposes. This classification method, based on the unsupervised learning algorithm of Kohonen, is presented here in a practical manner, and applied in the following fields: characterisation of human skin, Polish national daily consumption of electricity, training supply and professional careers. The diversity of the examples, in these application fields and for various statistical purposes (typology, classification of curves), illustrate many self-organizing map characteristics as compared to more traditional methods. In particular, we should mention, firstly, that the clustering method and its representation system are complementary; secondly, that som are sensitive to small distances and, finally, that they can be pertinent when the data set is large. These properties make it possible to visualize cluster proximities, local effects (restricted to a part of the population) and integrate many variables into the analysis (for example, as in data mining). Apart from clustering, self-organizing maps can also be used as a visualization tool for the representation of data-set intrinsic structure. In this case, as with projections to principal planes of the factorial analysis, this data-set representation can be considered a graphical support for any analysis method. To illustrate its characteristics, we use it to represent two hierarchical classification results. In this instance, the particularity of this technique comes from the specificity of its own symbolic representation. It gives to som a freedom that allows it to be well adapted to complex structures such as non-linear ones. In this paper, self-organizing maps are presented first as a clustering method, and then as a tool for the visualization of dataset intrinsic structure. Self-Organizing Maps, Cluster Analysis, Visualization Tools, Large Data Sets.

N. 87

Being, Having and Doing, Modes of Existence: Confirmation and Reduction of a New Scale Based on a Study among Israeli Female Teachers, Student-Teachers and Counselors

Erik H. Cohen, Rachel Sagee, Rivka Reichenberg

Following Fromm’s (1976) and Rand’s (1993) theory, a scale of 51 items on attitudes towards the Being, Doing and Having “Modes of Existence” has been constructed (Reichenberg 1996). Our objectives are two-fold: first, an examination, in parallel, of the validity of the scale with two methods: Factor Analysis and Facet Theory. And second, a shortening of the scale from 51 questions to a more compact one. The present article is based on empirical data gathered from 386 female teachers, students and counselors in college education departments in Israel in 1995 and 1997. Modes of Existence, Facet Theory, Factor Analysis.

N. 87

La « socio-anthropologie » : champ, paradigme ou discipline ? Regards particuliers sur les entretiens de longue durée ou d’observation

Salvador Juan

“Social Anthropology” – Field, Paradigm or Discipline? Particular views about prolonged or observational interviews: This article attempts to describe the methodological aspects of what is called « socio-anthropological » research. It describes the process of “rapprochement” between observation and interviewing in certain research protocols in the context of contemporary societies, particularly in the case of in-depth interviews : interviews over a long period of time with the same person. Comparing the diachronic and synchronic approches of these studies with extended interviews, as presented in several recents books, we can say that the distinction betwen qualitative sociology and anthropology in modern research fields loses its relevance. The consequence of this sociological and anthropological overlap is the creation of a new field of human sciences, and perhaps a new paradigm or discipline. Interviews Over Long Periods of Time, Observational Interviews, Socio-Anthropology.


N. 88, October 2005


Gaël de Peretti

Turning Texts into Variables, Mythe or Reality: The statistical analysis of responses to open questions is the subject of many controversies between supporters and critics, but also among supporters concerning the choice of methods of analysis and of data construction. With an example, we focus our attention on two controversies: the interest of using open questions; the use of techniques for transforming corpora of texts (normalization and lemmatization). The pertinence of open questions is established, but turning texts into variables remains a delicate task in textual analysis and requires reflexive considerations necessary particularly in the interpretation of results. Textual Analysis, Open Questions, Quantification, Normalization, Language, Lemmatization.

N. 88


Virginie Waechter-Larrondo

Plea for Adapting and Embedding Survey Methods in the Field, Example of Research on Changes in Local Public Services: Beginning with a distinction between theory and methodological practice, this article attempts to show, on the basis of a case study, the advantages of two types of methodological operations: adapting and embedding survey methods in the field. The description and the justification of procedures developed by these methodological operations will lead me to the discussion of the conditions of validity and use of certain methods of scientific investigation : classic methods — observations, interviews, etc. — or more uncommon — action research-intervention, scenarios method. I will also show the triple advantage of methodological adaptation and field embeddedness: permitting the research to translate his or her subject and objectives into terms compatible with the type of intended intelligibility; to permit access to field work that can prove to be fruitful for both the research and the actors; construct a research format adapted to the actors’ experience and permitting the translation of the researcher’s abstract questioning into terms compatible with this experience. Methodological Practice, Methodological Procedures, Adaptions, Embeddedness, Scenarios Method.

N. 88


Karl M. van Meter

To encourage an ongoing research project on survey interviewers, the BMS publishes here an overview of the extensive research on the subject that has appeared in the BMS over the past twenty years. While requesting contributions — particularly from the vast survey methodology experience of colleagues in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States — we share preliminary results from a detailed French study which made a statistical analysis of interviewer performance and followed up with direct face-to-face interviews with interviewers whose “statistical profile” was far from “standard”. The interviews with these interviewers provide a surprising description of the survey business milieu. Interviewers, Surveys, Literature Review, Survey Business.


N. 89, January 2006


Patrick Che, Jean-Pierre Pagès

Absence of rigor in opinion polls, Lessons learned from experience: The authors statictically analyze data collected during a 2003 CAPI (computer-assisted personal interview) public opinion poll of 2,520 persons. Interviewer data collection is examined for number of interviews, lenght of interviews, response modality use and time between interviews. This analysis identifies a number of interviewers whose data production raises certain questions. Far from placing responsibility only on interviewers, the authors critique certain practices in polling that encourage the production of low-quality data. Opinion Polls, Interviewer Behavior, Data Quality.

N. 89


Fabienne Pagès, Marianne Tribel, Alexis Bonis-Charancle

Indelicate Behavior and Lack of Rigor in Polling, Investigation Among Polling Professionals: Following statistical controls concerning the French EDF electricity board’s « Énergie et nucléaire » opinion poll survey (see references 1, 2 and 3), EDF decided to complete the study with an investigation among polling professionals to clarify observed data anomalies and to begin to understand how to remedy these anomalies. The authors were guided by these anomalies in conducting their interviews with survey interviewers. The dark picture which emerges from this study may be more somber than the real situation since polling professionals were encouraged to identify insufficiencies in the polling process they had witnessed during their work (with different institutions), particularly over the past few years. Certain of these insufficiencies reflect an increasing lack of rigor on the part of polling firm clients and the polling firms themselves. Opinion Polls, Polling Industry, Interviewers, Data Quality, Clients of Polling Firms.

N. 89


Johannes van der Zouwen

The explanation of behavior requires the use of subjective concepts like opinions and attitudes. For the measurement of these non-directly observable concepts, strict standardization of the process of question answering is necessary. If interviewers have to be used to ensure a proper process of data collection, these interviewers may also hamper the standardization. Is the interviewer an indispensable help to researcher and respondent, or a difficult obstacle for obtaining unbiased and comparable answers? To answer this question, transcripts of survey interviews have been analyzed; especially the methods interviewers use to repair inadequate answers of respondents. The outcome of this analysis, and insights gained from cybernetics, make clear that it is ineffective to strongly standardize repair behavior of the interviewers. The analysis also points at the mutual relationship between interviewer and survey researcher: the survey researcher, when constructing the questionnaire and giving instructions about appropriate ‘repair’ behavior may also be a help or a hindrance for the interviewer. Standardized Interview, Personal Interview, “Repair” by Interviewers.

N. 89


[BMS Editorial Committee]

Many members of the International Sociological Association’s RC33, Research Committee “Logic and Methodology”, contributed information and contacted other interested researchers to have them contribute to this “interviewer/data quality” thematic issue. Several contributions of different types from France, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands are included below. Interviewers, Data Quality, Research Resources.


N. 90, April 2006


Laurent Lesnard, Thibaut de Saint Pol

Introduction to Optimal Matching Analysis: This paper provides an introduction to a new statistical technique for describing sequences: Optimal Matching Analysis (OMA). Borrowed from biology, this technique is based on rather simple principles that can be adapted to suit the theoretical requirements of different analyses. Since OMA is not based on any causal assumptions, it is particularly well-adapted for sociologists who retemporalize action by analyzing it as a process. Two applications of Optimal Matching to time-use data are proposed to demonstrate its flexibility and also its sociological interest. Optimal Matching Analysis, Sequences, Epistemology, Dining, Temporality of Evening Meal, Work Schedules.

N. 90


Lilli Japec

This article is the introduction to a thesis with the same title (done at the Department of Statistics of the University of Stockholm) which deals with some of the issues associated with the quality in interview surveys. The interviewer has many tasks, and some of them are extremely error-prone. The author describes some general themes and how these are usually handled. She also suggests some new approaches and ideas for further work, both when it comes to gaining cooperation and when it comes to doing a good job in administering the question-answer process. She also evaluates a specific procedure to reduce nonresponse errors in interview surveys in terms of costs and error reduction. Survey Data Quality, Survey Interviewers, Survey Cooperation, Survey Nonresponse.

N. 90


Magdalini Dargentas, Mathieu Brugidou, Dominique Le-Roux, Annie-Claude Salomon

Report on the International Symposium: Secondary Analysis in Qualitative Research. Utopia and Perspective?: Qualitative secondary analysis is a new field of research in France. A symposium on this issue was organized by the group CAPAS and held in Grenoble (MSH-Alpes) on the 3rd and 4th of November 2005. The following issues were discussed: state of the art in qualitative research with interviews in social and human sciences; Anglo-Saxon and French practices of secondary analysis; ethical, legal and methodological questions regarding archiving and secondary analysis of interviews; epistemological questions. Qualitative Research, Interviews, Secondary Analysis, Archiving, Ethical and Legal Issues, Tools and Software for Secondary Analysis, Methods.

N. 90


Patricia A. Gwartney, Anthony V. Silvaggio

The authors are preparing an essay that will introduce non-economists to contingent valuation (CV) – a survey method developed by economists to estimate prices for environmental assets. Here, they present the CV method with references in the scieitific literature describing its development and evolution. Contingent Valuation (CV), Environmental Economics, Survey Research.


N. 91, July 2006


Homero Martínez

International Federation of Science Editors (IFSE), associated with UNESCO, organized its twelfth conference in October 2004 in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. A debate among the organizers resulted in an opening toward the social sciences which had not been represented up until then. The following three articles constituted the first IFSE social science session. IFSE, Scientific Editing, Social Sciences.

N. 91

Editing a Normal Science Journal in Social Science

Linton C. Freeman

This paper displays some differences between “normal science” journals in fields like physics and chemistry and those in “non-normal science” fields in the social sciences. It shows that one journal, Social Networks, looks more like a normal science journal than a typical social science journal. I argue that the normal science properties of social network research stem from its use of both graphic images and mathematical models and from the availability of computers that permit the analysis of relatively complex data structures. Normal Science, Social Sciences, Social Network Analysis, Scientific Journals.

N. 91


H. Russell Bernard

Social sciences should be included in every IFSE conference because social science is now, and has always been, real science, including both the production of basic knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into technologies that have real impact on people’s lives. The historical development of several social science methods, including probability theory and regression, provide examples of these developments that have always been both quantitative and qualitative. Social Science Methods, History of Science, Qualitative and Quantitative Methods.

N. 91


Karl M. van Meter

There are only two types of major authors who survive in such a new and competitive field of scientific development as early sociological AIDS research. The “artists” survive by publishing in successive, more-or-less neighboring specialties, probably associated with newly available financial or institutional resources. They also appear to change co-authors comparatively often. On the other hand, “heavy weights” dominate a specific specialty closely associated with mainstream scientific developments which are therefore assured of financial and institutional backing. They appear to change co-authors relatively less frequently. These results, based on co-word analysis can be compared with the results of divers other methods of sociological analysis of scientific literature which tend to show that there are two types of world sociology, that there are multiple, not unique, scientific elites, and that there are different national sociologies which can be compared for content and structure. Scientific Literature, Scientific Publishing, Scientific Careers, Co-Word Analysis, Comparing National Sociologies.


N. 92, October 2006

An Inquiry into the Efficacy of a Complementary Training Session for Telephone Survey Interviewers

Claire Durand, Marie-Eve Gagnon, Christine Doucet, Eric Lacourse

This article presents an experiment in which a short cognitive training session was given at the private pollster conducting the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey of 14,000 people. Overall, 79 interviewers worked on the project for a total of 2,436 interviewer-days, interviewers worked a maximum of 65 days, and the survey was in the field for 109 days. We devised a one-hour training session that focused on knowledge acquisition in two areas: sampling and selection within household, and reasons for refusals. The evolution of interviewers’ daily performance, analyzed using group-based trajectory analysis, allowed us to identify low (n=25) and high (n=42) performers two weeks before training. The training session was aimed at low performers and newly hired interviewers. Among these, all the interviewers working on training day (n=18) attended one of the three training sessions. The impact of the training was assessed in three areas: knowledge acquisition and attitudes (through a post-training questionnaire two weeks later), retention, and performance. The results show that trained interviewers a) felt that the training helped them understand sampling and the reasons for refusals b) were more likely than high performers to feel that their performance had improved since the beginning of the project, c) were likely to go on working on the project after training longer than the control group, and d) improved their performance by .04 per day after training, compared with .015 per day before training, almost reaching the performance of high performers. Survey, Interviewer, Training, Performance, Retention, Growth Model, Multilevel Analysis.

N. 92

Integrating Exchange and Heuristic Theories of Survey Nonresponse1

John Goyder, Luc Boyer, Guil Martinelli

Interest in theorizing about survey nonresponse has accelerated over the past decade. Scholars such as Dillman, Groves and Couper have drawn from across the social sciences to extract conceptual schemes for why people decide to accept or decline requests for surveys. With the conceptual enrichment, however, has come complexity and some confusion. Beginning with analysis of current usage in articles on survey nonresponse in leading journals, the relationship between social exchange theory and the theory of psychological heuristics for compliance is examined using a two-dimensional conceptual scheme. Building on work by Groves and Couper, one dimension is defined as “amount of decision-making.” This helps locate the heuristic interpretation of response decisions. The second dimension, termed “strength of cultural factors,” clarifies the different varieties of social exchange theory that pertain to response behaviour. Viewed thus, it becomes clear that one source of confusion in theorizing about survey nonresponse is the heterogeneity of the various approaches which gather under the umbrella term “social exchange.” At the most general level, social exchange is the background landscape behind most theorizing about survey nonresponse, but once defined more specifically a fit into one or another quadrant within the two-dimensional conceptual scheme becomes possible. Theories of Survey Nonresponse, Surveys, Exchange Theory, Heuristic Theory.

N. 92

Brève sociographie du SECOND Congrès de l’AFS – Bordeaux septembre 2006

Gérard Boudesseul

Brief Socio-Graph of the Second AFS Congress in Bordeaux in September 2006: In January 2005, the BMS published three different articles using four different methods to analyze the abstracts of presentations at the First Congress of the Association Française de Sociologie (AFS). Here a preliminary analysis with two différent methods is done of the abstracts of presentations made at the Second Congress of the AFS. French Sociology, Text Analysis, Alceste, Trideux.


N. 93, January 2007

Quelles temporalités travaillent les entretiens biographiques rétrospectifs ?

Didier Demazière

What Temporalities Are at Work in Retrospective Biographical Interviews?: Open and indepth biographical interviews are material which can take into account the temporalities of individual trajectories. But that contribution answers to epistemological, theoretical and methodological conditions very different from those that govern the use of closed questionnaires and precoded chronological agendas. Discursive material, as such interviews, is highly specific. The interviewee is the principal source of information selection, the recounted episodes are presented from a subjective point of view, and the recounted events are interpreted. Thus the temporality of biographical accounts cannot be disassociated from the narrative process. On the other hand, the intrigue construction of one’s personal history presupposes the production of a temporal framework. The latter is at the same time a construction of coherence and a construction of perspective concerning the account of a trajectory. It is intelligible at the crossing points of chronological chains of events (the articulation of sequences coherently constructed) and temporal resolutions (exits from sequences that are part of the perspective). This grammar is tested against a corpus of accounts of entering the labor market made by youths with few academic qualifications. It is schematized as four temporal forms called destiny or vocation, repetition or fatality, opportunities or projects, rupture or mourning. Each of these four forms covers various trajectories from the point of view of social status and position which are worked over, compared, interpreted during the interview. Finally, by showing how narrative production necessarily implies the construction of a temporal form, this proposed procedure calls for a plurality of sociological or scientific categorizations of biographical time adapted to the characteristics of the empirical material analyzed. Biographical Interviews, Temporalities, Professional Trajectories, Chronotopes, Temporal Grammars.

N. 93

La conceptualisation en sociologie : influences paradigmatiques et implications méthodologiques. L’exemple de la notion de risque dans le sport

B. Soulé, J. Corneloup

Conceptualization in Sociology: Paradigmatic Influences and Methodological Implications: Such a seemingly self-apparent notion as “risky sports” is widely used in social science literature. Through the in-depth analysis of this term, the purpose of this article is to examine a crucial step of the sociological research process: definition of concepts. After having underlined simplifications and paradoxes inherent in the common sense use of this term, we present an overview of its scientific uses and definitions. Some terminological difficulties soon appear, along with differing points of view and plural available conceptualizations. The critical, structural, subjectivist, culturalist, and systemic approaches can thus be differentiated. The choice made between these options entail methodological consequences that are also discussed. Two epistemological positions can eventually be adopted. On one hand, one can be in favour of the abandon of such a category, on account of its intrinsic shakiness, and because it is merely impossible to reach by consensus the one and only definition of “risky sports”. On the other hand, one can acknowledge the polythetic nature of this term. The latter will then be easily observed through the specific constructions of “risky sports”, as a scientific object, according to each research problematics. Conceptualization, Hazards, Risky Sports.

N. 93


Karl M. van Meter, Mathilde de Saint Leger

Following the publication in the BMS, and since then in a book, of our analysis of all the abstracts of the first congress of the AFS in 2004 with the Calliope method, we carry out a first analysis of the abstracts of all the presentations made at the second congress of the AFS in Bordeaux in September 2006. The results of the analyses of the two corpuses are compared, revealing a stable structure for both congresses and a complex interplay between the key words Women and Work. Structure of Sociology, Co-Word Analysis, Calliope, Association française de sociologie.

N. 93

Researching Informal Education: A Preliminary Mapping

Erik H. Cohen

Factorial correspondence analysis and smallest space analysis are applied to an original data set on informal education. Despite its widespread use, long history and growing importance in the postmodern era, little theoretical or cumulative research exists on informal education. Multi-dimensional data analysis techniques are applied to a literature survey of research on informal education to classify and to organize the content issues and methods identified. A “structural state of the art” of recent research on informal education is presented, allowing a preliminary mapping of the field. Factorial Correspondence Analysis, Smallest Space Analysis, Informal Education.


N. 94, April 2007

Une autre manière de construire des milieux sociaux ? Pourquoi ? Comment ?

Monique Dalud-Vincent, Odile Rissoan, Rachel Gasparini

Another Way for Constructing Social Milieus? Why and How?: A secondary analysis of the INSEE “Education and Family” survey led us to rethinking the construction of social milieus (and sub-milieus) based on the French PCS social-professional categories and professions of a child’s six parents and grandparents in an attempt to better explain child/parents relations. The milieus are characterized by a particular homogeneity/heterogeneity (equivalence/non-equivalence of PCS’s). The sub-milieus are the decomposition of different milieus according to social origins (using the PCS’s). Social Milieus, Sub-Milieus, Homogeneity, PCS Social-Professional Categories and Professions, Parents/Child Relations.

N. 94

Les “défaillances de la mémoire” dans les enquêtes de victimation

Jean-Paul Grémy

“Memory Defficiencies” in Victimization Surveys: Responses in retrospective surveys are subject to different biaises associated largely with problems of memory recall. In victimaziation surveys, it is necessary to provide exact dates for the events mentioned. Among errors of date by respondents, Wesley G. Skogan distinguished three forms of chronological displacement (telescoping). On the basis of two victimization surveys in France, it is possible to show evidence for two of these forms (backward telescoping towards the reference period and forward telescoping within the period of reference), but not for the third (forward telescoping toward the period of reference). However, a more detailed analysis of one of these surveys reveals the possible influence of the seasonal variation of delinquency on the survey responses. Retrospective Surveys, Victimization Surveys, Measures of Delinquency, Biais, Memory Recall.

N. 94

Toutes choses égales par ailleurs – Comparer deux congrès de l’Association française de sociologie

Didier Torny, Patrick Trabal

All Things Otherwise Equal, Comparing Two Congresses of the French Sociological Association: This article analyzes the corpus of the 1,190 summaries of the French Sociologicial Association congress (Bordeaux, 2006) from a comparative point of view. It is focused on the multiple means and significances of a comparative study by mobilizing three approaches. The first aims at questioning the permanence of the summaries’ authors and of the congress thematic organization. The second mobilizes certain Prospéro software algorithms to identify the more remarkable lexical and semantic variations. Finally, we continue the study certain objects whose heuristic value has been shown in our preceding analyses. Questioning comparative work, we show, at the same time, how the software provides a cognitive economy and empowers the interpretative inquiry of social scientists. French Sociology, Comparative Method, Text Analysis, Prospéro.

N. 94

Un Vert, ça va. Dix Verts, bonjour les débats !

Pascal Marchand

One Green, That’s OK. Ten Greens, Hello the Debate! [a play on words associated with a French anti-alcohol slogan: “Un verre, ça va. Trois verres, bonjour les dégats”!, One glass (of wine), that’s OK. Three glasses, hello the damage!]. A textometric analysis is applied to the corpus of the political declarations favorable to the Pacte écologique of Nicolas Hulot by ten of French 2007 presidential candidates. Different utilizations of the notion of “generalized type” (Tgen) converge toward two forms of discourse which differentiates the speakers. Lexicometry, Generalized Types, 2007 French Presidential Elections, Ecology.


N. 95, July 2007

Interviewer and Respondent Survey Quality Effects in a CATI Panel

Oliver Lipps

Especially in panel surveys, respondent attrition, respondent learning, and interviewer experience effects play a crucial role with respect to data quality. We examine three interview survey quality indicators in the same survey in a cross sectional as well as in a longitudinal way. In the cross sectional analysis we compare data quality in the mature original sample with that in a refreshment sample, surveyed in the same wave. Because in the same wave an interviewer survey was conducted, collecting attitudes on their socio demography, survey attitudes and burden measures, we are able to consider interviewer fixed effects as well. The longitudinal analysis gives more insight in the respondent learning effects with respect to the quality indicators considered by considering the very same respondents across waves. The Swiss Household Panel, a CATI survey representative of the Swiss residential population, forms an ideal modelling database: the interviewer – respondent assignment is random, both within and across waves. This design avoids possible confusion with other effects stemming from a non-random assignment of interviewers, e.g. area effects or effects from assigning the best interviewers to the hard cases. In order to separate interviewer, respondent and wave effects, we build cross-classified multilevel models. Survey Data Quality, Centralised CATI, Random Assignment, Longitudinal Effects, Cross-Classified Multilevel, Interviewer Effects, Respondent Effects.

N. 95


Véronique Dupéré, Éric Lacourse, Frank Vitaro, Richard E. Tremblay

Longitudinal Methods Based on Individual Development Trajectories – Parametric and Non Parametric Mixed Models: Generalized linear mixed models encompass a variety of modern longitudinal analytic approaches based on individual developmental trajectories. These models overcome many important problems inherent to other traditional analysis of longitudinal data. They all rely on two basic levels: the lower one express, through a set of parameters, the individual pattern of change over time (within-individual change), whereas the upper level captures the variations between these parameters describing individual trajectories (between-individual differences in change). However, other characteristics distinguish different sorts of mixed models, such as their assumptions concerning the distribution of the trajectories within the population. This introductory article presents the basic linear mixed model assuming a normal distribution of the unobserved heterogeneity, and the nonparametric mixture model that relies on a discrete approximation of the unobserved heterogeneity. Before comparing these two models, the first section of the article gives a general description of the notion of individual developmental trajectories. Mixed Models, Multilevel Models, Developmental Trajectories, Distributional Assumptions, Continuous Latent Variable, Discrete Latent Variable.

N. 95

Compte rendu succinct de l’analyse du Congrès de l’AISLF (Tours 2004)

Christian Roy

Succinct Report on the Analysis of the AISLF Congress (Tour 2004): Following the line of work of the January 2005 issue of the BMS (n. 85, based on the analysis of the abstracts of the February 2004 Association Française de Sociologie Congress), we try to demonstrate the optimal use that can be made of text analysis software in human sciences. But in this case, we use the reports from the most recent meeting ot the Association Internationale des Sociologues de Langue Française (AISLF) in July 2004. We use the ALCESTE software in a first step to extract a maximum of “terminal”lexical classes (15 in this case). The second step uses the stages of ALCESTE’s hierarchically descending classification analysis to examine the possible origins of these successive partitions. French Sociology, AISLF, Text Analysis, ALCESTE, Correspondence Analysis.

N. 95

Sensibilité du chaos aux conditions extérieures

Jean-François Gazeau

Sensitivity of Chaos to External Conditions: Using the example provided by Guy Tchibozo in the BMS (n. 74, 2002), the author uses simulation methods to study the results of various initial conditions for the model, showing the the results can be chaotic or stable depending to specific parameters. Simulation in Sociology, Unstable and Chaotic Results, Stability, Model Parameters.


N. 96, October 2007

Questionnaire Pretesting Methods: Do Different Techniques and Different Organizations Produce Similar Results?

Jennifer Rothgeb, Gordon Willis

During the past 15 years there has been a significant increase in the use of novel forms of questionnaire pretesting. Various evaluation techniques have been evaluated and the strengths and weaknesses identified. Limited research has been conducted about the effectiveness of cognitive interviews in ameliorating questionnaire problems. However, this research has not allowed for separating effects of pretesting method from effects of the organization applying these methods. The objective of our research was to determine how various methods, applied across three survey research organizations (The Census Bureau, Westat, Inc., and Research Triangle Institute), were found to predict problems. For this research, multiple researchers within each organization applied three pretesting methods (informal expert review, a formal cognitive appraisal system, and cognitive interviewing) to three questionnaires, according to a Latin Square-based experimental design. A classification scheme was developed to code problems identified through all methods. The problems detected by each pretesting method and organization were quantitatively compared. We will present results about the degree of agreement between organizations and between methods. We will make conclusions about the utility and appropriateness of each method, and the degree to which the results are common and systematic, as opposed to haphazard and organization-specific. Pretesting Methods Evaluation, Cognitive Interviewing, Expert Review, Cognitive Appraisal System, Question Testing.

N. 96

Elaboration d’un ludogramme pour les sports sous forme de duel

Stéphane Méry

Construction a Sports Ludogram as a Form of Duel: Playing a sport is not anodine; it is the result of a symbolic representation of that sport. Studying the gestures of a player during a match, before or after wining a point, after an adversary’s double faut or after a final winning point, can reveal that social symbolism by other than traditional methods. Sports reveal intense manifestations of emotions and how is one to account for thedifferent modes of these emotional manifestations in relation to the stages of a match? Tennis, table tennis, field tennis, badminton and volleyball serve as our research terrain. We explain the development followed in constructing a methodologic tools to data collection called the ludogram. Ludogram, Sports, Observation, Methodology, Tennis, Terrain, Gestures.

N. 96

Comparaison et influence de deux méthodes de recueil de données différentes sur les résultats globaux d’une enquête quantitative

Gérard Creux

Comparison and Influence of Two Data Collection Methods on the Results of a Quantitative Survey: This article proposes to analyze and compare two sets of data obtained from the same survey questionnaireits by two different methods. In the framework of our research on social workers which includes a quantitative aspect, we used the Internet as a data collection tools along with the more classic method of sending out a questionnaire by mail. This article proposes to consider the different aspects to comparison possible based on a concrete analysis to the two sets of data obtained from the two samples according to a specific variable associated with our research topic. Then, based on a comparative analysis, we examine the cumulative consequences of the mail questionnaire and the Internet questionnaire data and their implications for our research. We also show how the origin of the data can or cannot influence research results. Data Collection, Online Questionnaires, Comparisons, Samples, Questionnaire Modes.


N. 97, January 2008

La méthodologie des sondages électoraux de l’élection présidentielle française de 2007, chroniques d’un problème récurrent

Claire Durand

Election Poll Methodology and the 2007 French Presidential Elections – Chronicle of a Recurring Problem: The 2002 presidential election polls will be remembered for a long time because their error in predictions had dramatic consequences. What influence did those elections have on French opinion poll research and was it able to revise its methods? Was it able to improve its voting estimates? Research has shown that French polls are now more able to distinguish between voting for the left and the right than in 2002. However, French polls have not improved their capability to estimate intentions to vote for major candidates. The discrepancies between means for twelve polls published during the last week before voting vary from 1.8 points for Royal to 3.2 points for Sarkozy and 3.8 points for Le Pen. These results show that the estimation error for Le Pen is the same in 2007 as in 2002, but in the opposite direction. As in 2002, samples were biased concerning level of education – strong under-representation of the less educated – as well as for voting profile – strong non-declaration of voting for Le Pen. One can thus conclude that the problem of estimating the extreme right vote remains in its entirety and that polling institute methods have not changed greatly. Cooperation between the institutes and researchers should permit further explanations and possible solutions. Voting Polls, Estimation Methods, Sampling, France, 2002 Elections, 2007 Elections.

N. 97


Karl M. van Meter, Mathilde de Saint Léger

A system of text analysis by co-occurrence of key words, Calliope, is applied to the 2006 data set of daily headlines and titles of media reports on international political and “parapolitical” events produced by the journal, Intelligence. These political (publicly avowed use of political power) and parapolitical (unavowed use of policital power) developments are divided into three successive four-month periods, each producing a two-dimensional “strategic digram” with a centrality and a density axis. Graphs over time of “emerging” and “declining” key words are also produced. These results permit an original and intriguing analysis and interpretation of these 2006 events. Text Analysis, International Politics, Parapolitics, Calliope, Co-Word Analysis.

N. 97

Analyser les pratiques discursives en sciences sociales : Journée d’études du CEDITEC à l’Université Paris XII, le 27 avril 2007

Johannes Angermüller, Laurent Jeanpierre, Caroline Ollivier-Yaniv

Analyzing discursive practices in social science – The CEDITEC symposium at the University Paris XII on 27 April 2007: This symposium was organized around the question of the convergence between discourse analysis and certain currents of qualitative social science. The symposium was divided into two parts: “Ethnography, Field Work, Actor”, what happens when social actors express themselves during surveys; and “Lexicometry, Corpus, Announcement”, concerning certain analytical, conceptual et technical tools generated by the sciences of language, and, in particular, text analysis software and its use in current sociology. Discourse Analysis, Text Analysis, Interviews, Sciences of Language, Sociology.

N. 97

The International Conference on Methodology of Longitudinal Surveys (MOLS), 12-14 July 2006

Peter Lynn

On 12-14 July 2006, at the University of Essex, Peter Lynn, with the UK Longitudinal Studies Centre and the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS), organized the International Conference on Methodology of Longitudinal Surveys (MOLS 2006). The BMS has collected material from the Web sites of MOLS 2006 and the International Statistical Institute, of which the IASS is a section, to constitute this conference report. MOLS 2006, Longitudinal Surveys, Panels, Longitudinal Analysis.


N. 98, April 2008

Harmonisation of Demographic and Socio-Economic Variables in Cross-National Survey Research

Jürgen H. P. Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik

The aim of the present paper is to demonstrate how demographic and socio-economic variables in cross-national comparative survey research can be harmonised. After a short introduction discussing the difference between translation and harmonisation, the path from a national concept and structure to an internationally-applicable measurement instrument is traced using the education variable as an example. Cross-national Surveys, Harmonisation of Variables, Education Variables.

N. 98

Etude des opinions partagées dans des situations relationnelles variées : méthodologie des multi-appartenances

Sophie Taze

The Study of Shared Opinions in Varied Relational Situations – The Multiple-Association Methodology: This article examines the manner in which actors manage to form an opinion concerning certain aspects of AIDS, supposing that opinions are the product of interaction and not isolated acts. Cognitive and normative references are involved, but in societies of cultural diversity, an actor can be associated with different reference systems. Thus, we have adopted a structural approach for developing a theoretical model and a research protocol to study the (trans)formation of actor opinions associated with different relational contexts. The communicational convergence model we have adopted has led us to a survey tool capable of collecting information on actor opinions and the relational processes that produced them by comparing an actor’s opinions formulated in two different situations. The data were analyzed at the individual level, at the dyade level and at the triad level, showing the influence of socio-metric structures on the versatility of opinions. Communicational Convergence, Multiple Associations, Cognitive Heterogeneity, Structural Relations, Opinion Versatility.

N. 98

L’utilisation du différenciateur sémantique en sociologie pour appréhender des facteurs agissant sur le choix des pratiques sportives

Stéphane Méry

Using the Semantic Differenciator in Sociology to Understand the Active Factors in the Choice of Playing Sports: Surveys using different questionnaires are quite common in sociology, but indirect questioning is less common. Osgood’s semantic differenciator is one of the lesser-used tools. It employs a set of questions with word oppositions that the respondent judges according to a given stimulus. Initially used in psychology and marketing, it can be used in sociology. We show its use and the different possibilities of presenting results, along with multiple suggestions concerning its utilisation. It is applied in a study of sociology of sports students’ and players’ representation of five sports. Semantic Differenciator, Methodology, Stimuli, Representation, Sports, Players, Questionnaires.

N. 98

Jeunes, génération numérique et sondage en ligne – L’exemple de deux enquêtes conduites auprès de jeunes québécois

Jacques Hamel, Gabriel Doré, Christian Méthot

Youth, Digital Generation and Online Surveys – The Example of Two Surveys Among Young Quebecois: After a brief presentation of the technical aspects of online surveys, the authors evaluate the advantages and disadvantages by using two online surveys: one on professional and social integration of the digital generation in the “new economy”; the other on college and university student values concerning sociological studies, social work and medecin. The authors ask whether or not this survey method can encourage young people’s participation in sociological surveys because of their familiarity with the new information technologies. Should researchers be encouraged to use such online surveys in order to obtain youth participation in sociological research? Youth, Digital Generation, Online Surveys, Sampling Methodology, Sociological Surveys, Response Rates, Likert Scales.


N. 99, July 2008

Characteristics of Personality and Identity in Population Surveys: AN Approache for operationalisATION and USE to explain life satisfaction

Max Haller, Bernadette Müller

Characteristics of identity and personality are usually not included in sociological studies. Questions of this sort are considered as belonging to the domain of psychology. However, sociology can also develop research instruments to operationalise them in a short and efficient way. This article, based on a representative Austrian population survey, shows that (1) it is possible to grasp such characteristics with relatively simple instruments, and (2) characteristics of personality and identity can explain a considerable amount of the variance in life satisfaction. Specific scales were developed and used to capture the “Big Five” personality factors, as well as four aspects of the self and eleven aspects of social identity. Big Five, Personnality Traits, Representative Surveys, Life Satisfaction.

N. 99

Une approche réticulaire de la dynamique temporaire dans les narrations biographiques

Carlos Lozares, Joan Miquel Verd

Reticulated Approach to Temporal Dynamics in Biographic Narratives: This article proposes a specific approach to the analysis of biographic narratives by means of using the social networks perspective. More specifically, and more than other analyses, network formalisation can be used to capture the episodic memory present in narratives. To do so, the notions of environment/episode and of narrative passage are used to connect those features focused on the interaction and the dynamic dimension of narratives. The proposed procedure is illustrated by analyzing a fragment of a narrative interview. Biographic Narratives, Social Network Analysis, Narrative Passages, Network Text Analysis, Network Discourse Analysis, Social-Personal Networks.

N. 99

Political Protest and Power Distance: Towards a Typology of Political Participation

Erik H. Cohen, José Valencia

Analyses of data regarding political protest collected in the World Values Survey are conducted to create a typology of non-institutional political participation in various nations. In a Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) of items related to political protest, a clear structure is found in one dimension, moving from the least involved and least demanding form of activity to the most involved and most demanding. In a two-dimensional SSA, the item “attended a lawful demonstration” emerges as the inflexion point differentiating between types of participation. Multidimensional Partial Order Scalogram Analysis (MPOSAC) indicates how countries of low, medium and high power distance are located in a two-dimensional structure. This typology of nations is considered in relation to Hofstede’s concept of power distance. Political Protest, Power Distance, Multidimensional Partial Order Scalogram Analysis, Smallest Space Analysis.

N. 99

CARME-N – Correspondence Analysis and Related Methods Network, CARME 2007

Jörg Blasius, Michael Greenacre, Patrick Groenen, Michel van de Velden

In May 1991, a first correspondence analyse conference was organized in Cologne. Since then, three other such conferences have been organized and the Correspondence Analysis and Related Methods Network (CARME-N) has been established. The fifth conference took place in June 2007 in Rotterdam. Correspondence Analysis, Conferences, CARME-N.


N. 100, October 2008


Karl M. van Meter

The BMS started publishing in October 1983 and, one hundred issues later, we look at previous attempts to analyze the content the journal’s research articles. With this issue, we analyze all the research articles and ongoing research reports published in issue 1 to issue 99 with four different methods: Calliope co-occurrence of key word analysis; a descending (Alceste) and an ascending hierarchical classification analysis; and Trideux correspondence analysis. The results of these four analyses – published in this issue of the BMS – are commented and compared between themselves, and compared with the previous analyses of BMS content. BMS, Calliope, Alceste, Trideux, Thematic Content Analysis, Analysis of Scientific Literature, Bibliometrics.

N. 100

Comment ont évolué les thématiques des 99 premiers numeros de BMS ? Analyse àVEC UN logiciel de fouille de texte

Mathilde de Saint Leger

How have the themes of the first 99 issues of the BMS evolved, An analysis with a text-mining software: The titles, abstracts (in French) and key words (in French) of the 315 articles published in issues 1 to 99 of the BMS from 1983 to 2008 were divided into three periods: 1983-1992 (85 articles), 1993-2000 (119 articles) and 2001-2008 (111 articles). These three corpora were individually analyzed with Calliope, an analysis by co-occurrence of key words in units of text, which produces thematic clusters. It also constructs strategic diagrams, which show the general thematic structure of each period with its axes of density (ties within a thematic cluster) and centrality (external ties between clusters). These diagrams, and those of the more dominant clusters, are presented along with their interpretation. BMS, Text analysis, Calliope, Co-Word Analysis, Bibliometrics.

N. 100

Un quart de siècle de méthodologie – L’émergence du longitudinal,  des réseaux et  de la statistique textuelle

Gérard Boudesseul

A Quarter of a Century of Methodology – The Emergence of Longitudinal Analysis, Social Networks and Textual Statistics: Using the titles, abstracts and key words (in French) of the 318 articles in the BMS, issues 1 to 99, the author analyzes this corpus with hierarchically ascending and descending classification programs and with factoral correspondence analysis. With the results of these three methods, he describes in detail five major thematic classes: Survey Situation, Longitudinal Analysis, Social Network Analysis, Theoretical Debate and Textual Analysis. Their interrelationship and evolution over time is also described. BMS, Classification Analysis, Factorial Correspondence Analysis, Thematic Evolution, Bibliometrics.

N. 100


European Research Evaluation Fever in the Social Sciences: After hitting Germany recently, the European fever of evaluating research in the social sciences has hit France with the classification of research journals by the official AERES. This dossier of the BMS consists of three contirbutions concerning bibliometrics, evaluation and the recent AERES classification. We reprint the “Introduction” of the research report byYves Gingras (UQAM), “Research Evaluation Fever – Bad Use of False Indicators”. We then publish a report by Laurence Coutrot (CMH-CNRS), “On the Recent Use of Bibliometric Indicators as Evaluation Tools in Scientific Research”, concerning the recent CNRS meeting on the question of bibliometrics. This is followed by a report prepared by François Briatta (ANCMSP). The French Agency for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (AERES) recently published journal rankings in the human and social sciences. This document compares AERES rankings for francophone journals in sociology/demography and political science with two former rankings, by Philippe Jeannin and by the authors of a CNRS-sponsored “Periodicals study” respectively. We first observe that the threefold classification used in each ranking resorts to different criteria, in such a way that no methodological consensus seems to emerge from the comparison. The rankings themselves are starkly heterogeneous: in political science, only 11 journals appear in the two compared rankings, only eight of them with the same rank. In sociology/demography, 26 “ranking agreements” and 17 divergent rankings are observed within the range of comparable journals. Bibliometrics, Research Evaluation, France, CNRS, AERES.

La fièvre de l’évaluation de la recherche – Du mauvais usage de faux indicateurs

Yves Gingras

N. 100

Sur l’usage récent des indicateurs bibliométriques comme outil d’évaluation de la recherche scientifique

Laurence Coutrot

N. 100


François Briatte


N. 101, January 2009

Extraction de réseaux égocentrés dans un (très grand) réseau social

Christophe Prieur, Alina Stoica, Zbigniew Smoreda

Extracting Ego-Centered Networks From Very Large Social Networks: This article presents a method at the intersection of macro and micro approaches in social networks. In examining ego-centered network, it proposes an approach to this type of study for very large networks. The calculation of several local indicators makes it possible to create aggregate statistics for each of the nodes of the network, which can then be seen as a corpus of ego-centered networks. An application is made on a network of telephone conversations between two million people, and a comparison is made with a classic ego-centered network study, based on an ethnographic research project. Social Networks, Ego-Centered Networks, Large Social Networks, Density, Communication Networks, Macro versus Micro, Qualitative Approaches [a corrected machine translation in English of this article is available on request from].

N. 101

A Behavioural Approach to Ranking Academic Departments by Prestige: The Case of Sociology in English-Speaking Canada

John Goyder

Academic prestige has, due to the 21st century culture of declining survey co-operation, become harder to measure accurately using reputational surveys. Even if the high nonresponse on a survey of professors were ignorable in terms of bias, the credibility of such a survey would be challenged. Within sociology, citation index counts are not as useful an alternative as in more consensual and article-based disciplines such as economics. Sociologists publish in an immense variety of outlets, with much of the most important work appearing in books. Reported herein is a behavioural approach to academic prestige, based on each department’s profile of doctoral orgins of staff members (termed a broad by fuzzy approach) and on dominance within the hiring exchange matrix (giving a narrow but clearer reading). The case study is departments of sociology within English-speaking Canada. Academic Prestige, Reputational Surveys, Departments of Sociology, Doctoral Origins, Hirings, Canada.

N. 101

L’opinion et ses PUBLICS : Une approche pragmatiste de l’opinion publique

Mathieu Brugidou

The Public Opinion and Its Audiences – A Pragmatic Approach to Public Opinion: That is the title of a recently published book by Mathieu Brugidou, with a preface by Nonna Mayer (Presses de Sciences Po, 2008), in the series “Sociétés en mouvement”. With the presentation of this book by its author, the BMS opens a file and a debate on public opinion research which will soon be followed by other contributions. Public Opinion, Research Methods, Public Debates, Public Controversies.

N. 101

Applications de la théorie des jeux à l’éducation : pour quels types et niveaux d’éducation, quels modèles, quels résultats ?

Christelle Garrouste, Massimo Loi

Applications of Game Theory in Education – What Types and At What Levels: This paper examines the use of game theory in educational sciences. It describes the evolution of game theory from the defining axioms of Von Neumann and Morgenstern in 1944 to the present. After the Introduction and this description, the third part presents the methodology used to select research articles compared in this study. The final fourth part presents the results of this literature review. The study reveals a similar interest on the part of economists and educators for the application of game theory to issues of education. However, the extremely small number of published articles can be interpreted as the sign of a problem of adaptability of this method in this research discipline. The paper concludes with a discussion of the nature of this inadaptability. Game Theory, Educational Sciences.


N. 102, April 2009


Karl M. van Meter

The French Sociological Association (Association Française de Sociologie or AFS) was founded in 2002 and has held congresses in 2004, 2006 and this month in 2009. The AFS Methods Section (Réseau Thématique 20 – Méthodes) used four text analysis methods – Prospéro, Calliope, Trideux, Alceste – applied to the abstracts of presentations at the 2004 congress. This resulted in three research articles published in the BMS in February 2005 and served as the basis for a book, Analyses textuelles en sociologie (PUR), in 2006. Since then, the BMS has published similar analyses of the 2006 AFS abstracts, and in this issue publishes the first two analyses of the 2009 AFS abstracts. French Sociology, AFS, Text Analysis, Prospéro, Calliope, Trideux, Alceste.

N. 102

Permanences et transformations d’une institution : une analyse sociologique de trois congrès de l’AFS

Didier Torny, Patrick Trabal

Permanence and Transformation of an Institution – A Sociological Analysis of Three AFS Congresses: This analysis of summaries of presentations at the first three congresses of the Association Française de Sociologie (AFS) shows the stability of the 40 thematic sections founded in 2004, but a high turnover among presenters, 78% of whom have spoken in only one congress (1,777 out of 2,278 authors). Moreover, there is an increasing feminin presence (48% in 2004, 54.5% in 2009). At the third congress (Paris, 2009), the introduction of a general theme, “violence and society”, influenced the thematic sections’ activity, going from full acceptance in the concerned section, to the total lack of being taken into account. These changes allow us to demonstrate empirically the transformations generated by the subject when compared to previous conferences. French Sociology, Text Analysis, Prospéro, Institutional Demands.

N. 102


Mathilde de Saint Léger, Karl M. van Meter

We apply the Calliope text analysis software to the set of all abstracts of presentations at the 2009 French Association of Sociology (AFS) congress. We describe the data set’s overall structure and contents, and examine in detail the “mainstream” clusters associated with “violence”, “travail” (work), “femme” (woman), “salaire” (salary), “domaine scolaire” (educational domain), and “santé” (health). These results are compared with similar results for the analysis of 2004 AFS congress and 2006 AFS congress abstracts. Despite the 2009 dominance of the congress theme of “violence and society”, we find once again the major structuring role of the two dominant components associated with “travail” and “femme”. French Sociology, AFS, Calliope, Co-Word Analysis, Scientometrics.


N. 103, July 2009

Response Latency as an Indicator of Optimizing in Online Questionnaires

Mario Callegaro, Yongwei Yang, Dennison S. Bhola, Don A. Dillman, Tzu-Yun Chin

In answering questions, respondents carry out four mental steps: comprehension, retrieval, judgment, and answer selection. Those who carefully employ all steps are called optimizers, while those who invest less effort and skip steps are called satisficers. In this study, we compared the response latencies of optimizers and satisficers as they answered questions on a Web-administered personality assessment. Using spline regression and controlling for possible confounding variables, we provided evidence that optimizers invest more time than satisficers when answering questions in the first section of a questionnaire. This supports the perspective that deeper cognitive processing requires greater effort and takes more time. We also showed that, as a test progresses, both groups spend less time until they attain a maximum responding velocity. Response Time, Satisficing, Impression Management, Web-Administered Questionnaire, Personality Assessment.

N. 103

Le lexique mobilisé lors de trois congrès de sociologues : Permanence et sensibilité à la conjoncture.

Gérard Boudesseul

The Vocabulary Mobilized over Three Sociology Conferences – Permanence and Sensitiveness to the Current Situation: The Association Française de Sociologie (AFS) held its third congress in Paris in April 2009 and its 1,051 abstracts of presentations have been analyzed by two different text analysis programs in the BMS, n. 102. Here, the author used two others programs – Alceste and Multiple Correspondence Analysis – to analyze those same abstracts and to compare the results with those of the 2004 and 2006 AFS congresses analyzed by the same programs. Association Française de Sociologie (AFS), Textual Analysis, Alceste, Multiple Correspondence Analysis.

N. 103

Méthodes statistiques globales et locales d’analyse d’un tableau de contingence par les tailles d’effet et  leurs intervalles de confiance

Brice Lefèvre, Stéphane Champely

Global and Local Statistical Methods of Analysis for Contingency Tables by Size Effects and Confidence Intervals: This paper presents global and local analyses of a contingency table along the lines of Wilkinson et al. (1999) defining good statistical practices as using effect sizes, confidence intervals and plots instead of tests of significance. On one hand, the global relationship between the two qualitative variables is measured by Cramér’s V. A confidence interval may be calculated using the decentred chi-squared distribution by inverting the corresponding significance test. A bootstrap confidence interval is also proposed. On the other hand, Cibois’s PEM (percentage of maximum deviation from independence) is a local effect size that can be computed for every cell of the contingency table giving its specific distance from the independence hypothesis. A corresponding confidence interval is calculated by the resampling bootstrap technique. An original plot summarizing these different aspects for the entire contingency table is proposed. Contingency Tables, Cramér’s V, Size Effects, Confidence Intervals, Bootstrap, PEM.

N. 103

Percentage of maximum deviation from independence (PEM): COMMENT ON Lefèvre & Champely’S “analyse d’un tableau de contingence” ARTICLE

Philippe Cibois

Concerning the article by Lefèvre and Champely “Analysis of a Contingency Table”, Philippe Cibois explains the concept of the PEM, which was raised by the authors. He shows that the use of Chi-square avoids the Bootstrap procedure to assess the significance of a PEM. He suggested that instead of Cramér’s V, used by the authors, to use a generalized PEM whose algorithm he gives for maximizing the PEM in the case of an entire table. Cramér’s V, Percentage of Maximum Deviation from Independence (PEM), Confidence Intervals, Bootstrap, Contingency Tables.


N. 104, October 2009


Karl M. van Meter, Mathilde de Saint Léger

We review results of the Calliope co-word analysis of all paper abstracts for the 2004, 2006 and 2009 congresses of the Association Française de Sociologie (AFS) and compare these results with those of a similar analysis of the 2004 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS) congress. German Sociology, French Sociology, Co-word Analysis, Calliope.

N. 104


Stéphane Champely, Brice Lefèvre

Pessimism and Optimism in the Measure of Association for Contingency Tables – A Reply to Philippe Cibois: In his commentary, Philippe Cibois suggests using the generalised PEM (percentage of maximum deviation from independence) instead of Cramér’s classical V to study the strength of the relationship in a contingency table. The PKM (percentage of maximum chi-squared of Cibois, 1990) seems more directly comparable to Cramér’s V2. A new algorithm is proposed to optimise the calculaltion of this PKM (and of the generalised PEM). It leads to results very similar to those obtained using Cramér’s statistic. Contingency Tables, Cramér’s V, PEM, PKM

N. 104

Journée d’Etude du 21 Août 2009 sur la méthodologie « Alceste » Arguments des interventions

Max Reinert

The 21 August 2009 Workshop on Alceste Methodology – The Presentations’ Arguments: Already presented in the BMS (n. 102: 90-92; n. 103: 102-103), the Alceste Summer School in Carcassonne on 19-21 August included a day devoted to methodology during which ten presentations were made and discussed by the participants. Alceste, Text Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Carcassonne.

N. 104

AAPOR 2009 CONFERENCE “Public Choices in Changing Times”

Nick Moon, John Goyder

The sixth-fourth annual AAPOR Conference took place on 14-17 May 2009 in Hollywood, Florida, near Miami. With more than 400 papers presented and many important awards, it was major survey research meeting. American Association for Public Opinion Research, AAPOR, Survey Research Methods.


N. 105, January 2010

Comment traduire sous forme de probabilités les résultats d’une modélisation logit?

Jérôme Deauvieau

How to Translate a Logit Model into Probabilities: It is common in sociology to try to translate the results of a logit model into probabilities or percentages; in other words, into the language of cross tabulations. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss three ways of performing this operation. This is done using numerical data taken from the FQP 2003 survey by INSEE. We present and discuss successively the method “of deviation from a reference situation”, the “experimental deviation” method and finally the method of “pure deviation”. Logit Models, Logistic Regression, Probabilities.

N. 105

Les « choix » du sociologue avec ALCESTE – De la forme du corpus aux résultats obtenus

Monique Dalud-Vincent

The Sociologist’s Choices with Alceste – From the Form of a Corpus to the Results Obtained: In this article we pose the question of the relationship between the form of a corpus of semi-structured interviews in sociology and the results obtained by the Alceste software. We show that “fixing” the vernacular or “including” the sociologist’s comments has an influence on the software’s results, and thus on the sociological analysis produced. Alceste, Textual Analysis.

N. 105

Trideux software integrates Jérôme Deauvieau’s “How to translate a logit model into probabilities”

Philippe Cibois

In his article “How to Translate a Logit Model into Probabilities?”, Jérôme Deauvieau shows that presentations as probabilities or percentages can cause problems because the results depend upon the choice of modalities that serve as a reference category. Deauvieau offers two solutions to this problem: the adjustment under experimental deviation and the adjustment as pure deviation. Both methods are now implemented in the Trideux software and an example is proposed. Logit Models, Logistic Regression, Probabilities, Trideux.

N. 105

Report on the European Survey Research Association Conference 2009 in Warsaw

Johannes van der Zouwen

After the conferences in Barcelona (2005) and Prague (2007), this conference saw the presentation of some 360 papers on a dozen themes. There were also three keynote speeches and two workshops on issues of survey research.


N. 106, April 2010

Do we necessarily need longitudinal data to infer causal relations?

Guillaume Wunsch, Federica Russo, Michel Mouchart

It is generally admitted that causes precede their effects in time. This usually justifies the preference for longitudinal studies over cross-sectional ones, because the former allow the modelling of the dynamic process generating the outcome, while the latter cannot. Supporters of the longitudinal view make two interrelated claims: (i) causal inference requires following the same individuals over time, and (ii) no causal inference can be drawn from cross-sectional data. In this paper, we challenge this view and offer counter-arguments to both claims. We also argue that the possibility of establishing causal relations does not so much depend upon whether we use longitudinal or cross-sectional data, but rather on whether or not the modelling strategy is structural.

N. 106

Tels parents, tels enfants ? L’utilisation de données de seconde main dans l’étude des influences politiques parentales en Suisse.

Boris Wernli

Like Parents, Like Children? Using Secondary Data in the Study of Parental Political Influence in Switzerland: This text is devoted to the intergenerational transmission of left-right ideological orientation. Using data from the Swiss Household Panel (, collected both directly and through intermediaries, it raises the question of the validity of second-hand information, which is discussed on several points. The article also shows that there is a strong long-term coherence between the ideological orientation of parents and their children. It also highlights the fact that the link is not the same for boys as for girls, and it varies between generations. Finally, it shows that strong upward social mobility, compared to the original environment, facilitates emancipation from parental ideology, social inertia being greater for downward and horizontal mobility.

N. 106

Analyse des réseaux sociaux : une « French touch » ? Retour sur l’école thématique CNRS « Réseaux sociaux : enjeux, méthodes, perspectives », Cargèse (Corse), 15-20 septembre 2008

Claire Bidart, Alain Degenne, Michel Grossetti, Claire Lemercier

Social Network Analysis – A French Touch? Looking Back on the CNRS Summer School ‘Social Networks – Issues, Methods and Outlooks’, Cargèse (Corsica), 15-20 September 2008: This summer school was intended to present social network analysis and its recent developments to a French-speaking public. It was also the opportunity to take stock of work in this area by French and, more generally, French-speaking researchers. The article covers the presentations that were made on this occasion and attempts to identify what may be the specific nature of this work, which seems to be associated with a particular attention to theoretical and epistemological reflexivity.

N. 106

“An ethnographic seduction”: how qualitative research and Agent-based Models can Benefit Each Other.

Paola Tubaro, Antonio A. Casilli

We provide a general analytical framework for empirically informed agent-based simulations. We believe that this methodology provides present-day agent-based models with a sound and proper insight as to the behavior of social agents – an insight that statistical data often fall short of providing at least at a micro level and for hidden and sensitive populations. In the other direction, simulations can provide qualitative researchers in sociology, anthropology and other fields with valuable tools for: (a) testing the consistency and pushing the boundaries, of specific theoretical frameworks; (b) replicating and generalizing results; (c) providing a platform for cross-disciplinary validation of results.


N. 107, July 2010

Representativeness in online surveys through stratified samples

Jörg Blasius, Maurice Brandt

While nationwide face-to-face samples are considered representative for the entire population, online samples are regarded as biased, especially in terms of age, sex and education. To consider this bias, the data can be weighted to receive a representative sample. In case of online surveys, elderly women with a low level of education receive a very high weight and young men with high education a very low one. Instead of weighting the data, we draw a stratified sample from over 20,000 participants of an online panel. Thereby, elderly women with relatively low formal education had a very high likelihood of entering the sample, young men with high education a very low one. To obtain a stratified sample by sex × age × education without coverage error, the sample is restricted to an age of up to 49 years. To compare these data with representative face-to-face data, we used a set of questions from the German Social Survey 2002. We compare the results of the two studies on the basis of more than 1,100 cases, each of which are equivalent in terms of age, sex and education. It is shown that stratified online samples are not representative for the entire population.

N. 107

Les « choix » du sociologue avec ALCESTE : Du paramétrage des Unités de Contexte aux résultats obtenus

Monique Dalud-Vincent

The “Choice” of the Sociologist with Alceste – From Determining Units of Context to the Results Obtained: In this article, we pose the question of the relationship between cutting up a corpus of semi-structured interviews in sociology by determing the units of content and the results obtained when the Alceste software analyzes the units of context. We show that the way the text is cut up has an influence on the results and thus the analysis produced.

N. 107

Measuring and comparing levels of education;  Methodological problems in the classification of educational levels in the European Social Surveys and the French Labor Force Surveys

Annick Kieffer

Commonly used in social sciences to understand representations, behaviors or major social changes, the education level of individuals, its classification and its possible measures are too rarely the subject of research methodology. We show here, based on a comparison of different versions of the European Social Survey with the Labor Force Surveys carried out by INSEE in France, the importance of procedures of reporting, classification, aggregation and harmonization of education in comparable categories, from the national to the cross-national level (ISCED). The most common measures focus on the comparison of the levels of education. Taking into account the orientation of knowledge, including the difference between general, vocational and technical education thus significantly improves the measurement quality. This article argues for a development of sociological studies on these issues.

N. 107

Pour une sociologie de l’activité au travail des dirigeants de grandes entreprises

Michel Villette

For a Sociology of Work Activity of Managers of Large Businesses: This paper proposes a methodology for an integrated analysis of top executives practices: the process of professional socialization; how s/he handles her/his business and pursues financial goals; the process of personal enrichment during her/his career; and the way s/he legitimizes the social position s/he occupies. This research strategy combines biographical sources, grey literature, ethnographic observations inside companies and secondary analysis of accounting data and public relations data. We conclude on the irony of such a research procedure caught between the ideal of a scientific analysis of practices and the social imperatives of the staging of power.


N. 108, October 2010


Nathalie Heinich

Note on Quantitative Methods in the Sociology of Values: The sociology of values, once confined to a mere extension of “moral philosophy”, has been profoundly renewed by the application of empirical methods of research. Developed in the United States in the 1970s by large-scale statistical surveys, it has also resulted in France, over the past twenty years, in regular investigations. However, these surveys suffer from a number of problems: the lack of thought concerning methods, the lack of a definition of the concept of values, the restriction of conscious awareness, authors not taking into account consideration of pertinence, and the absence of contextualization. We will discuss in conclusion the effects of these methodological problems in terms of results, and we present some ideas for a more rigorous empirical study of values.

N. 108

Moniteur sportif et sociologue : récit d’une observation participante clandestine

Bastien Soulé, Cédric Richet

Sports Instructor and Sociologist – A Covert Participant Observation: This paper describes the change of status and viewpoint inherent in the shift from a sports instructor job to the implementation of a participant observation. The latter was undertaken to grasp the stakes and difficulties of a sports facility delegated management. Beside the results of this investigation, we also intend to relate a peculiar process, including the combination of multiple and varying roles, as well as a dynamic relation to the fieldwork and its participants. As the observation remained concealed, this role duplicity had many consequences: beyond personal and psychological ones, the effects are also professional, relational, methodological, heuristic, and ethical.

N. 108

The Mayors of BourGES FROM 1474 TO 1723

Jean-François Gazeau

This article shows how genealogical research, by reconstructing the interwoven fabric of families (parentage, siblings and re-alliances), can stimulate the diachronic analysis of networks. It covers the patrician families who ruled Bourges though mayors and aldermen from 1474 for 250 years.

N. 108

Effects (and defects) of the telephone survey in polling research: Are we abusing of the telephone survey?

Vidal Díaz de Rada

The objective of this paper is to evaluate the adaptation of telephone surveys to electoral forecasting to see if they show substantial improvements when compared to face-to-face surveys. To do so, two similar samples were used, one surveyed with face-to-face interviews and the other using telephone interviews. The objective is to compare the results in answering three questions concerning: 1) the important differences in results of the two methods which could notably affect their extrapolation; 2) telephone surveys’ higher evaluation of the intention to vote and more sincere responses (closer to the electoral results); 3) the important differences in the evaluation of the economic and political situation, definition of the most important social problems, and nationalist and regionalist sentiments.


N. 109, January 2011

Matrix assisted structural hypothesis construction

Erik H Cohen, Charles Tresser

This paper outlines a novel process for designing a structural hypothesis. Relevant factors in a study are identified and micro-hypotheses are enunciated in a matrix format. Levels of similarity are assigned to each pair of factors. Multi-dimensional scaling techniques are used to graphically portray the matrix. The example of “Quality of Life” (QoL) is used to illustrate the proposed matrix approach to generation of a structural hypothesis. A Smallest Space Analysis (SSA) of the hypothetical Quality of Life matrix shows a structure in which four polar regions surround a central region representing “general” QoL. This clear and logical structure of the hypothesized correlation matrix is a strong first confirmation that the approach allows for a detailed, systematic and theoretically based mode of reasoning and didactics. Additionally, the structure found here corresponds to a previous SSA analysis based on empirical Quality of Life data.

N. 109

Analyse textuelle et analyse de RÉSEAUX: Exemple du traitement d’une base de données bibliographiques à l’aide des logiciels Alceste et Pajek

Monique Dalud-Vincent, Romuald Normand

In this paper, we demonstrate how textual analysis and network analysis are complementary in displaying various groups from a bibliographic data bank, then in building the corresponding networks of co-publication. The Alceste software and Pajek, used on the same “set” of data including 5,000 references, allowed us to objectify the existence of various epistemic communities, as well as the links within and between communities related to the issue of “measurement” in education.

N. 109

To Participate or Not to Participate: Decision Processes Related to Survey Non-response

Sigrid Haunberger

This paper proposes a different methodological approach to understanding the determinants of survey participation. Data was collected by means of a Web panel survey conducted with a population of university students (N = 330). First, we focused on theory-driven measures of consequences of participation: costs of participating, survey situation, generalized attitudes about surveys, and past survey-taking behaviours using a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. A subset of this sample was subsequently invited, twice, to participate in a Web panel survey. This comparison allows the theory-driven prediction of unit non-response. We found that time resources and costs (fear of data misuse) are the primary determinants of participation in the first wave; and salience of topic and costs (burdensome survey experience in the first wave) are the major predictors of participation in the second wave. These results support the theory of rational action to explain unit non-response and match well with the existing empirical evidence.

N. 109


Annette Scherpenzeel

In this paper, we introduce a methodology to set up a panel that combines the scientific standards for a longitudinal panel with the advantages of Internet interviewing as a method of data collection. A panel that is intended for scientific research demands a probability sample, covering the whole population of interest and thus including people without Internet access and people who do not actively volunteer to answer questions. We will show how such a panel can be built and maintained, and how researchers can use it for their own, cost free data collection.


N. 110, April 2011

Réseaux personnels, réseaux sociaux

Ainhoa de Federico de la Rúa, Catherine Comet

Guest editors’ presentation of this thematic issue

N. 110

Studying Relational Chains from Narrative Material

Michel Grossetti, Jean-François Barthe, Nathalie Chauvac

Relational chains are a poorly understood approach to social networks, whose methods of analysis are usually classified according to the personal networks / complete networks dichotomy. Rather than mapping out networks statically, the study of relational chains reconstructs the concrete mobilisations of social relations in processes for accessing resources or networking with people. The method we present reconstructs chains from a narrative material established on the basis of crossed interviews. This method is especially well suited to capturing phenomena of embeddedness of economic activities in social networks. We introduce it in this article based on two surveys, one on science-industry relations and the other on enterprise creation.

N. 110

Dynamique des réseaux sociaux et trajectoire d’entreprises informelles à Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso)

Jean-Philippe Berrou, Claire Gondard-Delcroix

Dynamics of Social Networks and Trajectories of Informal Businesses in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso): This paper analyzes the evolution / transformation of social relations and networks for access to resources during the career of micro entrepreneurs in an informal urban economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. From a methodological point of view, the analysis of life histories from micro and small entrepreneurs in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) was done by combining different forms of qualitative and quantitative analysis (Grossetti and Barthe, 2008). This novel method can identify the characteristics of the joint evolution of the business activity and the entrepreneur’s social network, and then provide a comprehensive analysis of the processes underlying these dynamics. It appears that the gradual professionalization and institutionalization of the social network of the entrepreneur are forms of securing access to resources promoting the development of the economic activity.

N. 110

Anatomy of a Fraud: Trust and Social Networks

Catherine Comet

How do social networks support trust in the case of fraud? The Santa case is a “strategic case” given its scope and its duration. This case of fraud has marked specificities, insofar as it concerns primarily expatriate military. Two officers canvassed these members of the military to propose so-called high-return investments to them. I am more particularly interested in the leverage used by these salesmen; this is, the mutual relations they used as referrals, and in the nature of the linkages between the levers and the targets according to target’s status (civilians, non-commissioned officers, or officers). The analyses are based on a questionnaire-based survey of 117 victims of the fraud.

N. 110

Introduction du générateur de liens sociaux par contextes (GLSC) dans une approche mixte : Etude sur l’hétérogénéité dans les liens de collaboration des chercheurs en biotechnologie et en sciences de la vie

Claude Julie Bourque

Introduction to the Social Context Name Generator (GLSC) in a Mixed Methods Approach – Study of the Heterogeneity of Researcher Cooperation Links in Biotechnology and Life Sciences: The field of biotechnology research is characterized there by social dynamics more heterogeneous than the others? To answer this question, we built a tool to produce comparable empirical data on collaboration networks in three practice settings. The generator of social ties by contexts (GLSC) was administered to 735 researchers in Quebec life sciences, natural sciences and engineering in the fall of 2009. The results indicate that for most researchers, whatever their discipline, the morphology of social bonds is significantly different in the context of financing. Moreover, the results refute the hypothesis that collaborative practices are significantly more heterogeneous in research in biotechnology and life sciences.

N. 110

Two different methods for measuring personal networks compared

Stefania Vergati

This article compares two different tools for analyzing personal networks: the FNG (free name generator) by which respondents freely list the names of people with whom they more often interact, and the GNG (guided name generator) by which respondents list the names of people with whom they more often interact, following a standardized 20-item list of types of exchange. The two techniques are tested together in an integrated questionnaire, the data of 37 personal networks analyzed, a typological-factorial sampling design is discussed, and a standard procedure is suggested and tested.


N. 111, July 2011

Effects of prepaid monetary incentives on mail survey response rates and on self-reporting about delinquency – Empirical findings

Rolf Becker, Guido Mehlkop

We carried out a methodological experiment to investigate whether mail survey response rates can be influenced by monetary incentives. Prepaid monetary incentives are expected to elicit higher response rates, as predicted by social exchange and subjectively expected utility theory. This is true especially in a survey on the respondents’ delinquent behavior, since prepaid incentives are likely to strengthen the respondents’ trust towards the researcher. For surveys in which money is promised once the questionnaire is returned, we expect the response rates to be lower. The empirical findings clearly support our assumptions, even if the social mechanisms of reciprocity which underlie response behavior cannot be observed directly. Our analysis also shows that monetary incentives evoke neither desirability, nor sponsorship effects which would cause overreporting of delinquency. Finally, our results show no systematic variation regarding socio-structural characteristics and correlates of delinquent behavior.

N. 111, July 2011

Measuring Race and Hispanic Origin: Cognitive Test Findings Searching for “Truth”

Jennifer Hunter Childs, Rodney Terry, Nathan Jurgenson

This research describes an attempt by USCensus Bureau staff to create a “gold standard” assessment of the “truth” of self-identified race in order to evaluate the performance of an experimental panel of race and Hispanic origin questions. This gold standard is achieved by asking about race in three ways: (1) an open-ended question that allows the respondent to self-identify with any races or Hispanic origins; (2) a series of yes/no questions aimed at measuring identification with the US government’s race and Hispanic origin categories;2 and (3) a summary measure which attempts to gather the respondent’s usual or typical report to race and Hispanic origin questions. We argue that while no single measure taken alone captures the truth of race, all the three measures, taken together, do provide a robust portrait of self-identified race and Hispanic origin for nearly all respondents in our sample.

N. 111

Inferring Causality through Counterfactuals in Observational Studies – Some epistemological issues

Federica Russo, Guillaume Wunsch, Michel Mouchart

This paper contributes to the debate on the virtues and vices of counterfactuals as a basis for causal inference. The goal is to put the counterfactual approach in an epistemological perspective. We discuss a number of issues, ranging from its non-observable basis to the parallelisms drawn between the counterfactual approach in statistics and in philosophy. We argue that the question is not to oppose or to endorse the counterfactual approach as a matter of principle, but to decide what modelling framework is best to adopt depending on the research context.

N. 111

Rapport de thèse de doctorat en Science politique (Paris Dauphine) de Philippe Blanchard : Les médias et l’agenda de l’électronucléaire en France. 1970-2000

Mathieu Brugidou

Report on the Political Science Doctoral Thesis (Paris Dauphine) of Philippe Blanchard: The Media and the Agenda of Nuclear Power in France, 1970-2000: This book review focuses on the thesis of Philippe Blanchard, The Media and the Agenda of Nuclear Power in France 1970-2000. In this thesis, the agenda has been studied in two complementary ways: one based on modelling, the other on sociology. Their combined use helps to understand the construction of the nuclear issue as a long-term public controversy and policy. This note highlights the important methodological issues addressed by this thesis.

N. 111

Pourquoi traduire sous forme de probabilités les résultats d’une modélisation logit ? Réaction à J. Deauvieau (BMS, 2010)

Marion Selz

Première réponse à Marion Seltz

Jérôme Deauvieau

Why Translate into Probabilities the Results of Logit Models?: Jerome Deauvieau suggested in the BMS (2010, 105: 5-23) different ways of translating the results of a logit model into the language of two-way tables. This note shows the limits and drawbacks of such operations, which are lose the notion of “all things equal otherwise”, or the significance of the result.


N. 112, October 2011

XML Content Warehousing: Improving Sociological Studies of Mailing Lists and Web Data

Benjamin Nguyen, Antoine Vion, François-Xavier Dudouet, Dario Colazzo, Ioana Manolescu, Pierre Senellart

In this paper, we present the guidelines for an XML-based approach for the sociological study of Web data such as the analysis of mailing lists or databases available online. The use of an XML warehouse is a flexible solution for storing and processing this kind of data. We propose an implemented solution and show possible applications with our case study of profiles of experts involved in W3C standard-setting activity. We illustrate the sociological use of semi-structured databases by presenting our XML Schema for mailing-list warehousing. An XML Schema allows many adjunctions or crossings of data sources, without modifying existing data sets, while allowing possible structural evolution. We also show that the existence of hidden data implies increased complexity for traditional SQL users. XML content warehousing allows altogether exhaustive warehousing and recursive queries through contents, with far less dependence on the initial storage. We finally present the possibility of exporting the data stored in the warehouse to commonly-used advanced software devoted to sociological analysis.

N. 112

EST-IL POSSIBLE ET SOUHAITABLE DE TRADUIRE SOUS FORME DE PROBABILITES UN COEFFICIENT LOGIT ? Réponse aux remarques formulées par Marion Selz à propos de mon article paru dans le BMS en 2010

Jérôme Deauvieau

Is It Possible and Desirable to Translate a Logit Coefficient into Probabilities – Reply to Comments by Marion Selz on My BMS 2010 Article: Marion Selz responded to my BMS article on the translation of a logit coefficient into probabilities. I propose here to respond to her objections by showing that the translation is not a problem when one thoroughly understands what takes place. We first show the relationship between linear models and logistic models, and then the relationship between the translation of a logit coefficient and standardization in demography, and finally the sociological interest of such a translation in the general framework of logit modeling.

N. 112

L’expérience de la mobilité sociale : plaidoyer pour une approche par le discours

Jules Naudet

The Experience of Social Mobility – A Plea for a Discourse Approach: This article discusses the theoretical and methodological debates concerning the experience and consequences of upward social mobility between generations. The methods employed by researchers working on this subject are diverse, and the results they arrive at are sometimes contradictory. This article proposes, firstly, to give an overview of the different traditions of studying the experience of social mobility in order to identify the conditions for potential “cumulative” knowledge. In a second step, we argue that it is mainly through a study of the narratives of mobility that one can, simultaneously and comprehensively, grasp the ambivalence and multiplicity of effects that produce upward social mobility.

N. 112

Matrix assisted structural hypothesis construction: Further explorations

Erik H Cohen, Charles Tresser

In January 2011 (issue 109), this journal published our article on a new process for developing a structural hypothesis, using a matrix approach and multi-dimensional data analysis techniques (Cohen and Tresser, 2011). The present article continues to develop the matrix assisted hypothesis construction method (matrix method for short) and offers directions for research utilizing this approach.

N. 112

Italian Sociologists’ approach to qualitative interviews

Albertina Pretto

It is common to come across interviews, both transcribed and recorded, that were conducted according to remarkably different strategies that seem to contrast with the recommendations and indications of a large part of the literature on this subject. To understand the reasons behind these different strategies, I will present the outcomes of a study carried out among Italian sociologists who base their research on qualitative interviews. The aim of my study is to examine the attitude of a group of researchers and interviewers towards the interviewees in the field of qualitative research.


N. 113, January 2012


Guang Ying Mo, Barry Wellman

Sequencing is an indispensable decision-making process during information flow. This paper proposes the conceptualization of sequencing to understand how and why information senders prioritize some network members when they communicate with others. We examine the usefulness of this conceptualization with the data collected from GRAND, a scholarly network. The concept of sequencing enables researchers to explore the decision-making process that occurs prior to information flow and link individuals’ behavior to the social context at a higher level.

N. 113


Joachim Harloff

This paper analyses the application of Con?gural Frequency Analysis (CFA) to free sorting data. It is intended to start a discussion about this simple supplementary analysis tool for free sorting data. Common features of sorting data and their relevance for CFA are discussed, in its approach to using both descriptive and con?rmatory data analysis. Sample size requirements of card sorting are also revisited for descriptive analysis. The sample required to some extent depends on the speci?ed domain. The average number of different con?gurations encountered depends on the number of sortings collected, the number of items included in the domain and the qualities of the domain. A simple exact significance test is proposed for hypothesis testing of configural frequencies in free fuzzy sorting data.

N. 113


Monique Dalud-Vincent, Romuald Normand

“The Choice of Language for the Alceste Software: Example of the Analysis of a Bibliographic Data Base” Using Alceste requires a priori choosing a language. This choice is crucial since the analysis is based on the use of a dictionary of the language used, but it is problematic when the corpus is a bibliography of references in English, French and German. In this paper, we show, for a largely bilingual (English and French) bibliography, with 5,000 references, the variations in the software results when you change the settings.

N. 113

Transfer of variables between different data sets, or Taking “previous research” seriously

Bojan Todosijevi

Given two methodologically similar surveys, a question not asked in one survey could be seen as a special case of the missing data problem. Hence, the transfer of data across data sets (“statistical matching” or “data fusion”) could be achieved applying the procedures for Bayesian multiple imputation of missing values. To tackle the problem of conditional independence, which this approach creates, a simulated data set could serve as the “third data set” that conveys information about the relationship between variables not commonly observed. This paper presents a model for transferring data between different data sets based on multiple imputation (MI) approach. The results show that statistical matching based on MI principles can be a useful research tool. The entire enterprise is interpreted in the sense of taking the “previous research” into account seriously.

N. 113


Joop J. Hox, Edith D. de Leeuw, Ann Chang

To increase response rates, survey researchers intensify their efforts to bring sampled persons into the respondent pool. The question is whether or not “reluctant” survey respondents provide answers of lower quality than “eager” respondents. We define eager respondents as persons who respond to the first round of a mail survey, and reluctant respondents as persons who respond in later rounds. We used a multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) design, which allows statistical separation of substantive or trait variance, method variance, and error variance. The results show that the measurement structure does not differ between eager and reluctant respondents. There was also no systematic difference in the reliability and validity estimates for both groups. Data Quality, Measurement Error, Multitrait-MultiMethod (MTMM), Nonresponse Bias, Reluctant Respondents, Total Survey Error


N. 114, April 2012


Philippe Cibois

The interpretation of statistics in sociology, in particular in data analysis, faces the problem of realistic interpretations or not of the ideal types that the researcher can identify. With an investigation of school willingness of children from immigrant families, we show how one can hesitate in choosing a realistic interpretation or a constructivist interpretation of the results. We broaden the discussion by a fictitious dialogue between supporters of each camp. Data Analysis, Realism, Constructivism, Spontaneous Philosophy of Scientists

N. 114


Edith D. de Leeuw**

We still cannot look inside people’s heads. To measure emotions, opinions, evaluations, associations, and intentions, we have to ask people about these phenomena. Our data collection has changed over time, and many different methods are available. At present, Internet surveys are widely used in market research and are becoming an important data collection tool in universities. The main advantages of Internet surveys are the speed and cost reduction in comparison to more traditional data collection methods, the positive effect of self-administration, such as more privacy, use of more complex questionnaire routing, and in general a greater interactivity. Disadvantages are problems of Internet coverage of the general population, especially under-coverage of certain subgroups such as the elderly and the lower educated, and non-response. This contribution provides a review of existing studies comparing online surveys with more traditional data collection methods. Web Surveys, Coverage, Non-response, Data Quality, Survey Design

N. 114


Jean-Paul Grémy

French Presidential Elections of 2002 – Were the Polls Wrong? This note intends to show that on the eve of the first round of the 2002 presidential elections in France, polls published in the media had properly informed the public about the evolution of public opinion (slight decrease for Jospin, increase of Le Pen), and about indecision on the part of the electorate (which decides the day before or on election day). It is therefore likely that the published results were accurate and it is the predictions made on the basis of these results that were clearly erroneous. Public Opinion Polls, Voting Intentions, April 2002, France

N. 114


Patrick Rousset , Jean-François Giret, Yvette Grelet

Life Course Typologies et Longitudinal Dynamics: In this paper, we propose a method for developing typologies of individual itineraries that takes into account the dynamics of longitudinal timelines. It applies when these timelines are developed from calendars. The originality of this method lies both in the method of calculating the distance between trajectories, and the classification procedure based on Kohonen self-organizing maps. The main property of the metric is to take into account the proximity between different states and its evolution over time. We propose an application in the analysis of career paths using Céreq data for monthly monitoring over seven years for youths who left the education system in 1998. Our results highlight the importance of temporal dynamics in the construction of timelines of entry into the workforce. Finally, we examine the role and contributions of this method by comparing it to the most commonly used methods for constructing timeline typologies. Classification, Typologies, Life Course, Entering the Workforce

N. 114


Yeon-Ok Lee, Raymond M. Lee

Drawing on van Meter’s (2000) article, examining the methodological literature relating to research on “sensitive” topics, we analyse the corresponding journal literature in the decade following. We present data on authorship patterns, identify thematic continuities and discontinuities, and draw attention to gaps in the existing literature. Sensitive Topics, Methodological Trends, Methods Literature


N. 115, July 2012

Social Media Censorship in Times of Political Unrest – A Social Simulation Experiment with the UK Riots

Antonio A. Casilli, Paola Tubaro

Following the 2011 wave of political unrest, extending from the Arab Spring to the UK riots, the formation of a large consensus around Internet censorship is underway. The present paper adopts a social simulation approach to show that the decision to “regulate”, filter or censor social media in situations of unrest changes the pattern of civil protest and ultimately results in higher levels of violence. Building on Epstein’s (2002) agent-based model, several alternative scenarios are generated. The systemic optimum, represented by complete absence of censorship, not only corresponds to lower levels of violence over time, but allows for significant periods of social peace after each outburst.     UK Civil Violence, Internet Censorship, Agent-based Modelling, Social Simulation, Social Media, Flash Mobs

N. 115

Mesure statistique, mesure politique – Le cas des personnes sans-abri

Maryse Marpsat

Statistical Measure, Policy Measure – The Case of Rough Sleepers: Since the 1980s, in the US and Europe, various statistical methods have been developed to investigate people without housing, including those who sleep in places “not meant for habitation”, the “rough sleepers”. Street counts can be done locally by local authorities or by organizations serving homeless people to assess policies toward the rough sleepers or seeking to attract the attention of the general public and authorities. Among national statistical agencies, national street counts of rough sleepers are carried out and highlighted by a civic type of argument. A third type of surveys involves a vision of the rough sleepers as occupying a situation which may be only transitory, and involves public action to improve the situation of homeless people, but also to prevent it. By drawing on the work of Alain Desrosières, we will attempt to reconsider these statistical tools, these ways of thinking about society, and these policies of acting on society, at least for the fraction of interest here. Homeless, Unsheltered Homeless, Rough Sleepers, Statistical Survey, Hard to Reach Populations, Weight Sharing Method

N. 115

Calendar Interviewing and the Use of Landmark Events – Implications for Cross-cultural Surveys

Tina Glasner, Wander van der Vaart, Robert F. Belli

This paper discusses potential methodological issues in the design and implementation of calendar recall aids such as the Life History Calendar for cross-cultural surveys. More specifically, it aims to provide insights into how the use of landmark events in calendar interviewing may be influenced by cross-cultural variability. As an example, we compare the landmark events reported by Dutch and American respondents in two studies in which calendar recall aids were used. The study discusses differences that were found between the two countries in the numbers and types of reported landmark events, as well as in the temporal distribution of those events. The outcomes suggest that it is important for researchers to examine how landmark events in calendar instruments translate in diverse cultural contexts. Retrospective questions, Life history calendar, Cross-cultural surveys, Autobiographical memory

N. 115

Traiter des « masses » de données prosopographiques par la numérisation d’annuaires – Espoirs et vertiges

Sylvain Laurens, Francis Marchan

Treating “Masses” of Prosopographical Data by Scanning Directories – Hopes and Disorientation: This note aims to provide an update on the progress made in optical character recognition (OCR) and the contribution of these techniques to the creation of prosopographical data bases in social sciences. With the example of a European investigation of European business associations, it highlights the progress made possible by OCR with the analysis of several biographical directories identifying groups of business interests. Based on this example, it is hypothesized that the development of digital technologies allow the creation of corpuses of data much larger than in the past in the framework of quantitative inquiries conducted by smaller teams. However, this article also highlights the fact that this extension of corpuses – made possible by scanning – raises new problems of method, starting with the increased time devoted to the standardization of digital data. Data entry, Optical character recognition (OCR), Prosopography, Recoding data, EU lobbies

N. 115

Ségrégation et fragmentation socio-spatiale – L’épreuve de la mesure

Jean-Michel Wachsberger

Segregation and Socio-spatial Fragmentation – The Ordeal of Measurement: This note is a reflection on the meaning and scope of segregation and socio-spatial fragmentation indicators and, beyond, on the role of statistics in sociological reasoning. It shows that if these indicators can be used to test theories of segregation or fragmentation, they must nevertheless themselves be put to the test of sociological reasoning. The choice of statistical indicators is actually not a purely technical exercise but is strongly linked to the meaning we give to the phenomenon. Their construction and interpretation always depend on how it was defined previously, how its causes have been pictured, and its consequences have been anticipated. In this sense, statistical indicators can only be a step in a particular argument. Segmentation, fragmentation, statistical indicators, sociological reasoning, measurement, falsifiability

N. 115

Human or Machine Coding of Open-ended Questions

Roel Popping

It is argued in studies in which open-ended questions are used that the choice is not between human or machine coding. It is the position the investigator takes with regard to the coding process that is relevant: from whose perspective is the coding performed? This choice determines whether human or machine coding can be performed. The results one obtains when these approaches are used can be very different. Text analysis, open-ended questions, coding, instrumental view, representational view.


N. 116, October 2012

Harpoon or Bait? A Comparison of Various Metrics in Fishing for Sequence Patterns

Nicolas Robette, Xavier Bry

The use of sequence analysis in the social sciences has significantly increased during the last decade or two. Sequence analysis explores and describes trajectories and “fishes for patterns” (Abbott, 2000). Many dissimilarity metrics exist in various domains (bioinformatics, data mining, etc.); therefore a crucial and pervasive issue in papers using sequence analysis is robustness. To what extent do the various techniques lead to consistent and converging results? What kinds of patterns are more easily fished out by each of the metrics? Here we propose a systematic comparison of about ten metrics that have been used in the social science literature, based on the examination of dissimilarity matrices computed from a simulated sequence data set including various patterns that sociologists can try to identify. This should help scholars in picking the method best suited to their data design and inquiry objectives. Sequence Analysis, Optimal Matching, Geometric Data Analysis, Comparison, Simulation

N. 116

Une approche « hétéro-statistique » et graphique des masses de données d’enquête – le logiciel PointG

Stéphane Champely, Brice Lefèvre, Julie Thomas, Sylvain Ferez

A “Hetero-statistical” and Graphical Approach for Massive Survey Data – The PointG Software. In sociology, one is often confronted with the problem of graphic presentations based on processing massive quantities of data from questionnaire surveys. Moreover, potential users can be of low statistical expertise, thus requiring relatively easy to use software such as PointG with drop-down menus. It is aimed at facing the difficulties due to the mass of collected quantitative data, both at the strategic, tactical and operational levels of statistical processing. It offers conventional ways of analysis going from univariate to multivariate data, but also automates treatments on groups of variables and calculates the size of overall and local effects. Apart from the graphic aspects, its distinctive “hetero-statistic” approach permits the user not to worry about the nature of the variables in bivariate analyses and during regression and factor analysis. PointG was developed within the powerful distribution free R programming environment. Sociology, Survey Questionnaire Data, Statistics, R Software, Graphics.

N. 116

Impact of the Mode of Data Collection on the Quality of Answers to Survey Questions Depending on Respondent Characteristics

Melanie Revilla

The Internet is used more and more to conduct surveys. However, moving from traditional modes of data collection to the Internet may threaten the comparability of the data if the mode has an impact on the way respondents answer. In previous research, Revilla and Saris (2012) find similar average quality (defined as the product of reliability and validity) for several survey questions when asked in a face-to-face interview and when asked online. But does this mean that the mode of data collection does not have an impact on the quality? Or may it be that for some respondents the quality is higher for Web surveys whereas for others it is lower, such that on an average the quality for the complete sample is similar? Comparing the quality for different groups of respondents in a face-to-face and in a Web survey, no significant impact of the background characteristics, the mode and the interaction between them on the quality is found. Web and face-to-face Surveys, Survey Answer Quality, MTMM Approach, Data Collection Mode.

N. 116

Paul Felix Lazarsfeld His Methodological Inspirations and Networking Activities in the Field of Social Research, Prague, 25 – 27 September 2011

Eva Balazova, Jan Marsalek

This short text informs about the international conference dedicated to the life and work of Paul F. Lazarsfeld which was held in Prague, September 2011. It organizes the conference presentations into three blocks: 1) Critical analyses of social research methods that Lazarsfeld propagated; 2) Commemorations of his personality and intellectual style; 3) Studies of Lazarsfeld’s posterity and of his presence in current social research. P. F. Lazarsfeld, Methods of Social Research, Inspirations.

N. 116

Who is Responsible for the Disappearance of Social Classes?

Pierre Mercklé

Who made social classes disappear? This was the issue raised at a conference held on 12 October 2011 at the ENS Ulm by the CNRS “Economics & Sociology” research group. The conference was entitled: “Social Classes: Have They Been Dissolved by Socio-economists in Networks, Generations and the Income Hierarchy?”. But basically, it was about asking who had made social classes disappear from the traditional means of interpreting the social world in sociology and other social sciences. Social Classes, Social Networks, Evolution of French Social, Classifications.

N. 116

Comment décrire les liens entre mobilité « objective » et mobilité « subjective » ? Retour sur la proposition de D. Merllié

Monique Dalud-Vincent

How to Describe Links between “Objective” Mobility and “Subjective” Mobility? Back to D. Merllié’s Proposal: We propose, like D. Merllié, to study the links between “objective” mobility and “subjective” mobility without constructing an a priori hierarchy of all socio-professional groups or categories. But to avoid the risks of over-interpretation of mean scores, we construct the cross-tabulation between these two mobility variables to analyze it with well known methods such as factorial correspondence analysis, calculations of percentages of optimistic pessimistic optimistic/pessimistic opinions, and even graphic representations. Objective Social Mobility, Subjective Social Mobility?


N. 117, January 2013

Extended Field Efforts to Reduce the Risk of Non-response Bias: Have the Effects Changed over Time? Can Weighting Achieve the Same Effects?

Julia Hall, Victoria Brown, Gerry Nicolaas, Peter Lynn

We examine the effects on survey estimates of extended interviewer efforts to gain survey response, including refusal conversion attempts and attempts to make contact with difficult-to-contact sample members. Previous research on this topic has identified that extended efforts do appear to affect estimates, and in ways that seem consistent with bias reduction. We extend the previous research in three ways. First, we provide the first study of changes over time in the effects of extended efforts on estimates. We study change in the UK over a ten-year period. Second, we use a more precise measure of the difficulty of contact and third, we assess the effects of extended efforts conditional on weight adjustments for non-response estimates as well as on unweighted sample statistics. Surveys, Interviewers, Non-contact, Non-response, Refusal.

N. 117

Response Rate and Nonresponse Bias – Impact of the Number of Contact Attempts on Data Quality in the European Social Survey

Marek Fuchs, Dayana Bossert, Sabrina Stukowski

Increasing respondent contact problems and decreasing respondent willingness to cooperate have contributed to declining response rates in general population surveys, which has raised concerns of survey accuracy. To counteract nonresponse, several methods have been employed, including incentives, advanced letters, alternative survey modes for reluctant respondents, and increased field efforts to contact potential respondents. In particular, the number of contact attempts has been increased for many surveys. Even though more contact attempts increase survey costs, they are a reliable means for increasing response rates. However, the assumption that high response rates foster data quality and smaller nonresponse bias has been challenged. In this paper, we used contact data from the European Social Survey for Norway, Finland and Slovenia to see whether or not additional contact attempts resulting in a higher response rate can potentially reduce nonresponse bias. Response Rate, Nonresponse Bias, Contact Attempts, European Social Survey.

N. 117

Les médias et l’opinion – Eléments théoriques et méthodologiques pour une analyse du débat sur l’identité nationale

Emmanuel Marty, Pascal Marchand, Pierre Ratinaud

The Media and Public Opinion – Theoretical and Methodological Analysis of the Debate on National Identity: This article deals with the “great debate on national identity” initiated by the Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually-Supportive Development in the winter of 2009-2010. Using the theory of framing (Bateson, 1972; Entman, 1993; Chong and Druckman, 2007), it seeks to identify the relationship between permeability and public debate as it is shown on the Web and the media coverage of the latter. To do this, a crossed lexicometric analysis of two corpora was done: on one hand, the 18,240 contributions posted on the dedicated ministerial site; on the other, the 1,436 press articles published from 25 October to 2 December 2009. A descending hierarchical classification was done with the Iramuteq software and identified, by their lexicon, places of permeability between personal and media frameworks in the apprehension of the debate, but also the specific universes of discourse to one or other corpora. We present them here in a detailed manner while proposing explanatory approaches of their dynamics. National Identity, Framing Theory, Lexicometry, Media Coverage, Opinion.

N. 117

Bref rappel de trois problèmes méthodologiques de l’histoire de vie en sociologie

Jacques Hamel

Brief Review of Three Methodological Problems of Life Histories in Sociology: This article reviews the popularity of life histories in sociology in the early 1970s, especially in light of the work done at that time by Daniel Bertaux. Forty years later, what can be said of it? After a brief historical overview, we consider: 1. The issue of representativeness; 2. The status conferred on common sense; and 3. The rigor of the analysis developed on the basis of a life history in the framework of grounded theory. These three topics are discussed so as to show possible solutions to the methodological problems they raise. A simple example of the analysis of a life history illustrates this point. Life Histories, Representativeness, Common Sense, Qualitative Analysis, Sociology.

N. 117

Meta-analysis for Sociology – A Measure-driven Approach

David J. Roelfs, Eran Shor, Louise Falzon, Karina W. Davidson, Joseph E. Schwartz

Meta-analytic methods are becoming increasingly important in sociological research. In this article we present an approach for meta-analysis which is especially helpful for sociologists. Conventional approaches to meta-analysis often prioritize “concept-driven” literature searches. However, in disciplines with high theoretical diversity, such as sociology, this search approach might constrain the researcher’s ability to fully exploit the entire body of relevant work. We explicate a “measure-driven” approach, in which iterative searches and new computerized search techniques are used to increase the range of publications found (and thus the range of possible analyses) and to traverse time and disciplinary boundaries. We demonstrate this measure-driven search approach with two meta-analytic projects, examining the effects of various social variables on all-cause mortality. Meta-analysis, Sociology, Measure-driven, Alternative Search, Mortality.

N. 117

Sample Size Requirements for Stable Clustering of Free Partition Sorting Data

Joachim Harloff, Adrian Stringer, Jennifer Perry

Convergence rates of cluster analysis results are studied for six sets of partition sorting data. Hierarchical cluster analysis, fuzzy cluster analysis, k-medoids clustering and four variants of the consensus clustering method are covered. The six data sets are kinship terms, colour plates, drug data, consultancy Web site items, social groups and prenatal tests. Convergence rates depend on the number of clusters extracted, on the clustering method and on the domain. For domains of 25 items or more, cluster analysis results identical to the final result were most consistently obtained using the third method of Gordon and Vichi (2001). Example evaluations are given for the most stable numbers of clusters for five sets of partition sorting using the method of Gordon and Vichi. The interpretations resemble previously published interpretations of results obtained from non-partitioning statistical methods.


N. 118, April 2013

Discrete Graphical Models in Social Mobility Research – A Comparative Analysis of American, Czechoslovakian and Hungarian Mobility before the Collapse of State Socialism

Renáta Németh, Tamás Rudas

Variants of path models have been widely used for the analysis of the social status attainment process. The methods presented here differ from earlier approaches in several ways. Social status is considered a categorical variable and path models are developed starting from graphical models, using the marginal log-linear approach. Overall model fit may be tested by standard techniques. Under these models, the status attainment process is completely characterized by a set of parameters that measure the strengths of the relevant effects. This is in sharp contrast with estimating and interpreting ad hoc parameters, without paying attention to overall model fit and to other effects influencing the process. The method is applied to the social status attainment process in the USA, Hungary and Czechoslovakia at the end of the last century, and shows that policies in the latter socialist countries to prevent status inheritance had little success. Graphical models, Marginal models, Marginal log-linear parameters, Intergenerational mobility.

N. 118

L’analyse des réseaux sociaux – Un survol à travers quelques jalons

Alain Degenne

The Social Network Analysis – An Overview via Certain Milestones: Social network analysis has multidisciplinary origins (anthropology, social psychology, sociology, mathematics). It brings with it to sociology a point of view based on the study of social circles, on one hand, and relations between persons, on the other. Social cohesion, social roles, mediation, diffusion of innovations and ideas, small world, social capital, etc. are among the topics to which social network analysis has provided interesting insights. This text is based on the keynote presentation at the 15-20 September 2008 CNRS Summer School on social networks in Cargèse, Corsica. Social Networks, History, Instrumentation, Sociology.

N. 118

Ecole thématique CNRS « Etudier les réseaux sociaux », Porquerolles,10-14 septembre 2012

Michel Grossetti, Claire Lemercier, Claire Bidart, Michel Bertrand

CNRS Thematic School “Studying Social Networks”, Porquerolles, 10-14 September 2012: Following the success of the first CNRS Summer School on social networks in Cargèse, Corsica, 15-20 September 2008 (see the preceding article by Alain Degenne), the organizers and the CNRS decided that a second thematic school should be organized on the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles, this time with more of a concentration on social sciences other than sociology, and specifically on history. This is a report on this rather successful second thematic school on social networks. Social Networks Analysis, France, CNRS Summer Schools, Porquerolles.

N. 118

Considering Dialect in Survey Research

Isabelle Renschler, Brian Kleiner

This paper describes ways in which dialect variation may have important effects on the implementation and results of surveys in particular linguistic settings. Specifically, such differences of speech across populations within countries may significantly interfere with survey cooperation and with normal processes of understanding and responding to survey questions. The Swiss context is presented as a case study of how complications in survey implementation due to language and dialect variation may jeopardise data quality. Greater awareness among researchers of the potential impact of dialect variation on survey participation and responding is needed. Also, there is a need for more research internationally on the nature and scope of potential problems due to dialect, and on how to develop targeted strategies and remedies. Survey interviewing, Sight translation, Measurement equivalence, Interviewer adaptation, Dialect?

N. 118

Justifier et préciser l’interprétation des données statistiques

Jacques Siracusa

Justify and Clarify The Interpretation of Statistical Data : Sociological criticism of statistical data is expressed in semantic terms. The problem of classification has been widely recognized in France, but that concerning interpretation, related to contextualism, remains relatively disregarded. Three kinds of solutions are presented. To recognize the contribution of these interpretative strategies also leads to seeing that it is important, but often difficult, to specify the contents of these sociological results. Statistics, Contextualism, Categorization, Data significance, Sociological interpretation, Semantics.

N. 118

Empirical Data and Theory Construction: An Example of Application in Social Science Research

Roberto Cipriani

The classical approach in sociology, as much as in other scientific fields, consists in the use of hypotheses and hypothesis testing processes to determine what, if any, effects can be attributed to particular factors in the case being studied. Other scholars however propose another procedure that eliminates the presence of previous hypotheses and privileges an interpretive – as opposed to a hypothetic-deductive – approach to data analysis. However, in the latter approach crucial questions appear for the researcher: how does one approach the data and data analyses to ensure the credibility of findings? Blumer’s suggestion of “sensitizing concepts” seems to be appropriate in order to reach not only reliable interpretations of data but also to retain the possibility of “building theory”. This process could be supported by computer-assisted research. Methodology, Qualitative Approach, Sensitizing concepts, Computer-assisted analysis, Grounded Theory.


N. 119, July 2013

Alain Desroisières

Karl M. van Meter

Alain Desroisères: This colleague, friend and internationally known specialist on the history and development of statistics, especially in the social sciences, died on 15 February 2013 before we could publish his article which follows in English. This is a short description of his life and work. Alain Desroisères, History of Statistics, Development of Statistics.

N. 119

The History of Statistics as a Genre: Styles of Writing and Social Uses

Alain Desrosières

To what extent does the history of statistics belong to the literary genre of “social constructions”? Does this genre include the development of national statistics? This brief historical summary of selected steps in the social uses of history and, more recently, of the history of science, can be helpful for examining the different ways in which the history of statistics has been written and used. It includes five sections: The First Period of National Statistical Histories (1800-1920); The Difficulties of Statistical Internationalism; The History of the Mathematization of Statistics; The New Wave of National-Statistics History (since 1975); The Bielefeld Group and the “Probabilistic Revolution”. History of Statistics, National Statistics, Social Uses of History, Internationalization of Statistics, Bielefeld Group.

N. 119

An Order on Cross-Tabulations and Degrees of Association

Philippe Cibois

It is often argued that an order exists in a cross-tabulation when the table’s margins have such a structure. We can free ourselves from this point of view and clearly define an order on the table itself. As Louis Guttman noted previously in the case of scalogram analysis, one must often move rows and columns about to be able to create a scale. In this case, it is the order of the table’s structure which induces an order on the margins and not the reverse. However, Goodman and Kruskal, when they proposed the gamma index that defines the strength of an association in the ordered case, only use the margins’ order, and they have since then been followed by most researchers. One should return to the original intuition of Guttman and show that at least an approximate order is almost always present in a table. The ordered cross-tabulation generated by ordered questions is only one case among many others and conversely a table with a strong order structure induces an order on question modalities. With real examples, we show that the criteria are available to define an order on a table, that there are formalized methods to reveal the associated structure, that there are also different indices to measure the degree of association, and finally that there are tests to assess the level of significance. Cross-tabulations, Order Structures, Gamma Index, PEM Index.

N. 119

La passation de questionnaire – Chronique d’un solliciteur de l’espace public

François-Joseph Daniel

Filling Out Questionnaires – Chronicle of a Public Space Solicitor: In a divers public space increasingly exposed to solicitations of all kinds, a questionnaire survey can be problematic. If the culture of the solicitation is integrated by the vast majority, mechanisms of refusal are equally integrated in the culture. The aim of this paper is to profile the solicitation work of surveyors through the ethnographic description of a questionnaire interviewer’s work. It relies in particular on the need to understand the interaction framework that unites the respondents and interviewers to determine the efficiency with which the questionnaire is administered. The ability to cope with this framework – the set of tangible and intangible elements that structure and limit, but also make it possible the execution of the interview – is one of the skills of interviewers in action. Quantitative Studies, Questionnaire, Filling Out Questionnaires, Solicitation Work, Framework for Interaction.

N. 119

Forms and Modes of Apprehending Interdisciplinarity – A Socio-Computer Analysis of Sports Sciences

Cécile Collinet, Philippe Terral, Patrick Trabal, Matthieu Delalandre

This article considers the interdisciplinary character of sports sciences, which holds a double challenge. On one hand, demonstrating how the analysis of a corpus of scientific texts contributes – without exhausting the magnitude of the scientific work – to a better knowledge of a field of interdisciplinary research: sports sciences. On the other hand, on a methodological level, tools and computer strategies have been developed in order to analyze textual data. This article reveals how interdisciplinarity explicitly appears in scientific papers, not only as a discussion topic, but also as an organizational watchword in sports sciences. Besides, the analysis of this corpus helps to finely characterize active forms of interdisciplinary work organized around hybrid disciplines or specific research subjects. Interdisciplinarity, Multidisciplinarity, Discipline, Sports Sciences, Socio-Computer.

N. 119

XI Conference of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS)
“Discovering New Frontiers in Quality of Life Research” (1-4 November 2012, Venice, Italy)

Filomena Maggino

This report on the recent eleventh conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS), which took place in Venice, traces the development of methods and movements involved in measuring quality of life, including the new BES project, established at the Italian National Institute of Statistics, and the initiative “How is Life”, led by OECD. Wellbeing, Quality of Life, Social Indicators, International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS), Venice Conference.


BMS English Abstracts 1993-2003 (N. 40-79)

BMS English Abstracts 1993-2003 (40-79)

N. 40, September  1993

Le PEM, Pourcentage de l’Ecart Maximum: un indice de liaison entre modalités d’un tableau de contingence

Philippe Cibois

The PEM, Percentage of Maximum Deviation: An Index of Tie between Modalities of a Contingency Table. We define an index of tie between modalities of a contingency table, the PEM, percentage of maximum deviation. Two concrete examples are given. The PEM allows us to construct profiles or a set of modalities of survey responses which are attracted to a modality. The PEM also permits us to construct styles of behavior, modalities which have a set of similar PEMs in a cross-tabulation of descriptive variables. PEM, Profiles, Styles, Tri-deux.

N. 40

A method for measuring network effects in scientific cooperation

Saadi Lahlou

A method for quantitative assessment of the evolution of scientific networks with a light-and-fast mailed questionnaire is presented, through its use in the evaluation of the SCIENCE/STIMULATION programmes of the European Community Framework programme.  The methodology is based on the behavioral description of relationships between labs sharing an EC contract, before and after the programme. Networks are described by  a “mean value” of relationships between pairs within the network. Quantitative indicators, obtained through monovariate and multivariate statistical methods, allow comparing the situation before and after the programme, and therefore yield clues for programme impact assessment. An attempt to visualize network evolution with multivariate analysis is presented.

N. 40

Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation of Social Processes: Problems and a New Solution1

Klaus G. Troitzsch

The paper discusses the state of the art in mathematical modelling and computer simulation of social processes. Its first section is devoted to the question why so little use has been made so far of these powerful tools. In the second section it describes the steps taken in any scientific modelling activity – the identification of some part of reality as a “real system”, the detection and/or reconstruction of the laws governing the part of reality to be modelled, the combination of our notions of these laws into a more or less formal model, and (in the case of computer simulation) the running of a computer language version of the model. Models – and computer simulation as well – may be classified for their dynamicity, stochasticity, linearity, for the level (micro vs. macro) and for the structure of their state and time spaces (discrete vs. continuous). In a third section the paper discusses uses and problems of some well known simulation approaches used in the social sciences – DYNAMO and microanalytical simulation models – and mentions some recent achievements in the development of microsimulation tools, especially (in the fourth section) the micro and multilevel modelling and simulation software MIMOSE developed in the last years by the author’s working group. The last section of the paper is devoted to general problems of computer simulation in the social sciences as compared to mathematical approaches: wherever inferences from multiple hypotheses cannot be drawn by logical or mathematical deduction, simulation at least allows us to draw inferences from fixed initial conditions and combinations of parameters, yet it is no substitute for any logical and mathematical analysis. Whoever makes use of simulation to contribute to the solution of socially or politically relevant questions should be aware and make his audience aware that simulation is never more than the solution of a formal model for a given parameter vector and a given set of initial conditions – which both have to be justified -, and that stochastic simulation is even less: one single realization of a stochastic process. Simulation tools should not only make this awareness possible, they should promote and – even better – enforce it. Mathematical modelling of social processes, computer simulation, microanalytical simulation, multilevel modelling, formal models, chaotic behaviour.


N. 41, December 1993

Mode Effects in Survey Research: A Comparison of Mail, Telephone, and Face to Face Surveys

Edith D. de Leeuw

In survey data four potential sources of error can jeopardize the results: the respondents, the interviewers, the questions, and the data collection method. In the last two decades, a shift has occurred in the way survey data are collected; telephone surveys and to a lesser degree mail surveys are now more extensively used. This has stimulated empirical research on the influence of the data collection method on data quality. A review of the empirical literature suggest small differences between mail surveys on the one hand and interview surveys (both telephone and face to face on the other. A controlled field experiment in the Netherlands confirms these results. It is somewhat harder to have people answer questions in a mail survey as indicated by a higher percentage of item missing data, but when questions were answered the data quality is better, as indicated by more self-disclosure on sensitive topics and more consistent answers. No data collection method was superior on all criteria. Furthermore, two substantive structural equation models (one on loneliness and one on general well-being) were compared across the three data collection methods. The different data collection methods turned out to produce significantly different covariance matrices. Subsequent analyses showed that structural models also differed: the same structure was found in each case, but the relative importance of some estimated parameters varied considerably across data collection methods. Mode Comparison, Data Collection, Data Quality, Measurement Error, Face To Face Survey, Telephone Survey, Mail Survey, Interview.

N. 41

Sociology as a Profession in Europe

Siegfried Lamnek

The first part of this article concerns Germany and the professionalization of sociology, its development as an academic discipline, the concept of professionalization, elements hindering professionalization and possibilities of professionalization in Germany.  The next section gives an overview of how sociology is taught in France, Great Britain, Netherlands and Italy, and job opportunities for sociologists as an element of professionalization in these same countries.  This section concludes by remarking that no ideal model is in sight, however sociologists are beginning to analyze their position.  The last section concerns sociology in the old Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany, the historical situation of sociology in Germany, teaching and training in sociology, and the job market for sociologists.  Sociology, Sociologists, Professionalization, Germany, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy.

N. 41


Karl M. van Meter

In preparation for the International Sociological Association’s Research Council conference in Onati, Spain, on 7-11 April 1992 on “Contemporary Uses of Sociological Research” a methodic study of research, documentation and data of sociologists’ careers and the market for sociologists was done.  Major data bases were searched and analyzed.  Professional organizations were also contacted as were governments and international organizations.  An analysis and overview of this material is presented.  Sociologists, Sociologists’ Careers, Sociologists’ Training, Job Market for Sociologists, Data Sources on Sociologists.


N. 42, March 1994


Karl M. van Meter

Sociology progresses through the joint advancement of both theory and methodology.  The diversity of its theoretical approaches is mirrored by the diversity of its methodologies.  There has been a disappearance or loss of pertinence of the distinction between “quantitative” and “qualitative” methodologies.  Perhaps a more constructive distinction is that between “ascending” and “descending” methodologies, noting however that these are complementary and may be combined in a single research project.  All methodologies have a “non universal” character even though each has its particular domain of competence and pertinence.  Multi-method analysis is valuable in obtaining stable results and opening up communications between subdisciplines.  A general sociological research procedure is presented in four “classic” points and to which two often unexplicited basic steps are added: the initial transformation and the final transformation of information during research procedure.  Ascending and Descending Methodology, General Research Procedure, Multi-Method Analysis, Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology.

N. 42

From Paradigms to Eclecticism:  Thematic Profiles of German Language Core Sociology Journals 1984-1991

Heinrich Best, Renate Ohly

The bibliographic database SOLIS (Social Sciences Literature Information System) of the Social Sciences Information Centre in Bonn was used as an empirical basis for an investigation of the changing thematic and paradigmatic structure of sociology in German speaking countries.  The articles published in six leading professional journals from 1984 to 1991 constitute the universe of observation.  A content analysis was performed using highly aggregate bibliographical descriptors as the classification scheme.  The resulting data are analyzed by means of correspondence analysis.  As a general trend a shift from “paradigms” towards “eclecticism” can be detected.  While in the beginning the journals and subjects addressed can be located within a thematic space formed by the two main axes, macrosociology vs. microsociology and theory/methodology vs. practical application, in the end this clear cut thematic structure wanes in favour of looser relationships between subjects and journals.  Bibliometric Research, Correspondence Analysis, Paradigmatic Change, Scientific Development.

N. 42


Pamela Campanelli, Roger Thomas

This research addressed a critical methodological problem raised by the proposal to conduct a survey of `Working Lives’ in the UK.  The problem was: how to elicit a detailed and dated record of episodes constituting respondents’ working lives with the maximum degree of completeness and accuracy, but within the constraints of a standardized, large scale, quantitative interview survey.  After a discussion of practical issues, this paper describes a small-scale empirical study using respondents from the general population.  Respondents were first interviewed using a newly developed hybrid quantitative questionnaire.  They then participated in an in-depth interview drawing from both cognitive and qualitative traditions designed to maximize the completeness and accuracy of the final career record.  A comparison of the two approaches suggested that the quantitative survey had missed 25 percent of the required labour force events and that certain types of events were much more likely than others to be missed.  General topics discussed include the use of calendar aids, the use of an advance letter, the presence of other people during the interview, the availability of external `validation’ documents, the impact of the length of the interview on data quality, and the implications and concerns of collecting other types of life histories at the same time.  Whereas the focus of this study was on recall of jobs and other labour force events and episodes, we believe that the findings and interpretation are of relevance also to the recall of other types of life event.  Life Histories, Work Histories, Surveys, Data Collection, United Kingdom.


N. 43, June 1994

Applying sociology: conversation analysis in the study of human-(simulated) computer interaction

Robin Wooffitt

In recent years much research has been done to try to design computer-based speech systems which will be sensitive to the requirements of human users.  However, this entails a ‘chicken and egg’ type of problem: how can system designers know how people will react to computers, and what their requirements will be, prior to the development of an experimental system, and how can an experimental system be developed prior to an understanding of users’ behaviour and requirements?  This paper discusses two methodological responses to this dilemma adopted by researchers in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey, England. First, a Wizard of Oz (WOZ) simulation technique is described. This involves an accomplice (the ‘wizard’), whose voice is electronically disguised, pretending to be a talking computer; experimental subjects are then led to believe that they are interacting with a piece of existing technology.  These exchanges are recorded, and then studied to yield information about human users’ requirements and communicative competencies. There then follows a discussion of the appropriateness of a qualitative, conversation analytic approach in the study of the data generated by the Surrey simulation experiments.  The analytic sections focus on two communicative strategies used by the subjects to identify and deal with possible trouble sources in the exchange with the ‘system’. The analysis examines the organisation of these strategies, and discusses some of their interactional benefits.  Conversation Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Human Computer Interaction, Simulation Studies, Requirements Capture.

N. 43

L’application de la lexicométrie dans une perspective sociologique

Mohamed Dendani

This article shows some possible uses of lexical analysis through the analysis of a sociological corpus concerning expectations and roles of parents of North African origin in their children’s education.  This corpus will be automaticaly processed in order to show the importance of computer analysis and test whether available software allows easy corpus analysis.  Lexicographic Analysis, Symatic Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Content Analysis, Family, Education.

N. 43


K. Walter Schwager

Since 1954 the dominant approach to measurement adequacy in U.S. psychology, education, and sociology has been the theory of validity. At first three separate types of validity were identified: criterion, content, and construct validation. More recently important changes have taken place in validity theory, including the rise of a unified approach to validation, where all types are integrated into construct validation; some disillusionment with the ideas of construct validation; and a growing influence of Donald Campbell’s approaches to measurement. Causal modelling has become accepted as another approach to validity testing. This paper reviews these modifications, and briefly assesses them from a metatheoretical point of view. Validity, Content Validity, Criterion Validity, Construct Validity, Face Validity, Causal Modelling.

N. 43

Une Petite Pre-Enquete: The Challenge of Social Network Research in France

Alden S. Klovdahl, Alexis Ferrand, Lise Mounier

A small exploratory study was carried out in two areas of France (Paris and Reims) to test the feasibility of obtaining nominative data (names and addresses) needed to reconstruct the large social networks that connect individuals in modern society.  In carrying out the study two kinds of ‘resistance’ were encountered:  firstly, a reluctance to participate in surveys in general; and, secondly, a hesitation among those who did participate to provide nominative information.  An evaluation of the exploratory study leads to suggestions for future research on social networks in France.  Social Networks, France, Surveys, Data Collection Problems.


N. 44, September 1994

Cultural Differences in Organizational Communication: A Semantic Network Analysis

Ha-Yong Jang, George A. Barnett

This paper examines the impact of national culture on organizational culture by analyzing messages directed to external audiences.  The structural equivalence of Japanese and American corporations with stock offerings in the United States was examined through semantic network analysis.  35 Fortune 500 companies were matched by their businesses.   The full texts of the chief operating officers’ letters from the annual reports for 1992 were analyzed by first determining the most frequently used words in all 35 letters.  Then, the frequency of each word for each company was determined.  A companies by word matrix was created, which was pre-multiplied by its transpose creating a 35 X 35 companies sociomatrix based on the coocurrence of the words.  The analysis revealed two distinct groups, one composed of the Japanese companies and another made up of the American.  The Japanese clustered very tightly, while the American was fairly loose.  The American companies discussed financial information and the structure of organization, while the Japanese describe organizational operations.  A discriminant analysis revealed that the two groups could be perfectly differentiated by the texts.   The companies’ business were not reflected in the messages, only their national culture.  National Culture, Organizational Culture, Japan, U.S.A., Semantic Network Analysis, Coocurrence of Words.

N. 44

Computer assisted data collection, data quality and costs:  A taxonomy and annotated bibliography

Edith D. de Leeuw

Through published calls for contributions and data base searches, the author has surveyed literature on computer assisted data collection and data quality to compile this annotated bibliography in which each reference is coded according to a taxonomy.  Bibliography, Key Words, Taxonomy, Computer Assisted Data Collection, CATI, CAPI, CASI, DBM, EMS, Telepanel, Costs, Interviewer Training, Interviewer Effect, Response Rate, Data Quality.

N. 44


Frédéric Michel

Link Strength and Volume of Information in Contingency Tables – Two Problems of Measure in Data Analysis.  This article presents on-going work concerning the unhealthy use of certain statistical measures.  It first of all proposes a tool for measuring the internal correlation within a large dimensional contingency table in order to be able to compare other similar table in this framework by using a coefficient whose values are between 0 and 1.  The article then studies the information contained in a table which would correspond to the situation of statistical independence between variables during correspondence analysis.  Using the hypothesis this quantity of information should be taken into account before a correspondence analysis, the article then proposed a tool for measuring that volume of information that sociologists usually do not treat as such.  Contingency Tables, Statistical Independence, Measure of Information, Correspondence Analyse.

N. 44

Liaison et information dans les tableaux de contingence:  Commentaire de l’article de Frédéric Michel

Philippe Cibois

Links and Information in Contingency Tables – Commentary on Frédéric Michel’s Article.  Frédéric Michel’s article (“Link Strength and Volume of Information in Contingency Tables – Two Problems of Measure in Data Analysis”) published in this issue, proposes solutions to a certain number of problems.  It would be helpful for research on these problems to situate the author’s solutions in the framework of preceding research on the question.  Data Analysis, Contingency Tables, Measures of Information, Link Strength.


N. 45, December 1994

The social structure of sociology in spain

Josep A. Rodriguez

 The goal of this paper is to draw the social structure of academic sociology in Spain applying network analysis techniques to the study of the social organization of sociology and of its cultural product through the relations between areas of research and university departments. Specifically I use MDS to study the institutional field of sociological knowledge and academic sociology as well as the social organization of the sociological production. I use two sets of relational data: one built upon the exhaustive description of the 42 areas of sociological work in Spain prepared for the World Congress of Sociology in Madrid 1990, and the other built upon the analysis of the articles published during the past five years by the leading Spanish journal of sociology (Revista Espanola de Sociologia). The analysis is contextualized within the process of construction of Sociology as an academic specialty during the past decades on one side, and the characteristics of current sociological production on the other. My objective is not only to show the system of relations and influence between universities and areas of research and their impact on current sociological knowledge and work, but also to open the door to the understanding of Sociology as a social construction attempting to address old and new social phenomena.  Network Analysis, Social Construction of Sociology, Spanish Sociology.

N. 45

A qualitative protocol for Studying Technological change in the labor process

James R. Zetka, Jr., John P. Walsh

The article specifies, illustrates, and defends the logic of a qualitative approach for studying the workplace outcomes of technological change.  The first stage involves the use of intensive case-study methods to discover the normative orders that mediate shop floor reactions to technological innovation.  The second stage involves the use of archival analyses to test the hypotheses developed in the first stage and to generalize them to the industry over time.  The third stage involves cross-case comparison to generate general theoretical statements.  This approach is illustrated with reference to Zetka’s (1992a; 1992b) study of technological innovation in auto body building and to Walsh’s (1989; 1991) study of retail meatcutting.  Qualitative Methodology, Historical Methodology, Labor Process, Technological Change, Workplace Relations, Automobile Industry, Meatcutters, Retail Food Industry.

N. 45

The Use of Weberian Ideal-Type Methodology in Qualitative Data Interpretation: An Outline for Ideal-Type Analysis

Uta Gerhardt

This article gives a short overview of what ideal-type analysis is, how it is grounded in Weber’s works and how it may be used in qualitative data interpretation.  It has four main parts. First, Weber’s conception of ideal-types is reconstructed from his writings.  Second, Weber’s ideas are reinterpreted such that a three-step methodology emerges, which is, third, depicted in more detail.  The three steps of ideal-type analysis are outlined which is an adaptation as well as an application of Weber’s thought while fitting the needs of interpretive data analysis.  Fourth, from one of two longitudinal studies the author has conducted, evidence is given to clarify how systematic qualitative data interpretation may use ideal-type methodology and yield insightful findings.  Max Weber, Ideal-Type Methodology and Analysis, Longitudinal Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis.

N. 45


François Gilbert

Requests for Housing – The Case of Saint Priest in the Rhone.  East of the city of Lyons, the town of Saint Priest is a perfect example of a suburb.  Its public housing constitutes a third of the city’s buildings.  The major objective of the research on which this article is based is to describe the different types of requests for housing sent to the public housing authority, the OPHLM, between 1987 and 1991.  By presenting a systematic analysis of the great diversity of those requesting housing, this study’s intention is also to question the management of public housing policy concerning its evolution and the new problems it has to face.  This work is, in a larger perspective, part of the research program that the “Groupe de Recherche sur la Socialisation,” a sociology research laboratory of the CNRS and the University Lumière-Lyon 2, has been pursuing for some time now on the relationship between space and socialization.  Requests for Public Housing, Socio-Economic Profiles.


N. 46, March 1995


Karl M. van Meter, William A. Turner, Jean-Baptiste Bizard

Using the LEXINET and LEXIMAPPE computer programs for cognitive mapping and scientometric analysis, two of the authors have previously published a strategic diagram based on the analysis of the 290 last research articles (all of 1989 and part of 1990) on AIDS in the Sociological Abstracts data base covering 1980 to 1990 (K. M. van Meter and W. A. Turner, Current Sociology, 1992, 40, 3, 123-134).  Here we present a re-analysis of the same data and two other strategic diagrams concerning this AIDS research data base, respectively covering the periods 1980-1986 and 1987-1988.  These strategic diagrams, each with its four quadrants corresponding to “Main Stream”, “Ivory Tower”, “Up-and-Coming” and “Bandwagon” research, permit us to describe the birth and development of a scientific discipline, analyse the evolution of its structure and content over time, and set forth certain hypotheses concerning scientific innovation and itineraries or trajectories of researchers in a new discipline.  AIDS, Scientometry, Scientific Innovation, Structure over Time.

N. 46

Analyse latticielle d’un réseau de proximité

Ameziane Cherfouh, Vincent Duquenne

Lattice Analysis of a Proximity Network.  Two hundred interviews were done in an industrial neighborhood of Kigali, Rwanda (Central Africa), by Sylvia Servaes (Cologne) before the current bloody civil war.  The interviews describe: personal possessions, quality of vie in the neighborhood, and reasons for remaining in the neighborhood or leaving it.  Lattice analysis and the computer program GLAD are used to study associations between respondents and possessions, and implications between conjunctions of possessions concerning facilities, the house and living rooms.  Facilities include source of water and lighting.  The house involves a description of the living quarters and construction materials employed.  Living rooms include the description of possessions that are found there.  Quality of life in the neighborhood is analyzed in two way: through the reasons inhabitants give for wanting to stay at Camp Zaire, or on the contrary, their reasons for wanting to leave.  In the last part, added details on wanting to stay or leave are given and furnish a description of inhabitants who are not satisfied in general with their situation but all the same want to stay where they are.  This analysis reveals the hierarchy and status of possessions.  Reasons for wanting to leave the neighborhood show more implications and dependencies than reasons for staying.  Reasons for being unsatisfied are rather clearly hierarchical and are nonetheless compatible with wanting to stay.  An interpretation of these descriptive results can help (re)formulate hypotheses and test anthropological models of neighborhood relations. Lattice Analysis, Proximity Networks, Galois Lattices, Basis for Implication, Extension/Intension Duality.

N. 46


Joop J. Hox

This article examines the three major packages that allow covariance *sanalysis (CSA) under Windows. The main point of comparison is the analysis of a 5×5 multitrait-multimethod matrix. This shows that the availability of different fit functions and bootstrap procedures in modern CSA programs allow a detailed analysis of problematic data. Covariance Structure Analysis, Structural Equation Modeling, Causal Modeling, Bootstrap, Fit Functions, Multitrait-Multimethod.

N. 46


Gisela Kaplan

This paper debates the concept of a feminist methodology in the context of methodological pluralism and absolutist/superiority claims of knowledge. It briefly outlines the definitional confusions surrounding the use of the term and the risks of tautology. It argues against exclusiveness, imperialism and certainty of knowledge and proposes that, as feminism’s greatest contributions lay in opposing these qualities, any notion of prescriptive models of research paradigms must be resisted, i.e., a feminist methodology per se is  theoretically unthinkable and intellectually undesirable.  Gender and Methodology, Feminism, Methodolatry, Interview, Research Bias, Methodology and Epistemology.


N. 47, June 1995


Ray Pawson

The author reviews and breathes life into the ‘debate’ on qualitative and quantitative methods in sociological research by turning upside down the notion that the terms ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ provide a basic organising framework for research.  Instead, he argues that these labels speak of an essentially technical distinction which should be understood as the distant outcome of more fundamental concerns about the nature of social being and sociological explanation.  The article begins with some considerations concerning the history and context of the qualitative and quantitative ‘debate’, followed by observations about the cross-purposes underlying this early debate.  The author then establishes the key current question about the precise mechanics of fusing the two modes of inquiry.  The main body of the paper establishes a framework for the juxtaposition of the two traditions, under the title of the ‘realist synthesis’ with the establishment of some proposals on research design.  The author then tackles the issue of how to escape the design mind set which asks ‘is it a survey?’ or ‘is it an ethnography?’  Finally, he focuses on data collection and the old, supposed opposition between ‘structured questionnaires’ versus ‘unstructured interviewing’.  To illustrate and substantiate with some real examples in evaluation research (the investigation of social programmes to discover whether they ‘work’ to the desired policy ends), examples of ‘criminal justice’ evaluation are presented from the author’s own investigations of the effect of educational programmes on the rehabilitation of prisoners.  Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods, Realist Synthesis, Evaluation Research, Prisons, Rehabilitation.

N. 47

Un exemple d’articulation de méthodes d’analyse qualitatives et quantitatives sur des entretiens semi-directifs: les représentations du handicaP

Alain Giami, Jean-Louis Korpès, Chantal Lavigne, Régine Scelles

Linking Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Analysis Applied to Semi-Structured Interviews: Representations of Handicap.  This article presents an exploratory process in methodological research to link the use of computer data processing with a qualitative analysis of categories in a sample of semi-structured interviews.  After presenting the theoretical basis for the analytical grid, and the problems encountered in its application to qualitative material, the authors explain their use of a data base which allows processing the categories with the help of a data segmentation and classification software (AC2).  This analysis was carried out secondarily on the categories established by the researchers in order to produce a more precise representation of the way the different variables were organised, by pinpointing their discriminating power.  This automatic method is used as a complementary tool for systematising results obtained with the qualitative method and to support interpretations based on exhaustive consideration of these categories.  Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods, Semi-Structured Interviews, Computer Methods, Representations of Handicap.

N. 47


Salvador Juan

Methodology of Sociological Research Procedure: Didactics of a Research Project.  The objective of this article is to present sociological research procedure, and, more concretely, to show that sociological investigation – even in its most technical aspects – is inseparable from theoretical considerations.  The problems a researcher encounters in trying to link theoretical considerations with empirical operationalization are not really treated in sociological literature.  The author presents and analyzes the three components of a problematic: the frame, the approach, the prospective.  The research frame – and through it, the research object – has less sociological value the closer it is to common sense knowledge.  An approach can by atemporal or chronological.  A perspective is an individual researcher’s theoretical position in which he expresses his scientific institutional identity.  The author applies these ideas to an example of the study of social mobility.  Sociological Methodology, Sociological Literature , Research Problematic, Social Mobility.

N. 47

Using computer simulation to study social phenomena

Nigel Gilbert

Computer simulation has enjoyed a recent revival as a methodological tool in the social sciences.  In sociology, advances in hardware and, particularly in software, have allowed the construction of much more interesting simulation models than before.  This paper reviews two strands of recent work on computer simulation: dynamic micro-simulation and simulation based on distributed artificial intelligence, and suggests some general methodological principles for simulation research.  Simulation shares some of the same methodological difficulties as other types of modelling, including statistical modelling, but also offers new opportunities.  Computer Simulation, Computer Programs, Sociological Methodology, Modelling.


N. 48, September 1995


Johannes van der Zouwen, Edith D. de Leeuw

In this introduction, the authors show the relationship of the five papers selected for this special issue on survey nonresponse and measurement error, with three important indicators of data quality in surveys, i.e., representativeness, completeness and accuracy. Consequences for survey practice and methodological research are sketched. An overview of related (research) efforts are presented. Nonresponse, Measurement Errors, Data Quality.

N. 48


Cees Maas, Wim de Heer

Nonresponse in household surveys is a matter of great concern in many countries. However, response is not decreasing for all surveys and not in all countries. Response rates can be affected for a great deal by design factors and factors related to the fieldwork strategy. Comparison of response results and survey characteristics across countries supports this idea. Depending on the survey design very high response rates can be obtained if the fieldwork strategy is a well controlled one.  Response, Fieldwork Strategy, Survey Design.

N. 48


Joop Hox, Edith de Leeuw, Harrie Vorst

Survey nonresponse is a threat to the inferential value of the survey method. Nonresponse is by now a recognized problem in the USA and in Western Europe. To adequately fight the nonresponse problem extensive knowledge about respondents and nonrespondents is necessary. In this article we describe a method to successfully gather information of both respondents and nonrespondents. This method was developed and tested by Cialdini in the USA; we show that this method can be successfully utilized in the Netherlands and that Cialdini’s results have cross cultural validity. Furthermore we show that the decision to respond or refuse to a request for survey participation can be partially explained by the theory of reasoned action.  Theory of Reasoned Action, Nonresponse, Response, Survey, Experiment, Cialdini, Cross-Cultural Replication.

N. 48


Geert Loosveldt

In this article we investigate the assumption that all respondents are motivated to cooperate and that they have sufficient cognitive and communicative skills to execute the respondent’s role adequately. A typology of respondent’s motivation and ability is constructed with a latent class analysis. The classes of this typology can be characterized according to how easy or how difficult they are to interview. It is possible to relate the typology of respondents with age and education. The typology is also related to concrete aspects of response behaviour: “use of the don’t know response category”, “inconsistent answers” and the “use of a restricted response style”. The difficult-to-interview respondents have a low educational level, are older, use the DK category frequently, and tend to give inconsistent answers.  Survey Data Quality, Respondent Motivation and Ability, “Don’t Know” Response, Inconsistent Answers, Response Style, Interviewer Reports.

N. 48

Computer-Assisted Questioning: The New Survey Methods in the Perception of the Respondents

Andreas Beckenbach

After providing a literature review about existing mode comparison studies regarding respondents’ reactions and data quality in the field of computer-assisted questioning methods, we will present results from a study in Germany (total N=152). This study compared Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and Computerized Self-Administered Questionnaires (CSAQ) with traditional Paper and Pen Interviewing (PAPI). The focus was on acceptability and resulting data quality aspects of the new technologies. In conclusion, there is some evidence to the assumption of better data quality in computer-assisted questioning methods. However, only a few well designed methodological studies on CAPI and CSAQ have been conducted and further research in this area is recommended.  Data Collection, Computer-Assisted Interviewing, CAPI, CSAQ, Data Quality.

N. 48

Mental Construal Processes and the Emergence of Context Effects in Attitude Measurement

Norbert Schwarz, Herbert Bless

We present a theoretical model of the cognitive processes underlying context effects in attitude measurement.  The model predicts (a) the conditions under which context effects are likely to emerge; (b) their direction (i.e., assimilation or contrast); (c) their size; (d) their generalization across related items; and (f) their dependency on the mode of data collection used.  Experimental research bearing on these predictions is reviewed and implications for questionnaire construction are discussed.  Context Effects, Attitude Measurement, Response Effects, Assimilation, Contrast, Judgment, Mental Construal.

N. 48

Levels of Protection: Confidentiality in Network Research

Alden S. Klovdahl

A desire to protect human subjects from harm has stimulated discussion of appropriate safeguards in various areas of scientific endeavor.  Ironically, procedures for protecting the confidentiality of information provided by participants in social network research have received little attention in the literature.  Here the protection of data obtained in social network research is discussed and it is suggested that simple, easily implemented procedures provide adequate protection in most cases.  Privacy, Data Protection, Network Analysis.


N. 49, December 1995

Modeling Conflict and Exchange in Collective Decision Making

Frans N. Stokman

Two dynamic models of collective decision making are introduced and illustrated with a simple example.  A more extensive presentation and application concerning the European Community can be found in Bueno de Mesquita and Stokman (1994).  The two dynamic models reflect two alternative views of collective decision making and politics.  The first, represented in the expected utility model, conceives of collective decision making as conflict resolution, a non-cooperative game, fundamentally different from exchange relations in economics.  The second, represented in the exchange model of Stokman and Van Oosten (1994), does not see fundamental differences between economic exchanges and political decision making.  Dynamic Models, Collective Decision Making, Conflict Resolution, Economic Exchange Relations.

N. 49

Se souvenir de son passé professionnel: Appel à la mémoire dans les enquêtes rétrospectives et construction sociale des données

Thomas Couppié, Didier Demazière

Remembering One’s Work History – Memory Recall in Retrospective Surveys and Social Construction of Data.  This article analyzes the role of memory in the production of retrospective data concerning work history trajectories.  It is based on the comparison of two surveys carried out in 1989 and 1993 on the same sample populations of youths and concerning, in part, the three and a half years following the end of their education.  The article examines the nature of the collected information and reveals two essential dimensions in the social construction of recall of career developments:  the subjective production and reinterpretation of one’s own trajectory for the survey;  and the translation of biographical events into official categories which are increasingly vague (unemployment, work, inactivity).  The article highlights the discrepancies between the answers to the two surveys, shows that the discrepancies cannot be reduced to a simple question of data reliability, and reveals the social processes governing entry into a professional career trajectory. Retrospective Surveys, Memory, Entering Professional Careers.

N. 49

The Reliability of Recall Data: A Literature Review

Shirely Dex

This paper reviews the literature which claims to test the reliability and validity of recall data primarily on individuals’ life and work histories. It is important for both survey designers and analysts to understand the constraints on collecting reliable recall data and the levels of the quality of any data collected. The references are mainly from academic social survey researchers, some government social survey research and psychological studies in the USA and Britain. The main aims of the paper are to summarise what we know about the reliability of various sorts of recall data and provide guidance, in the light of this summary, to survey designers and survey analysts. In order to fulfill these aims, the methods which have been used to test validity and reliability of recall data are reviewed, evaluated and ranked. In practice it is very difficult to test the validity of recall data, whereas there are a number of methods of testing for reliability.  Reliability, Recall Data, Retrospective Data, Data Quality.

N. 49

Statistique, Imagerie et Sciences Cognitives

Monique Le Guen

Statistics, Imagery and Cognitive Sciences.  For two decades, the teaching and application of statistics have been dominated largely by the calculatory and logical procedures of mathematics.  But mathematics is not accessible to all, while statistical “thought” should be shared by the largest possible number of people.  How can one facilitate the learning of statistical thought?  “I have ideas because I have images”, said Euler.  Cognitive sciences are trying to show that Euler was right.  The role of imagery in cognitive processes and learning strategies developed during the learning process are currently the subject of research and results are now being made available outside the restricted specialized research community.  Today, research in cognitive sciences can furnish conceptual aids for designing programs of learning intelligently assisted by computers (LIAC). Statistics, Scientific Visualization, Imagery, Cognitive Sciences, Pedagogy, Learning Intelligently Assisted by Computers (LIAC).


n. 50, Marche 1996


Paul Dickes, Jean-Luc Kop, Jocelyne Tournois

Structural Equation Models and Direction of Causality with Longitudinal Data – An Application to Subjective Well-Being.  When two variables are correlated, the researcher is often confronted with the question of the direction of causality.  This substantive question is, however, difficult to answer, especially when use of an experimental design is impossible.  In such situations, longitudinal data furnish some invaluable information:  the temporal order of the variables.  Unfortunately, the temporal order is not sufficient to answer questions of causality.  The well-known technique of cross-lagged correlations has been criticized because of its unrealistic assumptions.  The major purpose of this paper is to illustrate the use of structural equations models to help answer questions regarding the direction of causality in longitudinal data.  After a brief presentation of structural equations models, focalizing on the LISREL model, we stress their advantages over more traditional approaches.  An empirical illustration is presented which uses the data on subjective well-being published by Headey et al. (1991).  We study the direction of causality between marriage satisfaction and general satisfaction.  The different models tested seem to infirm the conclusions of Headey et al.  Causality, LISREL, Longitudinal Data, Structural Equation Models, Subjective Well-Being.

N. 50


Istvan Hajnal, Geert Loosveldt

Cluster analysis is often used as an exploratory tool. We study the sensitivity of clustering solutions to irrelevant variables. After a brief review of the literature, a simulation study is presented in which a noise variable is added to a set of variables with an a priori cluster structure. This simulation study shows that most clustering techniques are sensitive to irrelevant variables, but that Ward’s method was only mildly affected. Even without the noise, the performance of the single linkage method was troublesome. We conclude that classical cluster analysis should only be used when one has a good idea of which variables to use in the analysis. Otherwise, one should use a weighting scheme or a dimension reduction technique that preserves cluster structure. Unfortunately, these methods are not yet widely available to sociologists. Cluster Analysis, Noise, Sensitivity, Simulations.

N. 50

Using SAS to Convert Ego-Centred Networks to Whole Networks

Caroline Haythornthwaite, Barry Wellman

This paper presents a technique for using SAS software to convert ego-centered network data into whole network data. Until now, these two types of networks have largely been analyzed separately, using different techniques. Ego Networks, Whole Networks, SAS.

N. 50

Are university departments research organisations? A paradox of academic life

Martin Bulmer

Tensions being experienced within the higher education system arise from challenges to the principle of departmental autonomy.  One of the challenges currently facing social science departments is how best to mobilise themselves as effective units of productive research.  This article addresses one issue arising from this change in the funding climate:  do academic departments outside the sciences regard themselves as research organisations, or are they simply a collection of individual scholars doing individual research?  Following a national British survey, five modes of research organisation may be distinguished in the social sciences, which stand in different relationships to the departmental structure of universities.  Social Sciences, Research, Teaching, Universities, Departments.


n. 51, June 1996


Pieter van den Eeden, Joop J. Hox

The authors of this article, who are also the guest editors for this issue on multilevel analysis, give an overview and brief history of multilevel analysis and present the following four research articles.  Multilevel Analysis – Overview, Methods, History.

n. 51


Cora J.M. Maas

Nested data are increasingly analyzed by multilevel-analyzing-programs, specially developed for this purpose. The advantages of such programs for analysis compared with the techniques previously used are set out in this article, both in theory and together with an empirical example.  Hierarchically Organized Data, Multilevel Analysis, Multilevel Computer Programs, Comparison of Methods.

n. 51


Richard D. Wiggins, Chris J. Wale

This contribution presents a multilevel analysis of intergenerational processes. The methodological issues of standardization and selection effects are considered. The results show, that age standardization does not work by itself, but age must be introduced in the models as well.  Multilevel Analysis, Longitudinal Cohorts, Effects of Age.

n. 51


Paul Nieuwbeerta

The author tests several hypotheses about the contextual effects of class mobility on the voting behaviour of intergenerationally stable class members. These hypotheses pertain to the effects of levels of outflow from and inflow mobility to a specific social class (in a certain nation and a specific year). The hypotheses are tested by multi-level modelling, and analyzing data on 20,619 respondents from 113 surveys held in sixteen industrialized democratic countries in the period 1956-1990. Despite these efforts, the analyses show no significant contextual effect of either the level of intergenerational inflow or the level of outflow social mobility in a country on the voting behaviour of intergenerationally immobile persons. In the discussion section possible explanations for these negative results are discussed.  Multilevel Analyse, Voting Behaviour, Social Mobility, Context Effects.

n. 51


Pieter van den Eeden1, Johannes H. Smit, Dorly J.H. Deeg, Aartjan T.F. Beekman

Until recently, the study of interviewer effects has focused on establishing direct effects of interviewer characteristics on respondent response. Recently, an alternative approach has been developed which emphasizes the conditioning influence of the interviewer characteristic on the respondent’s answering process. The objective of this paper is to illustrate this alternative approach with empirical evidence, using the random coefficient hierarchical regression model. This model’s structure is basically as follows. First, the answering process is described at the level of the respondent. Subsequently, respondent specific parameters are related to interviewer specific variables. This structure allows inclusion of the coefficient resulting from the intra-interviewer regression in the regression equation at the interviewer level (inter-interviewer regression model). Thus, the variance to be explained is split up in a respondent part (level 1) and an interviewer part (level 2). This two-level model is applied to data collected in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA; 2838 respondents within 43 interviewers). The dependent variable is a scale indicating well-being (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale); background variables on respondent level are age, sex, and self-perceived health. Interviewer variables are age, education, personality traits and social skills.  Questionnaire Surveys, Response Process, Interviewer Influence, Multilevel Analyse.


n. 52, September 1996


Eric Schulte Nordholt

The Analysis of Poverty Spells.  In this paper data of the longitudinal database of the Dutch Socio-economic Panel survey (SEP) are used to analyse poverty spells. Net household incomes are standardized by means of the Statistics Netherlands equivalence scale. The half median method (a relative poverty measure) is used to determine which persons should be considered poor. Cox’s proportional hazards model is used to test the dependence of the poverty spell on a number of demographic, geographic and labour variables.  Equivalence Scales, Longitudinal Data, Poverty, Proportional Hazards Model.

n. 52


Christophe Giraud

Incoherencies in the Time Data for Linen-Sowing-Knitting Activities in a “Life Styles” Survey.  In INSEE’s “Modes de Vie (1988-1989)” life styles survey, whose objective is to quantify household activities, the comparison of two estimations of time spent on different activities for a non-negligible number of households, showed the data was incoherent.  This article, which limits itself to the study of knitting and needle-work activities, based on the data files of the linen-sowing-knitting sector of the survey, gives an explanation of the existence of these incoherencies.  Survey Incoherence and Errors, Effect of Imposing a Problematique, Memory, Quantification, Data Consistency.

n. 52


Shirley Dex, Heather Laurie

This paper considers two main questions.  First, how do the various theoretical frameworks for carrying out comparative research help us to gain a better understanding of the role women are playing in the labour markets of advanced industrial economies and are some better suited than others for this task?  Secondly, we ask whether research practice can lead to better theorising on comparative research.  The paper discusses the usefulness of various theoretical frameworks through the experience of using a number of cross-national data sets including a European Science Foundation network of Household Panel Studies and a number of two-country cross-sectional comparative studies.  The paper argues that there may be things which can be learnt from engaging in the process of doing comparative research which are relevant to theorising about such research, and which are to some extent independent of the theoretical approach taken up at the outset.  Cross-National Research, Cross-Cultural Research, Comparability, Women’s Labour Market Behaviour.

n. 52


Jacques Hamel

On the Methodological Evolution of Pierre Bourdieu and the Development of Qualitative Methodology in Sociology.  This article concerns the “provoked and accompanied auto-analysis” presented by Pierre Bourdieu in La Misère du Monde.  This latter work constitutes a true methodological experience defining, in a new manner, the epistemological break, the status attributed to common sense knowledge, the representativity and the singularity of sociology, as well as the construction of explanations as found in sociological literature.  The criticism inspired by this method opens up a debate on qualitative methodology in sociology.  Qualitative Methodology, La Misère du Monde, Common Sense Knowledge, Sociological Explanation.


n. 53, December 1996


Harry van den Berg

In recent literature on interethnic relations, the dynamics and flexibility of ethnic identities get much attention. The concept “situational ethnicity”, characteristic for this approach, implies that ethnic identities are context dependent: Selfconcepts and attitudes towards other ethnic groups are not conceptualized as stable and enduring dispositions but as frames which may vary with:  (i) the domain of social interaction with members of other ethnic groups, and (ii) the specific conversational context in which these repertoires or frames are verbalised. As a consequence, it is assumed that the belonging to a specific ethnic group is not always an important element in the frames of references to be used for the perception and evaluation of other people and/or to be verbalised in conversations. The same applies to the way different ethnic groups are distinguished and defined. The paper will focus on the question how to get valid information on the context dependency of ethnic identities. After a discussion of pro’s and con’s of different research methods for this research goal, the paper will mainly focus on possibilities and pitfalls of open interviewing. Special attention will be paid to problems in interpreting interview protocols in theoretical meaningful terms. A main difficulty in this respect is due to the fact that the empirical variety in answering patterns is not only dependent on the type of social interaction which respondents have in mind but also on characteristics of the interview situation and the research design. A frame-analytic model is proposed on behalf of the analysis of frames as articulated in answering patterns and frames respondents use in defining the interaction with the interviewer. Special attention is paid to the possible relations between both types of frames. The research case in question concerns open interviews with pupils of a secondary school. Frame analysis of these interviews shows the role of frames concerning general aims of the research in the answering behaviour of respondents. In analyzing the ways these frames are constructed, the possible effects of the research design are discussed. The results of the study gives rise to a critical view on the method of triangulation: Methodological virtues of triangulation are often overestimated and it seems worthwhile to pay more attention to the methodological risks of triangulation.  Open Interviews, Ethnicity, Frame Analysis, Triangulation.

n. 53


Timothy L. Seifert, Jeff Bulcock

A structural equation model was constructed to examine the effects of mathematic achievement and feelings about school on feelings towards self.  Results indicated a good fit to the data.  A cluster analysis of the two exogenous variables, math achievement and feelings towards school, resulted in the identification of seven subgroups.  The model from the population did not fit the data within each cluster suggesting that different processes were at work within each subgroup.  Parameter estimation within subgroups suggested indeed that the contributions of math and feelings towards school differed in each group and that different processes were being utilized.  The conclusion was that cluster analysis may help clarify and refine structural equation models.  Structural Equation Models, Cluster Analysis, Comparison of Methods, School Performance.

n. 53


Robert Tardos

The author examines the various definitions of the concept of capital and then tries to see what the concept of social capital implies.  He proposes three different definitions which are analyzed and applied to existing survey data in Hungary.  Capital, Social Capital, Survey Data, Hungary.

n. 53



Panel Comparability and the PACO Data Base.  The CEPS/INSTEAD has been coordinating the European Commission-financed “Panel Comparability (PACO)” project which involves national longitudinal surveys carried out in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.  The authors address the numerous methodological problems involved in setting up such a data base which permits the comparative study of panel survey data from different countries.  Panel Data, Comparative Panel Studies, Data Compatibility.


n. 54, Marche 1997


Christof Wolf

Cross-national research on social stratification has to be based on measures of social status that are comparable and interculturally valid. As most status measures are based on information about occupations, an internationally comparable taxonomy of occupations is of central importance. An especially useful classification in this respect is ISCO-88, the 1988 version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations. First, the conceptual framework of this classification is outlined and some basic differences between ISCO-88 and its predecessor, ISCO-68, are illuminated. Secondly, three versions, which depart from the original classification in one way or another, are presented. Finally, Ganzeboom’s and Treiman’s status scales based on the new classification of occupations are introduced and the performance of the new scales relative to the old ones is assessed empirically. Occupation, Classification, ISCO, Status, Comparative Research.

n. 54


Hans Waege

In most methodology textbooks, it is argued that both content and criterion-related validity are very limited, if not impossible validation strategies for the social sciences.  Construct validity, based on the ideas of Cronbach and Meehl, is proposed as an acceptable alternative.  The first part of this article elaborates on the relation between causal models as a means of validation (the nomological network) and social theory.  The second part of the article evaluates different aspects of the nomological network.  In the third part, triangulation, as a way of validating survey-empirical research, is discussed.  We argue towards the conclusion that construct validity remains limited as well.  We contend that, to a large extent, the superiority of construct validity over other kinds of validation is overestimated.  Validity, Construct Validity, Survey Methodology, Measurement Theory.

n. 54


Jacques Jenny

Formalized Methods and Procedures in Content and Discourse Analysis in Contemporary French Sociological Research – State of the Arts and a Classification Attempt.  An initial awareness is needed of the debates regarding the choice of research approaches in sociology and the diversity and specificity of methods currently being used in the domain of textual data analysis in France. In general the influence of the French socio-linguistic tradition looms large, including, on the one hand, the older works of Michel Pécheux on the “discursive formations” and his A.A.D. (Analyse Automatique du Discours, 1969), and on the other hand, two main perspectives of the “Ecole Française d’Analyse du/de Discours” – which refer to the “speech act” concept and to the problematics of enunciation, and emphasizes the processes and “sociodiscursive practices” between socially-located speakers. Such theoretical conceptions and specific requirements lead to build on methodologies different from the classic, theme-based content analysis, though not yet translated into an operational software. Then the main software developments currently having an impact (at least potential) on practices of computer-aided sociological analysis of textual data, in France, are classified : from the lexicometric using procedures of “French Data Analysis” (‘Analyse Factorielle des Correspondances’ of Benzecri, and so on…), to a set of “expert-systems” working on specific theoretical frameworks, through more classical methods of content analysis and coding-sorting-retrieving socio-semantic procedures, eventually with various statistical methods.  Content Analysis Methods, Discourse Analysis Methods, French Sociological Research.

n. 54


Robert C. Yamashita, Howard Besser, Troy Duster, Thomas Piazza, Michael Hout

One of the problems with survey data is the need to impute an interpretive frame for the data.  Generally this frame is developed ad hoc (in the design of the instrument) and modified post hoc (in explaining findings, apparent contractions, and variances from ad hoc expectations).  While statistical methods provide measures of data consistency and validity, they cannot interpret the understandings of respondents.  This paper offers an outline for using information technologies to aid researchers in the interpretation of respondent data.  One method of re-capturing the interpretive context of subjects is to analyze the natural “talk” that necessarily occurs when subjects respond to survey questions.  The new information technologies provide mechanisms for doing this.  For example, with surveys that use Computer Assisted Telephone Interview systems, with modifications to the underlying computer technologies and the background database, voice and text records of respondents can be captured and stored.  These records can then be used in conjunction with the statistical record.  While there are physical limits (i.e. disk space; time, etc.) to such exercises, the basic information derived from text and audio sources can provide important contextual material for the evaluation of numeric data.  Simple technological processes can be used to help gain a proxy understanding of the interpretive context (especially in conjunction with statistical evaluation).  The data can also be used to further refine the survey instrument and evaluate the performance of the interviewers.  A two stage development trajectory is offered.  The first consists of a relatively simple modifications to the existing technology using text records, and the second looks to more expensive and complicated development of the core technologies.  Other possible applications of these technologies are then discussed, and the significance of the impact of these efforts are reviewed.  Textual, Conversational & Numerical Data, Information Technologies, Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis.


n. 55, June 1997


Pamela Campanelli

The four papers which follow in this issue were originally presented as part of an invited session on Cognitive Methods in Questionnaire Design which I convened as part of the Fourth International Conference on Social Science Methodology, July 1-5, University of Essex, UK.  This note provides an introduction to the topic and a context for the papers which follow.  Questionnaire Design, Questionnaire Testing, Cognitive Interview.

n. 55


Eleanor R. Gerber, Tracy R. Wellens

The aim of this paper is to discuss the cognitive think-aloud interview in historical perspective and to outline its uses and limitations in the context of questionnaire pretesting and development.  This qualitative technique is traced from its early predecessors in psychology and its original uses in survey methodology.  Such practices as retrospective probing, definitional probing, and  think-aloud “practice” questions, have been added to the technique, and differ from study to study.  The technique has also been adapted to different respondent populations, and to “quasi-sampling” schemes.  Self-administered questionnaires also require adaptations of the original, entirely oral technique.  In addition, the technique is being used by interviewers with varying degrees of training.  The implications of these variations in the conduct of the interview are explored. The definitions of “cognition” and “cognitive processes” which are implicit in these practices are also discussed.  We examine how these definitions have expanded to encompass such things as language usage, language interpretation, and background knowledge.  The usefulness and necessity of theory-driven analysis are also discussed.  Cognition, Survey Methodology, Cognitive Interviewing.

n. 55


Gordon B. Willis, Susan Schechter

Cognitive interviewing techniques have been widely used to pretest survey questionnaires.  However, to date there has been little work to evaluate the usefulness of these techniques.  This paper reviews critical issues relating to the demonstration of validity of cognitive interviewing methods, and proposes that researchers ascertain the degree to which the findings of this testing are applicable to field survey situations.  To demonstrate this approach, we examined five survey questions that had been tested in a cognitive laboratory, and based on the results of this testing, made predictions concerning the manner in which modifications to these questions would be reflected in the data obtained under conditions of field administration.  In three split-ballot survey experiments that administered alternate question versions, it was found that predictions based on cognitive testing were supported.  The results provide support that there is significant carry-over between cognitive laboratory and field environments.  Survey Pretesting, Cognitive Techniques, Evaluation.

n. 55


Clyde Tucker

In the rush to apply cognitive psychology, and its methods, in survey research over the last decade, not enough attention has been given to scientific principles.  This paper provides a framework for correcting this problem by focusing on methods to improve both the validity and the reliability of data gathered using cognitive psychology.  These methods include better experimental designs and measurement techniques.  Experimental designs which facilitate comparisons between alternative cognitive procedures and different experimenters are presented.  Another feature of these designs is that they will require more care in the development of the experimental protocol.  As for measurement, techniques for making the use of qualitative data more systematic will be discussed, and methods for constructing ordinal and interval indicators will be offered.  Experimental Design, Survey Methods, Questionnaire Design, Measurement Error.

n. 55


Ger Snijkers

At Statistics Netherlands, almost all household surveys are computer-assisted. Within this setting, in the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre of Statistics Netherlands a computer-assisted method for pretesting computerized questionnaires in a cognitive laboratory was designed: Computer-Assisted Qualitative Interviewing (CAQI). A CAQI protocol is expressed by instruction screens and probes built around the questions that are to be tested. Our experience is that CAQI is a workable method, resulting in good qualitative information about how questions are processed and how answers are obtained by respondents.  Pretesting Questionnaires, Cognitive Interviews, Computer-Assisted Interviewing.


n. 56, September 1997


Geert Loosveldt

Interaction characteristics in some question-wording experiments. Data from interviewer-respondent interaction analysis are seldom used in other types of research about data quality. Using data from an interaction analysis that was carried out on taped interviews in an experimental question-wording research, it was possible to validate some of the explanations about certain effects produced by the way the questions are worded.  Question-wording experiments about the range of the response scale, the use of the explicit “no opinion” filter, and the use of the verbs “forbid” or “allow” are used. Question-Wording Experiments, Interviewer-Respondent Interaction, Interaction Analysis.

n. 56


Karl M. van Meter, William A. Turner

Our previously published work on the analysis of sociological AIDS research between 1980 and 1990, based on entries in Sociological Abstracts, has shown that the evolution of research themes, authors, and journals in this domain are quite distinct from each other.  Indeed, they each form a separate set of longitudinal network data generated from the same data base.  The research themes seem to divide up into solid, less flexible themes which change little with time, and those that are more flexible, even “adaptive” and change over time.  The set of authors also seems to have this aspect of division between those that move in a clearly designated direction and those that change over time.  The third type of longitudinal network data is journals in which this research is published.  In an expanding field such as sociological AIDS research between 1980 and 1990, some older journals try to “adapt” and compete with new thematic journals which appear.  Other journals try to dominate a specific aspect of the field.  Each of these three types of data generates its own problems of analysis and results.  Moreover, there is the additional problem of confronting and synthesizing these different results which are all based on the same original data set.  AIDS, Network Analysis, Longitudinal Analysis, Journals, Authors, Themes.

n. 56


Gerhard G. van de Bunt

Some problems are discussed that a researcher encounters when he or she decides to study intra-organizational social networks (over time). The paper is based on personal experiences of a longitudinal network research in a medium sized general hospital in the Netherlands. The main conclusion is that the building of trust is by far the most important determinant of success (in terms of response rate). This takes time, energy, and patience, but is worth the effort. Finally, the respondents’ reactions afterwards are summarized, and the subject of anonymity is discussed. Intra-organizational Social Networks, Longitudinal Analysis, Data Collection Problems. Anonymity.

n. 56


G. Nigel Gilbert, Klaus G. Troitzsch

Below are three papers based on presentations and discussions at the Dagstuhl Seminar on Social Science Microsimulation:  “A Challenge to Computer Science”, Schloß Dagstuhl, May 1-5, 1995, that have since then been published in K. G. Troitzsch, U. Mueller, G. N. Gilbert and J.E. Doran (editors), Social Science Microsimulation, 1996, Springer Verlag.  The three papers are “Simulation as a Research Strategy” and “Environments and Languages to Support Social Simulation:  Summary of an Informal Discussion”, by G. Nigel Gilbert, and “Computer Simulation and Social Sciences:  On the Future of a Difficult Relation — Summary of an Informal Discussion” by Klaus G. Troitzsch.  Simulation Research, Computer Simulation Programs, Simulation and Social Theory.


n. 57, December 1997


Nigel G. Fielding, Raymond M. Lee

This article profiles the use of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) in sociology. It reviews the development of CAQDAS, relates software types to different approaches to the sociological analysis of qualitative data, examines the place of CAQDAS in the research environment, and comments on future developments in software for qualitative data analysis. The article is illustrated by examples of working procedures in particular software packages, and is informed by a fieldwork-based study of the experiences of qualitative researchers with CAQDAS. The article concludes with a ‘resources list’ showing details of a number of CAQDAS packages.  Qualitative Methods, Computer Software, Qualitative Data Analysis, Content Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Methodological Innovation.

n. 57


Régine Scelles

Two Software Packages for Computer-Assisted Textual Data Analysis in Research Involving Semi-Directive Interviews:  Alceste and Hyperbase.  This article discusses the contribution of two textual data analysis computer programs, Alceste and Hyperbase, to producing results that can be communicated, verified and contested by other researchers.  The two programs perform a uniform and extensive analysis of any corpus and quickly identify the points of resemblance and difference between the discourse of various individuals or groups of individuals.  The programs’ limits are specified, but the programs provide clear support in the description of a corpus and the interpretation of discourse recorded during research interviews.  Textual Data Analysis, Semi-Directive Interviews, Alceste, Hyperbase.

n. 57


Peter Halfpenny

Starting from a schematic characterisation of the history of the debate about qualitative and quantitative social research methods, a six point argument is presented. The six steps involve drawing attention to (1) the multiple paradigms available to social researchers, each characterising explanation and data in essentially opposed ways; (2) the variety of research procedures adopted to collect or construct social data; (3) the key point that paradigms do not entail procedures nor vice versa; (4) the similarities between qualitative and quantitative data in that both are extracted or constructed from the richness of lived experience; (5) the point that although the nature of data must be appropriate to the paradigm framing the research nevertheless the procedures adopted to generate data of this form are in principle unbounded; and (6) how confusions arise when it is assumed that particular paradigms and particular procedures necessarily fall into logically coherent and mutually exclusive sets. Parallels are drawn between the six points and recent arguments by Hammersley and Smaling. The conclusion is that acceptance of the six-point argument allows researchers to be more imaginative in their selection of methods. Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods.

n. 57


Zoe Matthews, Richard Velleman

This paper draws together common themes from the experience of data collection in two current studies.  These research projects have aimed to increase understanding of behaviour and attitudes within marginalised communities and have all dealt with sensitive issues; one with sexual health (of ‘new age’ travellers in south-west Britain) and the other with the experience of families within which drug and alcohol problem exist (comparing aborigines in Australia, the urban poor of Mexico City and problem drug and alcohol users in South West Britain).  The hostility of some community members to the research process has focused attention on the most appropriate methods of data collection, and the issue of using insider researchers has been raised both as a strength of study designs, and also as a problem area.  The paper describes the methods of data collection for these studies, including sample selection, instruments, and composition of research team.  A comparison of the experiences of the respective research workers is also presented, in the context of the cultural environments of the three study populations.     Although the settings for these studies are geographically diverse, the problems of data collection experienced have shown some methodological common ground which may be valuable for other researchers working with excluded populations whose culture may be antithetical to being researched.   New Age Travellers, Slum, Urban Poor, Aborigine, Drug, Alcohol, Sexual Health, Data Collection, Marginalised Community, Exclusion, Anthropological Approach.


n. 58, Marcj 1998


Istvan Hajnal, Geert Loosveldt

Clustering, when objects are measured on a mix of nominal, ordinal or numerical variables, has always been a problem in classification research.  This article briefly reviews some clustering methods for dealing with mixed mode variable data sets.  These methods include the coefficient of Gower, the coefficient of Kaufman and Rousseeuw, the combined resemblance matrix approach of Romesburg, the method of Everitt and Merette, and finally Groupals.  Some of the methods were compared in a simulation study.  We used a conditional Gaussian mixture approach to generate artificial mixed mode variable data sets with a known clustering structure.  We conclude that in our simulation set up that Gower’s coefficient performed less well than Groupals and the use of binary variables.  Clustering Methods, Mixed Mode Data, Comparison by Simulation.

n. 58


Nancy Andes

In this article, cluster analysis is used to identify and describe homogeneous social and economic clusters using geographical regions in Alaska as an example of a transitional society. Classifications of underlying social and institutional contexts are identified and compared using several clustering methods. The analyses are performed on a data set with empirical characteristics of twenty-three census places (equivalent to counties) in Alaska in order to evaluate their underlying structures.  The author then examines cluster results for substantive validity and empirical distinctiveness.  Cluster Analysis, Comparison of Methods, Social and Economic Homogeneity, Alaska, Transitional Society.

n. 58


John Goyder

The paper examines the measurement by structured survey questions of collective identities based on territory.  It is a measurement issue that has frequently been recognized in the literature as difficult. Data come from a 1994 mailed questionnaire administered in a region within the Province of Ontario, Canada.  The survey has over 2000 cases with a 71% response rate.  Identification with the entire globe, with Canadians, with Ontarians, and with residents of the local region was double measured within separate matrix format closed questions.  The design allows valid measurement to be separated from method effect within each question.  A LISREL approach is used to estimate correlation between latent variables for each of the four identities.  This leads to the nested concentricity model, within which identities “closest” to each other (e.g., Canadian-Ontarian vs. Canadians-local region) are the most strongly related.  Collective Identities, Canada, Latent Variables, LISREL.

n. 58


Edith D. de Leeuw, Joop J. Hox

The psychometric literature contains many indices that are aimed at detecting aberrant c.q. deviant response patterns.  This paper discusses three well-known nonparametric indices, gives an example of an application, and describes a computer program that calculates these indices.  Person Fit Research, Appropriateness Research, Respondent Error.


n. 59, June 1998


Ray Thomas

ILO (International Labour Office) unemployment in Britain is less responsive to changes in the level of employment than the number of registered unemployed.  Keynesian-type registered unemployment (i.e., the Count of Claimants) focuses on male “bread-winners”, but the ILO seeking-work criterion used in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) captures entry to unemployment as well as volition to employment.  The ILO/LFS Unemployment Series in Britain identifies the top layer of a reserve army of labour of changing composition but relatively constant size.  Reconciliation of ILO and registered unemployment statistics is necessary for understanding of the dynamics of the labour market in Britain.  The positive and negative interdependencies between ILO unemployment and employment may not be limited to Britain.  ILO Unemployment, Unemployment Statistics, Reserve Army of Labour, Labour Force Survey, Longitudinal Studies, Social Security System, Discouraged Workers.

n. 59


Claire Durand,

Application of Item Response Theory to the Analysis of Attitude Scales.  The article presents Item Response Theory (IRT) and illustrates its application to the analysis of two measures of work-related attitudes — value given to social aspects of the job and satisfaction with extrinsic aspects of the job.  Results of IRT analysis show that extrinsic satisfaction cannot be measured in the same way among contract professionals as opposed to regular employees. Using information provided by IRT analysis, it appeared that satisfaction with salary cannot be included in a scale measuring extrinsic satisfaction because it does not contribute to the measure in the same way for the two groups of employees; furthermore, satisfaction with social benefits may be included in the scale only if discrimination and difficulty parameters are allowed to vary across groups.  Analyses of variance using theta scores estimated in this way give statistical conclusions that are notably different form those obtained using traditional additive scores and permit refinement of interpretation.  Item Response Theory, Attitude Scales, Work-Related Attitudes, Contract Professionals, Regular Employees.

n. 59


Ingegerd Jansson, Marinus Spreen

In a study of a population of heroin users in a Dutch city, the local network approach was used to collect and analyse information about the social environment of the heroin users.  Instead of applying a snowball sampling procedure to contact respondents by successive waves, the focus in this study was on collecting relational data with a one-wave snowball sampling procedure.  The population was divided into two strata:  heroin users attending, respectively, not attending, regular drug assistance sessions.  From the group attending regular drug assistance sessions, a random sample was drawn;  for the other unknown group, a non-random sample.  Several aspects of representation reliablity are discussed when assessing in the social environment of the respondents, including the proportion of users visiting the regular drug assistance, of users visiting other drug assistance sessions, of users visiting both kinds of assistance sessions, and of users visiting no assistance sessions at all.  Heroin Users, Relational Data, Snowball Sampling, Drug Assistance Programs.

n. 59


Galina Saganenko

This course was developed at the St. Petersburg State Academy of Culture during 1990-1998, based on empirical and methodological research over more than two decades.  It is used for teaching students in 2-3 and 5 year undergraduate programs, and some topics are offered for post-graduate diplomas.  The syllabus is devoted to communicating empirical knowledge in sociology.  The present course involves teaching through a number of comparative contexts: in this case each of the components “holds” the other components together and, in addition, clarifies their sense.  A student should constantly compare them and, in the end, will understand the specificity of each research dimension and meaning of the final empirical results in sociology.  Within the present program, there are at least four “axes” that can be considered independently or in relation to each other.  In particular, an important aspect concerning the existing three levels of empirical substantiation in sociology is presented here.  The second system derives from understanding the structure of an empirical result in any research.  The third one is connected with the research types.  The fourth is about the sequence of research stages.  Other important explanations are also given.  Social Reality, Empirical Knowledge, Research and Results, Investigative Collision, Investigative Approach, Types of Research, Standardized Survey, Research Based on Texts, Classification of Texts, Primary Data, Methods of Data Actualization, Unit Selection, Data Analysis.


N. 60, October 1998


Bonnie H. Erickson, T. A. Nosanchuk

Contact and Stereotyping in a Voluntary Association: Contact between social groups reduces prejudice and stereotyping – sometimes, depending on the nature of the contact and the setting.  Voluntary association settings have been little explored, though they should often meet the contact hypothesis scope conditions.  We analyze a large association in which the conditions can be checked unusually thoroughly and the conditions are met.  We also use unusually refined measures of contact (derived from network analysis) and of age and gender stereotyping (derived from work on belief systems) and detailed hypotheses (derived from social cognition theory).  No form of contact reduces stereotyping.  Greater involvement in the subculture actually increases stereotyping.  We argue that attention is a function of rank, so that our respondents notice the inequality of a tiny elite and ignore the equality of the far larger majority.  These show results that the cognitive approach to social stereotyping should be combined with work on social structure and its implications for contact, inequality and attention.  Stereotypes, Contact, Inequality, Social Networks.

N. 60


Brendan Halpin

Longitudinal data is often difficult to use, and continuous histories collected in a panel are a particularly unfriendly case.  This paper reports an exercise to re-organise the British Household Panel Study’s work-life history data into a format more convenient for analysis.  The British Household Panel Study collects extensive labour market history information from its respondents, both during the panel period and retrospectively from labour market entry.  That this information is of necessity stored in multiple locations, and of varying levels of detail, has made use somewhat inconvenient.  This paper describes an exercise to bring the labour market information together in a more convenient format.  It also considers some of the problems of retrospective and panel longitudinal data, and discusses issues of recall error and measurement error.  The data files described are available through the UK Data Archive.  Longitudinal Data, Work-Life Histories, Recall Bias, Measurement Error.

N. 60


Niall Hamilton-Smith, Matt Hopkins

This paper considers two approaches to utilising Pawson’s theory-driven interview model as an attempt to overcome the traditional schism between quantitative and qualitative interview techniques.  Both pieces of research are criminologically based though methodologically different.  The first employs Pawson’s model in the development of mid-range theoretical propositions relating to the ’embedding’ of distinct policy initiative (phase II, Safer Cities).  The second seeks to test a theory about the reasons behind contextual variations in acts of abuse and violence against business premises.  Through these examples, the paper attempts to develop a critical account of the operationalisation of this model in social science research.  Interviewing, Epistemology, Theory-Driven Interviewing, Pawson.

N. 60


Georges Ubbiali

The Discursive Strategies of Professional Union Representatives.  This study examines arguments concerning the replacement of labor union activists by professional labor union employees, a modification supposedly associated with the current crisis of labor unions.  The job position of labor union organizer is analyzed through its historical development.  An empirical research in the field with two labor federations was carried out to reconstitute the stages of a union career.  The central part of the recherche consists of the production of interviews with union representatives.  This social-historical approach reveals the fragile and unfinished character of the professionalization of labor union management.  Careers, Identity, Trade, Professionalization, Full-Time Unionists, Union Members, Union Representatives.


N. 61, January 1999


Patrick Doreian

This paper presents an intuition-based formulation for blockmodeling. It starts with an informal discussion of roles, relations and equivalence and outlines the idea of a blockmodel as a model of role structures. The idea of a social network is then considered and these two ideas are joined to suggest the notion that blockmodeling ideas can be used to partition a social network. This is followed by a discussion of the direct approach to establishing blockmodels. Two empirical examples are considered in some detail. One natural generalization of blockmodeling is considered and illustrated.  Blockmodeling, Role Structures, Partitioning Social Networks.

N. 61


Karl M. van Meter

Blockmodeling has been closely associated with social network analysis and often works with symmetric individuals-by-individuals matrices where the unit cells describe ties between two individuals.  But similar, or even equivalent, blocks can be obtained by classification analysis.  Moreover, cross-classification analysis — the Cartesian crossing of a classification of the individuals with a classification of the descriptive variables — permits the generalization of block construction and also identifies the statistically most significant blocks in a data set.  Classification Analysis, Blockmodeling, Cross-Classification, Polythetic Classes.

N. 61


Michel Clavet, François Petry, Jean-Sébastien Brien

How to Analyze Time-Series Cross-Section Data in the Social Sciences.  In this paper we present, step by step, a SAS statistical program for the analysis of Time-Series Cross-Section (TSCS) data which gives robust and unbiased regression estimates. Several statistical packages (SHAZAM, SAS, SPSS) offer procedures for the analysis of TSCS data based entirely, or in part, on a particular application of the Generalized Least Squares (GLS) method developed by Parks and Kmenta.  In a series of recent articles, Beck and Katz have shown that the GLS estimation method often underestimates substantially the standard error of regression parameters in TSCS models.  They suggest a new method for generating adequate correction of the error process in TSCS models.  This method consists of using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) parameter estimates first, and then replacing OLS standards errors (which are biased) with unbiased Panel-Corrected Standard Errors (PCSEs) obtained after correcting both temporal autocorrelation and spatial correlation structures.  The paper provides a SAS application of the method suggested by Beck and Katz.  The SAS program can be downloaded through our web site.  Time-Series Cross-Section (TSCS) Data Analysis, Standard Errors, Regression Parameters, Panel-Corrected Standard Errors.

N. 61


Ghislaine Chartron, Jean-Max Noyer, Sylvie Fayet-Scribe

Solaris, The Experience of a Scientific Journal on the Internet.  The development of the Internet has involved experiments in scientific communications and, in a more general context, scientific journals are currently confronted with the growth of computer-aided communications and documentation.  In this article, we give a brief history and describe aspects of the development of Solaris <;, a French scholarly journal (which also publishes some English articles) in information and communications sciences.  After studying the development of other electronic scientific journals, we can identify certain major trends concerning the founders, the financing, the submission of articles, the services available, the citations and other developments.  Solaris, Internet, Scientific Publishing.


N. 62, April 1999


Harrie Jansen, Tony Hak

Different sources of nonresponse result in different types of bias. In mail surveys, it is usually unknown which proportion of nonreturns must be attributed to access failure and which to refusal. But also within these two categories, further distinctions should be made. In this study, we distinguish between locating failure, contact failure, contingent nonresponse, explicit refusal, hidden refusal, generic refusal, and specific refusal. In a two-stage study of the nonresponse in a lower-class urban district to a mail survey on lifestyle and risk behavior (drinking, smoking, drug-taking, gambling), we first attempted to assess empirically the different components of nonresponse by means of a telephone and face-to-face survey. We found unexpectedly high proportions of localization failure and self-reported generic refusal. In the second stage, a year after the first one, we sent a small respondent-friendly questionnaire on an extremely salient topic to the same sample to assess the stability of response behavior and the validity of self-reported responsiveness. The main findings of this second stage were, first, that self-reported responsiveness did not predict actual response behavior and, second, that, in this lower-class urban district, even the most respondent-friendly and salient survey does not yield a response rate higher than approximately 70%. As it seems impossible to increase response rates above the level that is determined by generic refusal and contingent nonresponse, we conclude that more attention should be given to the development of methods that address avoidable contingent nonresponse. We propose that the success of such attempts to increase response, and the remaining avoidable response bias, be assessed by means of a small respondent-friendly “test” survey on the same topic. Nonresponse, Mail Survey, Differential Accessibility, Differential Responsiveness.

N. 62


Edith D. de Leeuw

Interviewers play an important role in gaining respondent cooperation in surveys. There is empirical evidence of considerable variation in response rates between interviewers. Despite this, research on the role of the interviewer in nonresponse is relatively scarce. Past research has shown that interviewer experience plays a role in gaining respondent cooperation, and, recently, the importance of the “doorstep” interaction has been emphasized. In an earlier study, we gave an inventory of the tactics reported by experienced interviewers to combat nonresponse. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between favored interviewer tactics and individual interviewer response rates. The effective interviewers emphasized the importance of a combination of basic rules (identify yourself, mention agency almost at once) with more advanced tactics (tailoring, adapting introduction). And above all, they believe in themselves and emphasize the importance of social skills and self-confidence. Those who obtain a lower response rate do not rate the “basic rules” as important, nor do they attach much importance to efficient tailoring and self-confidence. Doorstep Interaction, Persuasion, Survey Participation, Interviewer Strategies, Response Rate.

N. 62


Claire Durand, Andre Blais

This article presents the results of a post-election survey conducted among respondents to three pre-election surveys carried out during the last electoral campaing in November 1998 in Quebec, Canada. The surveys, published during the electoral campaign, systematically underestimated vote intentions for the Liberal Party, a center-right federalist party, and overestimated vote intentions for the Parti Quebecois, a center-left sovereignist party, this despite the generally “orthodox” methodology used by Quebec pollsters. The discrepancy between the vote and pre-election voting intentions had been attributed to either a late-campaign shift in favor of the Liberal Party, or a lower participation in the vote among Parti Quebecois voters. The results of this study permit the rejection of both hypotheses. Instead, the discrepancy stems from biases related to the sampling frame and from the different voting behavior of non-respondents to electoral surveys. Post-Election Polls, Surveys, Elections, Sampling Bias.

N. 62


Keith N. Hampton

This paper explores the use of Internet and personal computer-based interviewing in the University of Toronto’s Wired Suburb (Netville) Project. The use of computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) in this project differs from other examples in its use of social network questions, of a time-use diary, and of Internet (Web) and personal computer (PC) based interviewing of a small residential population. The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of why CAI, specifically Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and Computerized Self-Administered Interviewing (CSAI), may be more appropriate for some research projects than others, to explore specific problems with the technology and approach used in this study, and to explore specific challenges for the use of CAI in social network and time-use analysis. Internet-Based Interviewing, Personal Computer-Based Interviewing, Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), Computerized Self-Administered Interviewing (CSAI), Netville Project.


N. 63, July 1999


Rafael Wittek

Hypotheses that address the structural form and stability of informal social networks in organizations are derived from organization theory and dynamic network analysis. An exploratory empirical test of these hypotheses is carried out by reanalyzing a longitudinal network study of trust and distrust relations conducted in a retail sales store in the U.S. during the 1950s. Two problems are addressed. First, it is argued that degree of network closure is a function of sharing arrangements as they emerge from the functional interdependencies in work groups. It is shown that the effects, in part, counteract the processes that would be expected under the more common model of structural balance. Second, it is asked why certain informal network structures remain stable even under conditions where one would expect them to be most prone to dissolution: where the formal incentive structure strongly favors competition rather than cooperation, and where the informal structure, at the level of individual choices, reflects a pattern of restricted rather than generalized exchange. It is demonstrated that the stability of the network under study is significantly enhanced through the presence of a position of third-party intermediaries within the role structure of the system. The results highlight the importance of third parties, occupying the role of intermediaries for the stability of informal social networks and put in perspective the exchange theoretical assumption of the fragile nature of restricted exchange.  Intraorganizational Networks, Exchange Theory, Dynamic Network Analysis.

N. 63


Anne Laporte

Social Cultural Factors and Presentation of Self in Different Survey Contexts: Analysis of an Example of Disagreement.  A qualitative study among homosexual and bisexual men, who participated in a quantitative study, allows the author to show the effect of survey technique individual responses. Fifteen homosexual and bisexual men, who participated in the French national Gay Press 1995 survey on life styles and homosexual men’s reaction to AIDS, were chosen on the basis of their declaration of sexual exposure to risks of HIV infection in the survey’s self-administered questionnaire. During the interviews, the replies of a subgroup of those selected proved to be different from responses recorded on the self-administered questionnaire. The analysis of the differences and the comparison of the conflicting and coherent responses shows the impact of social cultural factors on the possibilities of self presentation that is more or less independent of survey context.  Survey Techniques, Quantitative/Qualitative Disagreement, Sexuality, Social Cultural Factors.

N. 63


Jan Pickery, Geert Loosveldt

In this article, we evaluate a typology of survey respondents, based on the report of the interviewer. In his or her report, the interviewer evaluates the respondent’s motivation and ability to answer questions. In a previous article, this information was used to create a typology with three types of respondents. The first type has ample cognitive skills and is highly motivated. The second type resembles the first type, but the ability and motivation of the respondents of this type is slightly lower. The third type has problems doing what is expected of the respondent. It was possible to validate this typology empirically by relating it to background characteristics of the respondents and interview data quality indicators. We validate this typology further with a multilevel analysis, thus controlling for interviewer bias. Multilevel analysis takes into account the hierarchical structure of survey data and offers accordingly the best possibilities to analyze interviewer effects. We use a multilevel-multinomial logit model, with respondent characteristics and answering behavior as independent variables, the typology as dependent variable and the interviewer as a level 2 identifier. Our results show significant interviewer variability, which raises doubts about the usefulness of the report of the interviewer to create a respondent typology.  Multilevel Analysis, Interviewer Effects, Response Behavior, Respondent Typology, Multinomial Logit Model.

N. 63


Karl M. van Meter

In its last two issues, the Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique (BMS) published presentations from the Special Session, “New Technologies in Sociological Research, Documentation, Publishing and Teaching”, of the 1998 World Congress of Sociology, organized in Montreal, Canada, by the International Sociological Association (ISA), which also organized a Publications Committee Special Session on related topics. In this article, I summarize the four remaining presentations of the “New Technologies” session and describe the results of related work presented in the Publications Committee session, including results of an early BMS-ISA Internet survey by questionnaire.  Sociology, Sociological Research, Internet, New Information Technologies.


N. 64, October 1999

MODELE LINEAIRE CONTRE MODELE LOGISTIQUE EN REGRESSION SUR DONNEES QUALITATIVESModèle linéaire contre modèle logistique en régression sur données qualitatives

Philippe Cibois

The Linear Model Versus The Logistic Model in Regression on Qualitative Data.  Regression on qualitative data is usually done by using a logistic model. By examining data where “everything is otherwise equal”, one can show that the linear model is quite compatible with this type of data. Results of an in-deep analysis of cross-tabulation data (called tabular analysis), and of regression using linear and logistic models, are quite similar (in terms of percentage effects). The theoretical question concerning the possibility of a linear model remains to be examined: it seems that the specific situation of a reference category introduces constraints which make the linear model possible. Qualitative Data, Tabular Analysis, Logistic Regression, Linear Regression.

N. 64


Wim de Heer, Edith D. de Leeuw, Johannes van der Zouwen

In this paper, we present a historical overview of social surveys and describe the historical development of scientific survey methodology and survey statistics. The origins of survey research can be traced back to the early 19th century and the first scientific survey was conducted in England in 1912 by Bowley. Modern survey methods have their roots in the 1930’s, when three major aspects of the survey process were developed and refined: sampling techniques, data collection techniques, and statistical methods for data analysis. In the fifties, the scientific face-to-face interview was established, and handbooks were published. In the early seventies, telephone interviewing was introduced and mail-survey methods were updated and refined. This was followed by the development of computer-assisted interviewing and electronic surveys in the eighties and nineties. At the same time, more emphasis was given to concepts such as measurement error, nonresponse, and total quality control. We are now at the brink of a new millennium. Although the basic principles of the scientific survey still hold, survey statisticians from the last millennium, like Bowley, would be surprised to see the design of a survey in 2012. Undoubtedly, this design will incorporate new technologies and will focus on reducing the respondent’s burden, while improving data quality. Bowley would certainly be pleased to see that sophisticated methods for the reduction of nonresponse and measurement error have been incorporated in a total quality survey design! Survey Methods and Statistics, Social Survey, Scientific Survey, New Technologies, Data Quality, Nonresponse, Respondent Burden, TQM, CBM.

N. 64

LES “RAFALES”, UNE METHODE POUR IDENTIFIER LES DIFFERENTS EPISODES D’UN RECIT:  CONTRIBUTION AU TRAITEMENT ET A L’INTERPRETATION DES ENTRETIENS NON-DIRECTIFS DE RECHERCHE Les , une méthode pour identifier les différents épisodes d_un récit : contribution au traitement et à l_interprétation des entretiens non-directifs de recherche.(1)

Mathieu Brugidou, Pierre Le Quéau

“Spurts” (rafales), A Method for Identifying the Different Episodes in Speech – A Contribution to the Analysis and Interpretation of Empirical Open-Ended Interviews.  This article describes research with a method for the analysis of open-ended interviews. The identification of a series of often-repeated terms during a short period (“spurts” or “rafales”, in French) allows us to reveal “packets of meaning” which constitute episodes of speech. By following these spurts of terms, it seems possible to identify thematic breaks (the end of a series of spurts) and the frontiers where the themes of conversation unravel while a new theme (or speech episode) develops (a new series of spurts). The algorithm for identifying spurts has been integrated into the TROPES semantic analysis software and we attempt to show the contribution it can make in the analysis of open-ended interviews. This article uses and compares the lexicometric approach (spurts based on graphic patterns) and the semantic approach (spurts based on equivalence classes of terms with similar meanings). Analysis of Open-Ended Interviews, Speech, Structural Analysis of Speech, Discourse Analysis, Lexicometry, Spurts (Rafales).

N. 64


Christoph Müller, Barry Wellman, Alexandra Marin

SPSS’s data-handling facilities make it useful for studying ego-centered networks. Such networks are useful for studying a variety of subjects, such as social support, personal community, and an organization’s relationships. We show how analyses of ego-centered networks are best done by starting with two data sets: (1) focal individuals and their ego-centered networks; (2) network members and their ties with focal individuals. We show how to link these two data sets to: (a) calculate summary information about each ego-centered network; (b) combine focal individual, tie and network data. SPSS, Ego-Centered Networks, Focal Individuals.


N. 65, January 2000


Henry Rouanet, Werner Ackermann, Brigitte Le Roux

This paper investigates the use of Correspondence Analysis (CA) in Bourdieu’s La Distinction (1976/79), having in mind the sociologists who wish to analyze their data in a way in harmony with that of Bourdieu. For Bourdieu, CA is not simply a handy tool among others for visualizing data, but a unique instrument apt to uncover the two related spaces of individuals and of properties. A careful reading of La Distinction reveals a thoughtful and creative use of CA, applied to Individuals x Properties tables, with its main aids to interpretation. The major conclusions from this “lesson” remain valid today and generally apply to Individuals x Properties tables whether analyzed by CA or more specifically by Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). In the analysis of questionnaires, doing correspondence analyses is not enough to do “analyses à la Bourdieu”. The fundamental space must be constructed from a set of relevant variables ample enough to allow the full multidimensional display of individuals. Bourdieu’s La Distinction, Geometric Data Analysis, Individuals x Properties Tables, Correspondence Analysis, Cloud of Individuals, Simultaneous Representation.

N. 65

THE USE OF MULTIDIMENSIONAL PARTIAL-ORDER SCALOGRAM ANALYSIS WITH BASE COORDINATES (MPOSAC) IN PORTRAYING A PARTIALLY-ORDERED TYPOLOGY OF CITY WARDS BY SOCIAL-MEDICAL CRITERIA The use of Multidimensional Partial-Order Scalogram Analysis with base Coordinates (MPOSAC) in portraying a partially-ordered Typology of City Wards by social-medical criteria [1]

Shlomit Levy, Reuven Amar

Scientific problems, especially in the social sciences, are usually of a multivariate nature. In particular, a frequently encountered variety of typological problem is that which results when a given population is classified simultaneously by several criteria, each being ordered in a sense common to all criteria. The new technique of Multidimensional Partial-Order Scalogram Analysis with base Coordinates (MPOSAC) is proposed for presenting a partially-ordered typology of city wards, relating social-residential factors to a medical problem. The data consist of seven variables characterizing each of the 21 wards of the city of Hull, England. Four variables are social criteria and three are rates of incidence of infectious diseases. Each of the seven variables is ordered from high to low well-being. Two dimensions were insufficient to represent the partially-ordered typology. It turned out that three dimensions were needed for a satisfactory solution. Two dimensions were generated by the social variables differentiating between “overcrowding” and “no inside toilets” as base coordinates, while the third dimension, namely the third base coordinate, partitions the three-dimensional space into layers according to the infectious diseases. Structuple (profile), Order Comparable, Order Non-Comparable, Partial Order, POSAC, MPOSAC, Base Coordinates, Item Diagram.

N. 65

UNE METHODE D’ANALYSE DES SEQUENCES Une mÚthode d’analyse des sÚquences

Alain Dubus

A Sequence Analysis Method.  Data that can be expressed as successive states — temporal or not — of variable length, depending on the subjects, can be described as “sequences”. The analysis of such entities should allow for their automatic classification in categories as homogeneous as possible, but also the most differentiated possible, while allowing for their interpretation via an ideal-type characterization of the categories. Secondly, such an analysis should allow for differentiated weightings of the states and their separations to avoid the null hypothesis of semantic equivalence of all states and all separations. A mathematical model of accumulated density matrices, integrated into a software program, permits us to attain these objectives simultaneously and, moreover, results in a method of colored graphic representation of categories of sequences. The data used in this example come from research on the professional trajectories of 520 continuing-education teachers which used an earlier version of this method. Sequences, Longitudinal Data, Classification, Ideal Types, Graphic Representation.

N. 65


Dominique Le Roux, Jean Vidal

Verbatim, An Experiment in Capitalizing on Quantitative Interviews.  Archiving qualitative data for use in secondary analysis is an established part of Anglo-Saxon sociology. In this article, we present encouraging preliminary results of an experiment in this domain in France and carried out in a business environment. Verbatim, Qualitative Data Archiving, Secondary Analysis.


N. 66, April 2000


Emmanuel Aris, Jacques Hagenaars

On the Comparison between Linear Models and Logit Models. The aim of this research note is to provide additional information about the comparison between the linear model and the logit model for a categorical dependent variable presented by Ph. Cibois in the BMS (n. 64, October 1999). Special attention is paid to the conceptual differences between the two models. Some relevant literature about models used with categorical dependent variables is also given. Categorical Dependent Variables, Logit Model, Linear Model, Interaction Effect.

N. 66


Franck Cochoy

Curriculum Vitae and Previous Knowledge of Interviewees – Its Interest for Conducting Biographical Interviews.  The conduct of biographical interviews usually neglects the importance of precise knowledge of people before interviewing them. This paper suggests that personal names play a decisive role in the building of personal identities and trajectories, and examines the methodological consequences of such a statement. It shows to what extent the use of curriculum vitae and of any biographical information is an appropriate device to prepare and conduct the interviews. As a customized interviewing guide, biographical knowledge is presented as a means of eliciting an interviewee’s key life periods. Biographical Interviews, Curriculum Vitae, Knowledge of Interviewees.

N. 66


Estelle Bonnet

The Analysis of Situations by Scenarios – The Example of Quality Campaigns in Organizations.  Scenarios are brief discourses submitted to a survey population. This method constitutes a useful manner for obtaining statements and discourse from the respondents. It helps reveal norms and rules of action about which individuals talk little and for which it is difficult to obtain information. The method can complement and enrich data obtained by more classic methods such as interviews. Through the comments and arguments of these respondents or actors, the method obtains access to the different logics of action revealed by the responses and the judgements provided in the framework of the proposed situations. The method can also reveal the capabilities mobilized by respondents in relation to the different problems encountered during work and also access the different forms of expertise used by each member of an organization in daily activity. Scenarios, Logics of Action in Surveys, Reference Framework, Tacit Rules, Debate between Actors, Confronting Judgements.

N. 66

CHILDREN AS RESPONDENTS IN SURVEY RESEARCH:  COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND RESPONSE QUALITY Children as Respondents in Survey Research: Cognitive Development and Response Quality. 1

Natacha Borgers, Edith de Leeuw, Joop Hox

Although children are no longer a neglected minority in official statistics and surveys, methodological knowledge on how to survey children is still scarce. Researchers have to rely mainly on ad-hoc knowledge from such diverse fields as child psychiatry and educational testing, or extrapolate from methodological knowledge on how to survey adults. In this article, we review the available literature on children as respondents and present the first results of a secondary analysis of the influence of cognitive development on response quality. We end with recommendations for surveying children. Children, Cognitive Development, Data Quality, Questionnaires, Interviews.


N. 67, July 2000


Antoine Bilodeau

Which Party Will Win? Advantages and Weaknesses of a Numerical Question.  This article evaluates the numerical question used in the 1997 Canadian Election Study which measures electors’ perceptions of parties’ chances of winning the election. At first, this question appears inappropriate for reliable research. At least three important weaknesses are associated with the question. First, the formulation contains some ambiguities. Second, the literature provides many pieces of evidences regarding the limited capacities of people to deal with probabilities. Finally, responses to the 1997 Canadian Election Study are not consistent with researchers’ expectations regarding the form of these answers. However, the question provides reliable answers. Two empirical tests demonstrate that respondents give sensible answers. First, their perceptions follow the evolution of polls, and these perceptions also affect their voting behaviour.  Methodology, Surveys, Elections, Strategic Voting.

N. 67


Jacques Hamel

Concerning Samples – The Utility of Certain Clarifications.  The article concerns qualitative samples and qualitative sampling.  The subject is first treated from an historical point of view by looking at the work of the Chicago school of thought and the birth of the qualitative-quantitative opposition.  This quarrel over methods is attenuated by distinctions made in this article between: (a) locality and subject of a study; (b) statistical representativeness and sociological (or theoretical) representativeness; (c) descriptive theory and explicative theory.  The construction of a qualitative sample can be formulated as a calculation involving explicitly and uniquely defined and regulated operations.  Sample, Qualitative Sampling, Chicago School, Quebec.

N. 67


Ann Carton

Social research in general, and data collection in particular, can be viewed as a production process where “Total Quality Management” can be applied.  Using the concept of TQM, we evaluate the quality of one important phase of the survey process: data collection by face-to-face interviews.  In this article, we present the main results of a study of a procedure to evaluate interviewers working in a permanent network of interviewers.  The work is based on a doctoral thesis (Carton, 1999).  Given the philosophy of TQM, we end with some recommendations for improving the quality of the network and take account of the specific social context of the network.  Total Quality Management, Interviewer Selection, Interviewer Training, Interviewer Supervision, Data Quality.

N. 67


Philippe Cibois

Observation and Linear or Logistic Models – Reply to Aris and Hagenaars.  The answer proposed here to Aris and Hagenaars (2000) stresses the fact that inadequate application of logistic modeling in analyzing data only concerns marginal effects in percentages. We call for the abandon of the indicator in favor of either logistic regression odds ratio estimations, or observations of tabular analysis (or their estimation by marginal effects in percentage of a linear regression). Qualitative Data, Tabular Analysis, Logistic Regression, Linear Regression.


N. 68, October 2000

RC33 President’s Report

Edith D. de Leeuw

Report on the ISA Research Committee Council Business Meeting held July 30, 2000 in Montreal, Canada

RC33 Information Coordinator’s Report

Karl M. van Meter

RC33 2000 Conference Organizer’s Report

Joerg Blasius

Survey Research Methods in the 21st Century: New Threats, New Concepts and New Opportunities

Don A. Dillman

Early Roots of Statistical Modeling

Willem J. Heiser

Report on the first Unfolding Session at the RC33 2000 Conference in Cologne

Wijbrandt H. van Schuur

Report on the Sessions and Round Table about Trends in Social Research Methodology

Hans van der Zouwen

Computer-Assisted Interviewing

Tony Manners

Session “Translation and Validation of Measurement Instruments: Can Items Have Stable Meanings?”

Tony Hak

Ethical, Social & Political Processes in Social Research

Carole Truman

Variants of Automatic Coding of Text Data

Cornelia Zuell

Cluster Analysis of Network Data

Anuska Ferligoj

Nonparametric Item Response Theory

Gideon J. Mellenbergh

Bayesian Statistics

Nathaniel Beck

Sampling Methods

Siegfried Gabler

Web Surveys

Vasja Vehovar

Session, “Design and Analysis of Data in Social Surveys – Comparative Perspectives across Time and Space”

Chikio Hayashi

Methodology for Handling Complex Societal Problems

Dorien J. DeTombe

Panel Analysis

Jost Reinecke

Geometric Data Analysis

Joerg Blasius

Methodological Issues in Feminist Research

Capitolina Diaz Martinez

Sensitive Topics – Sensitive Questions: Overview of the Sociological Research Literature

Karl M. van Meter

Survey research by questionnaire in any form — fact-to-face, pencil-and-paper, by telephone, by computer — is confronted by problems associated with asking questions about sensitive topics. To provide an overview and a possible structure for “sensitive topics” and “sensitive questions” research, we analyze the contents of the Social Research Methods (SRM) and the Sociological Abstracts data bases for these terms. Sensitive Topics, Sensitive Questions, Social Research Methods Data Base, Sociological Abstracts, Research Literature.

General Methodology

Galina Saganenko

Outline of sessions “Cognitive Methodological Research for Testing of Questionnaires” — I. Principles and II. Applications

Ger Snijkers, Tony Hak

Analysis of Structured Data

Simona Balbi

Report of the organisers of the sessions on Agent-Based Social Simulation

Klaus G. Troitzsch

Report on the session “Estimation of Differential Equations and Stochastic Processes: Methods and Applications”

Jost Reinecke

Report of the session “From Opposition of Quantitative-Qualitative Approaches to a New Modality”

Boris Belikov

Bridging Qualitative & Quantitative Methods

Giampietro Gobo


N. 69; January 2001


Vidal Diaz de Rada

When the target population is specialized collectives (doctors, lawyers, agency directors, etc.), it is common to use the professional directories of each individual collective. However, what can be done if the general population is being targeted? The aim of this paper is to try to answer this question with an analysis of the extent to which the use of the telephone directory as a frame population for mail surveys is valid as it is for telephone or face-to-face surveys. With this aim in mind, the results of a mail survey carried out in Navarra, a region in the North of Spain in the Spring of 1998 will be outlined. The hypothesis to be tested is that the main problem in the use of the telephone directory as a frame population is the difficulty of achieving an adequate representation of the real target population.  Mail Survey, Telephone Survey, Frame Population, Non-Coverage.

N. 69


Emmanuel Didier

Methods of Selection of the First American Surveys. This article describes the methods of selection used in the first American partial surveys done between the middle of the XIXth century and the 1920s. Three procedures, invented by the Department of Agriculture, are examined successively. We once again come across the specific role played by the selection of individuals in the generalization to the total population permitted by surveys considered to be “representative”.  History, United States, Agriculture, Surveys, Selection, Generalization.

N. 69


Introduction aux Méthodes Statistiques en Sociologie by Bloss & Grossetti and Teaching Statistics in France.  In this “Ongoing Research” section, we first present this book intended for undergraduate students in France. This is followed by a commentary by Philippe Cibois concerning the book and teaching statistics in sociology in France and especially the meaning of Chi-square. Cibois’ commentary is followed by a reply by the book’s authors. Teaching Statistics, Chi-square, Sociology in France.

N. 69


Philippe Cibois

Understanding Chi-square – Concerning Introduction aux Méthodes Statistiques en Sociologie by Thierry Blöss and Michel Grossetti.  Related to this introductory statistics book, several questions on how to teach the Chi-square are examined. The author proposes to not using the Chi-square test as a simple recipe but to help students understand that the Chi-square is homogeneous over a given sample and that basic attention should be made in its application. Chi-square, Null Hypothesis, First Order Risk, Yates’ Correction.

N. 69


Thierry Bloss, Michel Grossetti

How to Teach Statistical Tests to French Sociology Students? – Reply to Philippe Cibois. The authors of the book, Introduction aux Methodes Statistiques en Sociologie, reply to the preceding critique of their work by Philippe Cibois. Teaching Statistics, French Sociology, Chi-square.


N. 70, April 2001


Roel Popping

Modal auxiliary verbs (e.g., ought, want, etc.) convey information about the intentions of the semantic subjects within the clauses in the text in which they appear. For example, in asserting that a person ought to act in a certain way, one contrasts the action with the person’s potential intention to act otherwise. This quality can be used in research. Semantic text analysis allows coding modal auxiliaries. This paper investigates how to make modal auxiliaries remain visible when network text analysis is used. This type of text analysis allows one to deal with rather complex argumentation. The answer shows that in this situation network text analysis should not be used, the investigator should stay with semantic text analysis. Semantic Text Analysis, Network Text Analysis, Modal Auxiliary Verbs.

N. 70


Pascal Reysset

Saying and What’s Said in Interviews: Elements for the Treatment of Complexity in Language.  This article attempts to pose the principles for the use of certain tools, forged in linguistics, for sociological analysis, particularly for the analysis of interviews. Far from being a simple collection of information, the interviews with migrants analyzed here are an arena for intense language activity. With the use of concepts such as annunciation, pragmatism and natural logic, various language functions are identified that sociologists should take into consideration: the construction of representations, negotiation of one’s position in an interaction. Contrary to the spontaneous sociology of certain linguistics, language practices are not those of an actor free of all social determinants. On the contrary, by taking into consideration the complexity of language, sociology can construct a plural, heterogeneous and even divided actor. Language Practices, Language Complexity, Interviews, Social Actors.

N. 70


Harald Klein

In the last few years, quite a few computer programs for the analysis of texts have appeared on the market. This overview provides information on this software, and it also attempts to classify them. The short descriptions contain general and technical information, as well as whether or not a test, demo, or trial version is available. The information given here is constantly updated and can be found at Text Analysis, Content Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, Computer Programs.

N. 70


Mathieu Brugidou, Bruno Cautrès

Report on the CIDSP Conference: New Methods for Analyzing Interviews – Computer-Assisted Analysis and Secondary Analysis of Non-Directive Research Interviews.  This conference was organized by the authors on 9 March 2001, at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Grenoble, France. Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Systems (CAQDAS), Interviews, Open-Ended Questions, Interview Data Archiving.


N. 71, July 2001


Maryse Marpsat

In 1993, the French National Institute of Demographics (INED) in Paris started a research program on homelessness, combining in-depth interviews of homeless people and service providers, and several statistical surveys of the Paris homeless, the two main ones being a survey of 591 homeless adults (1995) and a survey of 461 homeless youth aged 16 to 24 (1998). The methodology of those surveys was close to the one used by several American studies, namely the Urban Institute 1987 national survey, the RTI 1991 survey of the Washington homeless and the Bureau of the Census 1996 national survey of homelessness. Hence some comparisons are possible. This report focuses on two issues. First, drawing on the examples of the homeless in Paris and the United States, I will discuss the problems of international comparisons which arise from differences in methodology, definitions, field of the surveys, etc., making the elaboration of comparable results difficult; and from differences in policies designed to relieve poverty, to help homeless people, to deal with immigration or mental illness, etc., also making interpretation difficult. Second, I will examine the use of triangulation from statistical surveys and in-depth interviews, with examples taken from our research program. This last question will be mostly dealt with from the standpoint of someone conducting a statistical survey, but the contribution of quantitative data to qualitative investigations will also be investigated. Homeless, Statistical Survey, In-Depth Interviews.

N. 71


Michael R. Hagerty, Robert Cummins, Abbott L. Ferriss, Kenneth Land, Alex C. Michalos, Mark Peterson, Andrew Sharpe, Joseph Sirgy, Joachim Vogel

A number of governments and public policy institutes have developed “Quality of Life Indexes” (QOL) statistics that attempt to measure the quality of life for entire states or regions. We develop 14 criteria for determining the validity and usefulness of such QOL indexes to public policy. We then review 22 of the most-used QOL indexes from around the world. We conclude that many of the indexes are successful in that they are reliable, have established time series measures, and can be disaggregated to study subpopulations. However, many fall short in four areas: (1) indexes vary greatly in their coverage and definitions of domains of QOL, (2) none of the indexes distinguish among the concepts of input, throughput, and output that are used by public policy analysts, (3) they fail to show how QOL outputs are sensitive to public policy inputs, and (4) none have examined convergent validity against each other. We conclude that many of these indexes are potentially very useful for public policy, and recommend research to further improve them. Quality of Life (QOL), QOL Index Comparison, Comparative Research.

N. 71


Loet Leydesdorff

Authors cannot be reduced to texts and texts cannot be reduced to authors. Cognitions emerge and can be recognized in the development of complex networks of texts and authors operating on one another. The study of these multivariate networks over time provides the subject of “scientometrics”. How can one describe and/or measure the sciences so that the cognitive content can be made visible? First, one needs non-parametric statistics because idealization would abstract from the cognitive substance. The substance is shaped and reproduced at each moment in terms of socio-cognitive interactions (“the static model”). Second, the interactions can be evaluated along the time axis in terms of what the interactions mean with reference to agency, on one hand, and with reference to cognitive development at the network level, on the other (“the dynamics of science”). The discursive mediation has been refined by scientific codification; for example, in terms of citation practices, indexing, and abstracting services. The codification along different axes drives the developments reflexively toward increasing “self-organization” of the knowledge-based systems. Autopoiesis, Self-Organization, Entropy Statistics, Scientometrics, Measurement, Recognition, Science.

N. 71


Fred W. Riggs

Concepts are units of thought or knowledge, not words used to represent them. The words found in our lexicon often if not always can represent more than one concept. We usually understand an author’s intentions because, in context, only one of the possible meanings of a word makes sense. When we are not sure which of a word’s meanings is intended, we may turn to a dictionary or a glossary where its different senses are defined and select the one that seems most relevant. A growing number of specialized glossaries seek to keep pace with the proliferation of technical terminology and, fortunately, many of them can be consulted on-line. However, these and other lexicographic tools all suffer from their inability to place concepts in the context of the theories and systems of concepts that make them significant. They need to be supplemented by both semantic and onomantic analysis which the author presents. The Internet now permits us to speed and improve this ancient process by systematizing conceptual innovation and the author gives several examples including a Terminology site for Ethnicity, a well-developed glossary for Linguistics. the Online Computing Dictionary. Sociological Concepts, Dictionaries, Glossaries, Semantics, Onomantics, Internet.


N. 72, October 2001


Abbott L. Ferriss

Cultural values define “the good life” which is measured by both subjective and objective domains. Domains are variously identified through: (a) “elitist” scholarly identification of universal values; (b) sample surveys of persons in different cultures describing their QOL (Quality of Life); (c) psychological dimensions of well-being; (d) dimensions of social well-being; and, (e) satisfaction with sectors of daily life as represented by social institutions. These various nomenclatures are combined to compose a set of ten domains that identify major sectors of “the good life”. Hypotheses are suggested for improving several specific QOL domains. Values, Psychological Well-Being, Social Well-Being, Satisfaction, Life Concerns, Institutions Sector Measurement.

N. 72


Toma Aluja-Banet, Santiago Thiô

This paper concerns the problem of merging information coming from independent sources. Surveys are one of the most used ways to collect quantitative information, very often at great expense. Also, the reliability of the collected information in modern societies is decreasing due to the “survey pressure” on respondents, thus making it interesting to avoid direct requests to respondents. This is a challenging endeavour at the limits of what statistics can do. Any fusion can be reduced to its canonical situation, which is defined by a complete file, which we call donor, with variables x’s and y’s, and another file, which we call recipient, with only variables x. The fusion consists of transfering the y variables from the donor file to the recipient. It is worthwhile to point out that the fusion does not create new information, it just profits better from that existing. The objective is to estimate individual data valuable in an aggregated way. There are two main methodologies for data fusion: One is modelling the relation of the y variables with respect to the x’s in the donor file and applying this to the recipient file. The other is the hot deck methodology, which involves finding for each individual of the recipient file one or more similar individuals in the donor file and transfering the y values of these individuals to the recipient. Although the problem is much more general, here we consider only the problem of combining survey data coming from TV-audience and consumption surveys. The hot-deck by k-nearest neighbours fusion is currently being employed in media surveys, but in general it greatly reduces the variability of imputed variables. Our objective is compare the accuracy of k-nn fusion with PCAR imputation and PLS regression to assess the advantages of these methodologies. Fusion, Imputation, Hot Deck, Modeling, K-Nearest Neighbours, PCAR, PLS Regression.

N. 72


Jürgen Krause1

In the age of the World Wide Web, users of information services are faced not only with a highly decentralized, heterogeneous data space with different data sources and with “value-added” components in information systems, but also with the more fundamental question of whether they still should, for instance, search (gray) literature in the specialized databases of information centers like the IZ (InformationZentrum Sozialwissenschaften) in Bonn, Germany, or whether they should use general WWW search engines like AltaVista or Fast. Does the WWW displace information centers with their high quality databases or will it only fill the information gaps left? What are the results we can obtain nowadays using general WWW search engines? How do the search engines work and what are the differences with respect to the information retrieval of specialized databases? World Wide Web (WWW), Search Engines, Heterogeneity, Information Retrieval.


N. 73, January 2002


Gad Nathan

This article is a version of the author’s introduction to the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) Jubilee commemorative volume, Landmark Papers in Survey Statisticis, which was published late last year. It is reprinted here with the authorization of the IASS which retains full copyright authority. It also includes the references to the cited papers. IASS, Survey Statistics, History of Statistics.

N. 73


Louise Corti

Report from the Symposium on Celebrating Classic Sociology: Pioneers of British Qualitative Research, which was held on 5-6 July 2001 at the University of Essex. The full program is also included along with the available abstracts. Qualitative Research, British Sociology, History of Sociology.

N. 73


Tom Snijders

Multi-Level Analysis.  This article is based on a one-day course that the author has presented in Lille and in Paris to French-speaking sociologists who are just now becoming familiar with the method. Multi-Level Analysis, Statistical Modeling, Statistical Education.

N. 73


Monique Le Guen

Box and Whiskers Plot for Developing Statistical Sensitivity.  The Box & Whiskers Plot is an invention of Tukey (1977) for schematic representation of a distribution. This graphic representation can serve as a means of familiarization with abstract statistical concepts. In this article, we examine the need to rethink initiation to statistics and base our work on new knowledge in neuron sciences which propose placing the student in a situation of discovery, while using real data and exploratory data analysis computer programs. In the second part of this article, we explain in detail how to interpret box and whiskers plots, and show how students can discover, while exploring data, certain properties of the median and the means. In the references, we provide Internet addresses for further work with box and whiskers plots. This article is intended for faculty members and those who work with applied statistics. Statistics Education, Interactivity, Visualization, Exploratory Data Analysis, J. W. Tukey, Box and Whiskers Plot.


N. 74, April 2002


Emmanuel Aris, Henri Aris

Analysis of Cross-Tabulation Data with Linear and Loglinear Models.  Several models have been proposed to evaluate the strength of the relationships between observed variables, some dependent on others. In particular, when the variables are categorical, models in which the effects are considered additive (linear models), or multiplicative (loglinear/logit models) are often used. In the most complete version of these models, dependence relationships between several categorical dependent and independent variables can be modelled. The aim of this article is to provide basic knowledge of these models to be able to apply them satisfactorily. The fundamental dependency equations, the construction of the complete models, and recent developments are presented. Further, references to programs that may be used to apply these models, and to more technical works, are provided. This presentation is based on the analysis of an example. Categorical Dependent Variables, Linear Models, Logit Models, Loglinear Models

N. 74


Guy Tchibozo

Measuring the Sensitivity of Initial Conditions in Individual Procedures for Finding First Professional Employment – Proposal for a Process and Application.  Individual procedures for obtaining first professional employment are influenced simultaneously by social determinism, chance and individual strategies. The question is how to unravel these different factors. Starting with the central opposition between chance and determinism — where strategies create possibilities — this study proposes an analysis within the framework of bounded chaos. First, a method is proposed for the measurement of sensitive initial conditions (SCI) based on Lyapunov powers associated with obtaining first professional employment. Second, this study shows that the SCI measure permits one to examine the respective roles of chance, determinism and strategy. It then suggests that the SCI measure is a better tool for counseling on scholastic and professional orientation than surveys of entire classes concerning first jobs. The latter remain better adapted to counseling and evaluating educational institutions and curriculums. First Jobs, Social Determinism, Individual Strategies, Bound Chaos.


N. 75, July 2002


Judith A. Droitcour, Eric M. Larson

The three-card method is a survey technique that is being developed by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) to collect sensitive data in large-scale personal-interview surveys.  The technique is intended to allow estimation of the needed statistics while maximizing response privacy and reducing “question threat.” The technique was originally devised to collect data on respondents’ immigration status; however, it might also prove useful in a variety of other sensitive question areas. Sensitive Topics, Sensitive Questions, Social Research Methods Data Base, Sociological Abstracts, Research Literature

N. 75


Hennie Boeije, Gerty Lensvelt-Mulders

The randomized response method (RRM) is intended to minimize evasive responses to sensitive social questions. This study examines how respondents participate in the RRM and how their participation contributes to (in)adequate answers. Eleven respondents, all social service clients, answered twelve questions in a computer-assisted survey. The forced response technique was used as the RRM, and computerised dice (internal randomiser) were alternated with manual dice (external randomiser). Respondents’ behaviour was video taped. Afterwards, a qualitative interview was conducted which was audio-taped. The results show that the RRM caused very few problems. All respondents had trouble giving false answers forced by dice and, as a consequence, some cheated. Moreover, their individual interest, capping of their social service allowance, determined their compliance since it overruled all other arguments even when the respondents understood the RRM. Randomized Response, Social Security Benefits, Sensitive Questions, Surveys.

N. 75


Erik H. Cohen, Reuven Amar

Given a configuration of n points in a Euclidean space and given a vector of similarity coefficients of an external object E with those n points, the problem is how to locate E among the n fixed points such that the higher the similarity of E with a point, the lower its distance from this point. Although this problem has been technically resolved by means of several types of procedures discussed below, it is nonetheless generally neglected. In the present article, we offer a theoretical and mathematical contribution to resolving this problem. Smallest Space Analysis, External Variables, Similarity, Distances.

N. 75


Laurence Bouvard  

LASMAS-IDL 7-8 January 2002 Seminar – National Experiences with Cohort Studies and Their Contribution to the Social Sciences : The objective of this seminar was the presentation of foreign surveys in order to evaluate the pertinence of extending educational panel studies for those leaving the educatioinal system. The first day included presentations on research involving cohorts, panels or retrospective surveys done in the United States, Great Britain and Germany. The second day was intended for sharing experiences with foreign colleagues concerning the necessity, the conception and the operationalization of cohorts studies and the various difficulties encountered in maintaing contact with the individuals involved over long periods of time. Cohorts, Educational Panels Studies, USA, Great Britain, Germany, France.


N. 76, October 2002


Monique Dalud-Vincent1

Reso as a Tool for Structuring Social-Professional Categories: For purposes of readability ande comparison, how can one reduce the social mobility tables that are as detailed as those of the 1985 French FQP survey, and, at the same time, not sacrifice the nomenclature but show the continuity/discontinuity between categoris? Contrary to work in “stratification” which perceives the nomenclature as a hierarchy and qualifies mobility as “ascending”, we model each table in the form of a graph and reveal the social-professional categories as typologies with the software Réso which uses strong connectedness to characterize the impossibility of constructing an induced order of mobility on the 32 categories. Réso constructs proximities between categories by finding and following lines of flow and fracture in a center(s)/periphery(ies) model with points of flexion and points of weakness. These proximities vary from one table to another and cannot be expressed in terms of “stratification”. Social Mobility, Social Professional Categories, Stratification, Graphes, Strongely Connected Components.

N. 76


Michael Lemay, Claire Durand

Research to improve the quality of social surveys has shown that methodological factors have a significant impact on respondent cooperation. The research presented here is inspired by the sociology of work and studies the impact of interviewers’ sense of motivation and “self-efficacy” in convincing respondents to answer surveys. To do so, a survey of interviewers working for three private pollsters was conducted during the Canadian federal election campaign of November 2000. The results indicate some evidence of relationships between motivation, sense of self-efficacy (and associated behaviour), and interviewer performance. However, some of the results could be better explained by differences in training. In addition, the lack of a better measure of performance may also explain the weakness of the results. Future studies should examine performance measurement and try take into account how performance changes over time. Surveys, Interviewers, Interviewer Performance, Interviewer Attitudes, Measurement of Interviewer Performance.

N. 76


Rafael Stofer

Comparison of Structural Analysis and Scientometric Analysis in the Study of Scientific Production: This article is based on the study of networks of advice, coauthorship and cocitation among a certain category of French cancer researchers. We show that the study of scientific production based on strictly quantitative indicators, characteristic of scientometry, is not sufficient. It is also necessary to take into account social networks constructed among such researchers to have a more complete view of a scientific domain and how it is organized. In a comparative process, we present the structural approach which answers this requirement through the use of hypotheses concerning intra-organization of interdependent entrepreneurs that are tested at the inter-organizational level. The two approaches – scientometrics and structural analysis – are then shown to be strongly complementary in their results which lead to a better understanding of how a scientific field of research functions and the roles of the different actors. Scientific Production, Structural Analysis, Scientometric Analysis, Elites, Inter-Organizational Analysis.


N. 77, January 2003


Erik H. Cohen, Elchanan I. Meir, Hila Segal, Reuven Amar

The vast array of occupations can be classified in many ways. The present study employed Roe’s (1956) classification, based on psychological differences, which posits eight occupational fields: Business, Organization, General-Cultural, Service, Arts and Entertainment, Outdoor, Science, and Technology. These fields have been found, in more than 25 studies (see Meir, 1975), to display a circular structure. However, an additional group of occupations, entitled Tension, Adventure, and Risk (TAR), does not figure as a separate field in existing occupational classifications, including Roe’s. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether TAR constitutes a separate field (Hypothesis 1) or a separate dimension, a differentiation within other fields (Hypothesis 2). Following procedures designed by L. Guttman (1968) and others, namely the SSA and the External Variables module, the findings support the second hypothesis. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed. Smallest Space Analysis, External Variable, Multidimensional Analysis, Guttman, Occupational Classification, Tension, Adventure, Risk.

N. 77


Jean-François Gazeau

The Half Median Salary, A Toy for Defining Poverty?: In France, the commonly accepted definition of (economic) poverty level is a relative measure, half the median salary. Computer simulations permit us to question the pertinence of this criteria and show, on one hand, that the poverty level and the rate of exit from poverty cannot be evaluated by themselves but in relation to the salary structure of the entire population and also in relation to the structure of salary movements, even though this is not often rendered explicit in work on poverty. On the other hand, there are other statistical indicators which could better describe the phenomenon of poverty. Poverty Level, Half Median Salary, Exit from Poverty, Simulations, Salary Structure, Structure of Salary Movements.

N. 77

QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT, EVALUATION, AND TESTING METHODS (QDET) Conference – Good Discussions, Debates, and Dining in Charleston

Jennifer M. Rothgeb

The International Conference on Questionnaire Development, Evaluation, and Testing Methods (QDET) took place in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 14-17, 2002. There were 32 sessions with 22 invited papers and 54 contributed papers. In addition, there were 15 poster presentations. The author describes the meeting, presents the entire program (sessions / posters, authors, titles) and provides the abstracts for the invited papers. Surveys, Questionnaires, Testing & Development Methods.

N. 77


Monique Le Guen1

Cross-Tabulations and Mosaic Diagrams For Visualizing Marginal and Conditional Probabilities: This article is part of a campaign to encourage awareness to various aspect of statistics. Visualizing information with graphic methods, when based on New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT), is a promising means to improving the comprehension of abstract concepts in statistics. We address the question of the visual representation of cross-tabulations by mosaic diagram. In the framework of statistical graphics, we present an example of double entry cross-tabulations which permits us to introduce the vocabulary and the different statistical elements — sample size, marginal probabilities, conditional probabilities — found in cross-tabulations. We show the information provided by visual representations as bar diagrams, spine plots and mosaic diagrams. We close with a discussion of ongoing developments and software. The references provide links to articles and software accessible by Internet. Visualization, NICT, Cross-Tabulations, Marginal Probabilities, Conditional Probabilities, Bar Diagrams, Spine Plots, Mosaic Diagrams.


N. 78, April 2003


Philippe Jeannin1

From the Sociology of Science to Sociological Journals: In France, in the social sciences, the evaluation of published research is a poorly structured field. But evaluation is possible when following a rigorous procedure. The method developed here by the author consists to crossing several authoritative data bases of periodicals, then constructing lists of reviews which a widely submitted to the scientific community for comment, and also to a few experts. A journal is then considered scientific when it is so judged to be by the researchers of its scientific community. A case study is proposed here concerning the field of sociology. The survey results (almost 200 French and foreigh journals and half a thousand sociologists questioned) are analyzed here. Sociology, Research, Evaluation, Reviews, Bibliometrics.

N. 78


Valentina Hlebec, Anuska Ferligoj

This was the twentieth annual conference in Slovenia on methodology and statistics in the social sciences and included invited presentations by Patrick Doreian, John C. Gover, Robin Henderson and Donald B. Rubin. There were two plenary lectures, four invited presentations and a total of 78 papers presented. Social Sciences, Methodology, Statistics, Slovenia.

N. 78


Karl M. van Meter

With the second edition of the conference CD, we analyze the contents of the CD and the evolution of the production of the conference which increases from 167 papers (19,8 Mo) to 241 papers (34,2 Mo), and compare it with what we presented in the BMS n. 68 (October 2000). Social Sciences, Methodology, Statistics, RC33, Cologne.


N. 79, July 2003


Francis Chateauraynaud, Bernard Reber, Karl van Meter

Marlowe, Prospero and Literary Technology: An author, an experimenter and a reviewer of the computer programs, Marlowe and Prospero, contribute in this article, respectively and successively, an extensive and detailed presentation of Marlowe, a report on what it is like to interact with Marlowe and a review of the recently-published work, by the first author, describing the development of Prospero for the Analyse of complex dossiers of texts concerning a social controversy, and Prospero’s extension and adaptation with Marlowe to direct natural language dialog with researchers concerning specific complex dossiers. Artificial Intelligence, Text Analyse, Content Analyse, Social Controversies, Language-Based Data.

N. 79


Joop Hox, Edith de Leeuw, Ger Snijkers

In this paper, we describe research questions and their priorities as reported by experienced researchers in the field of nonresponse gathered at the international nonresponse workshop in Copenhagen. These experts give highest priority to research on statistical non-response adjustment and measures to reduce non-response, including monitoring the effects of these measures. Nonresponse, Adjustment, Reduction, Future Research, Concept Mapping.

N. 79


Valdis Krebs

Data from Web-based book retailers, such as Amazon, often provide, for an given book, the list of other books that were also purchased by customers along with the first given book. This article uses this network tie information to construct social networks of “buddy books”. Although the actual political affiliation of each book purchaser is not known, the structure of the buddy book network shows that there are two clearly divided groups: a larger and more diffuse left-of-center readership, and a smaller and more closely tied right-of-center readership. Types or networks of readers linked to a specific author are also studied. Online Data, Social Network Analysis, Joint Readership, Book Purchasers.


BMS English Abstracts – The First Ten Years (1983-1993)

BMS English Abstracts 1983-1993 (N. 1-39)

N. 1, October 1983


Karl M. van Meter

Sociology of white collar crime. The author’s intention is to present the use of two different methods of analysis showing the change in social representation they cause with data collected by the judiciary system concerning white collar crime in both Paris and the provinces. The first method, based on the use of cross-tabulations and simple statistics, characterizes the subpopulations either by direct citation or by opening of an inquiry and other differnet criteria (seriousness of the crime, damages, precedents, sentences). The second method, based on automatic classification with a null hypothesis, arrives at polythetic groups in which a majority of the individuals have a certain number of common characteristics without implying that all individuals with those characteristics are necessarily members of the group. With this method, the possibility of creating a “statistical trashbasket” characterizing a supposed type of crime as in the previous case of opening an inquiry is avoided. White collar crime, Automatic classification.

N. 1


Marie-Ange Schiltz

Elimination of non pertinent modalities in a survey through factoral analysis. During the collection of data, the sociologist often considers the most extensive choice of modalities for the survey questions and includes many possible responses. Coding in “yes” or “no” is quite different. In order to eliminate the “noise” caused by poorly constructed modalities or codings, the author proposes, following a preliminary use of factoral analysis, to remove the “absense of observed trait” modalities, and to isolate plethoric items, weak contributions to the Khi-square and the modalities in the center of the factoral graph, thus modifying the total disjunctive table of data. With a second factoral analysis, the axes are retained, relationship between modalities remains stable, and the associations between the remaining modalities in the table improve (augmented eigen values) as well as the ease of interpreting the graph. Factoral correspondence analysis, Elimination of noise.

N. 1


Philippe Cibois

Post-factoral methods for survey analysis. The author’s hypothesis is that simple statistical indicators are very useful when represented in intelligent graphic form using factoral analysis graphic representation as a foundation. The surface representation of cross-tabulations (REPFAC) and the use of Khi-square percentages (PKM) require a certain expertise that varies with different populations and survey situations. The author shows how to represent the strong attractions between question modalities using as a backdrop a factoral correspondence analysis graphic. In this manner, a valued graph those peaks are the set of all question response modalities with a positive Khi-square difference. This is a post-factoral method in that it uses factor analysis to optimize a graphic representation which is often the basis of a researchers understanding of a phenomenon. Factoral correspondences analysis, Post-factoral methods.


N. 2, April 1984


Alain Degenne, Claude Flament

The notion of regularity in social network analysis. The authors propose a language that permits one to speak simultaneiously of binary relations and relations that cannot be reduced to a set of heterogeneous couples. A binary table containing at least one 1 in each column and each row is called regular. From the structural point of view close to block modeling, the population under study is covered by different collections of relations (hypergraphs). After a remark on rules of computation for matrices representing relations, the authors develop criteria for the coherence between a network and the mapping R of one set onto another set. The sociological question remains, even in the simple case of a unique binary relation, of how to characterize groups that have antagonistic interests and do not constitue a partition. Social networks, Graphs, Regularity.

N. 2


G. William Domhoff

In his introduction and through an analysis of the literature, the author presents the different critiques of C. Wright Mills on the existence of a ruling political and economic elite in the USA. Although his critics do not deny the existence of such an elite, they question its hold on power by asserting that its cohesion has not been proven. The author has attempted to show that cohesion through the use of social network analysis concerning the politicians who are also powerful businessmen and frequent the same social clubs, thus confirming cohesive social behavior. The present study continues this research by analyzing a much larger data base (30 clubs, policy planning groups or foundations) and using a method of network analysis which reveals not only the distribution of ties between individuals, but also the degree of overlap between the different clubs, groups and foundations. This method also determines the centrality and the degree to overlap in relation to the general population. Both centrality and overlap indicate that the social clubs play a fundamental role in the social universe of this elite and reveal a very strong cohesiveness within that elite. Social networks, Elites, Power.

N. 2


Edmund M. McLaughlin

Based on a square matrix accounting for the ties between the different social institutions of Phoenix, and using a type of social network analysis, the author uses smallest space analysis to obtain the best two-dimensional representation of this matrix and thus the articulation of these institutions, each in relation to the others. The data was of two different types. First, 125 institutions including the large private companies, the banks, the insurance companies, the foundations, the large educational institutions, important clubs, and local and state government organizations. Next, the names of 1848 directors or members of these institutions were used. The first type of analysis consists of defining and measuring four different types of relationship within the population which each define a specific square matrix. The two-dimensional representation shows there exists a central node of 25 institutions including all the banks, all lawyer offices, the two large insurance companies, the municipal government and the executive of the state government. Also at the center, but outside this central node, are 32 institutions and companies. Outside this center there are 32 other institutions and businesses which form a sort of ring. The other 18 businesses without ties are not represented. The author closes by describing this structure of power in Phoenix as much more of a monolithic elite than a pluralism. Social networks, Smallest space analysis, Cliques, Elite.

N. 2


John A. Sonquist, Thomas Koening

After presenting the principal theoretical orientations involved in the study of American corporate interlocks, the authors present a method for finding “cliques” within a dense network of ties. They analyze these cliques according to their centripetal force, composition, external ties, diameter, size, role of banks and insurance companies, and role of ties between the cliques. Based on this analysis and because of the high degree of inter- and intra-clique ties, the only acceptable general model seems to be that of class hegemony. An unexpected aspect was the regional character of the cliques found. Indeed, this network analysis found 32 cliques each of which has a rather clear geographical base in spite of the fact they fully participate in an extensive national, even international, network. In closing, the authors show that below this general level of analysis, the different theoretical approaches concord in producing explanations for the particular characteristics of certain cliques. Social networks, Graphs, Cliques, Elites.


N. 3, July 1983, No research articles


N. 4, October 1984


Louis Guttman

Between mathematicians, statisticians and researchers in social science, there is a voluminous exchange of knowledge and conceptual tools, habitually in the direction of the former toward the latter. But this communication, which is far from perfect, has lacunas that are more or less important at each stage and particularly the utilisation of mathematical and statistical tools in the social sciences. After a preliminary in-depth analysis of this question, a text presents six classes of common statistical problems that are not yet resolved. This text is followed by some 50 brief but detailed notes on particular statistical misunderstandings and the means of avoiding them in social science research. This is followed by two recent up-datings by the author and a computer listing showing the operationalization of his remarks concerning the testing of hypotheses. Statistics, Statistical inference.

N. 4


Jacques Jenny

Technico-methodological critique and new perspectives through decentralized modern micro-informatics. Noting that increasing specialization in the division of labor in research between conceiver-researchers and server-computer technicians has lead to the overutilization of standardized techniques, the author examines the effects of the diffusion of the new generation of micro-computers in this domain. Will we witness an uncontrolled vulgarization of data analysis methods or will this new decentralized, decompartmentalized, self-directed and interactive practice encourage researchers to engage in a permanent re-examination of their data and develop a new dynamic process in the domain of methodology? Micro-informatics, Sociology of research.

N. 4


Karl M. van Meter

Structure of data and stability of results: Basic typology in social science research. The stability of results, no matter what the method, is a methodological requirement to be examined closely. For example, stability should not be affected by recoding data. One can also examine the effects of introducing noise in the data with the variables or with the subjects. Finally, one can compare results obtained by several different methods. In conclusion, one obtains stable results, “basic types”, which usually include only a small part of the total data. Recoding, Classification, Correspondence analyse, Principal component analysis, Dynamic clouds, Stability.


N. 5, January 1985


Philippe Cibois

Supplementary fictious individuals on a factoral analysis graphic. In factoral correspondence analysis, the supplementary individuals technique is well known. Here the author proposes an application of the technique which in a simple manner creats fictious individuals. This technique is then used to facilitate the understanding and interpretation of analysis results. Correspondence analysis, Supplementary individus.


N. 6, April 1985


Henry Rouanet

Trouble at Bombach. This text presents the paradox of a two-dimensional cross-tabulation in which similar effects are witnessed in two subpopulations but opposite effects are witnessed at the level of the general population. Cross-tabulation tables, Simpson’s paradox.

N. 6


Maire-Claude Bert

Trouble at Bomback (continued). This article concerns the “Trouble at Bombach” paradox and shows that the paradoxical situation is only possible when the largest proportion of a subpopulation is superior to the smallest of another subpopulation. Cross-tabulation tables, Simpson’s Paradox.

N. 6


Jean-Pierre Olivier

Trouble at Bombach (Montpellian follow-up). This article describes the presentation of the Bombach paradoxe as a exercise in a Montpellier university course in sociology. Cross-tabulation tables, Simpson’s paradox, Teaching statistics.

N. 6


Marie-Claude Bert

Trouble at Bombach: probabilistic follow-up. This article concerns the probability of encountering a Bombach paradox situation. Cross-tabulation tables, Simpson’s paradox.

N. 6


Jean-Claude Combessie

Forgetfulness and paradoxes. Paradoxical cases (such as “ecological paradoxes” or “Bombach paradoxes”) are found in cross-tabulation tables with contradictory information between the margins and the columns. Multivariate analysis often forgets that the weighting of margins should be taken into consideration and that these paradoxes are often only the manifestion of this forgetfulness. Cross-tabulation tables, Ecological paradox, Multivariate analysis.

N. 6


Karl M. van Meter

The axis of paradoxes in sociological methodology. In sociological research, researchers choose with care their variables, their subjects, the coding used and the methods of statistical analysis to treat the collected data. What remains imprecise are the preceeding stages (the transformation of information into survey data) and following stages (the interpretation of survey results). These are aspects that methodological research must examine further. Methodology.


N. 7, July 1985


V. G. Andreyenkov, Ju. N. Tolstova

Presentation of a bibliography of some 250 articles and monographs concerning the application of mathematical techinques used in sociological data analysis. The principal aspects treated are the following: analysis of qualitative or quantitavie data; preference analysis; classification analysis; proximity and spatial analysis of variables; causal analysis; problems of measure. USSR, Mathematical methodas.


N. 8, October 1985


Jacques Jenny

Contrubution of the method A.S.I. in a secondary analysis. Presentaton of an originale descriptive method: the Structural Analysis of Interference” (A.S.I.). Using the algebric struture of a distributive lattice of n generators, this method calculates a system of coefficients intended for the local analysis of complex contingence table (particularly of more than two dimensions). The “joint rarity” coefficient is the most useful. It measures the distance, square by square, of the number of sujects observed and the number anticipated. The values of this coefficient are directly interpretable in terms relationships, within the limitations imposed by the size of the mathematical calculations. The author also proposes another system of “weighted interference coefficents” which offer an appreciation of the fiability of the observed results in the sample. A detailed example of the use of the method is also presented. Descriptive methods, Data analysis, Contingency tables, Interference, Interaction, Rarity coefficients, Boolian algeber, Ddistributive Lattices, Entropy.


N. 9, January 1986


Marc Glady

Social-cognitive associations implicated in a questionnaire on word association. An article of epistemological reflexion on the statistical results of a word association questionnaire concerning economic terms and used in an employee survey. The article concerns the formalized hypotheses of the questionnaire, the meaning of these questions, the typologies of association produced, and the theory of representations that implicitly understood to produce cognitive results and not to reveal a pre-established representation. Smallest space analysis, Graphs, Ties, Economic representations, Configuration of cognitive space, Linguistic semiology.

N. 9


Charles L. Cappel, Thomas M. Guterbock

A study of the organization of American sociology through the volontery membership of sociologiest between 1980 and 1984 ub the American Sociological Association. The authors describe by multidimensional scaling and hierarchical classification methods the importance and proximity between disciplinary specialties using data concerning joint membership in any of the 32 different specialized section of the Association. Sociology of science, Epistemology, American Sociological Association, Multidimensionnal scaling, Hierarchical classification.

N. 9


R. Bruce Wiegand

To estimate the numbers of homeless, which is a very changing and unstable population, the author proposes several extensive single time “censuses”. He presents the example of direct observations repeated once during each of the fous seasons in Nashville. He criticizes the usual techinques of estimation based essentially of appreciations made by informed experts of the Census, Homeless.


N. 10, April 1986


Jean-Claude Combessie

Concerning methods: optical effects, heuristics and objectivization. Going beyond the division between qualitative and/or quantitative methods, the author, using the example of a particular survey, presents a “middle of the road” methodology. He recalls that most surveys are minimally present at the pole to which they do not contribut (individual biographies used to prepare a standardized questionnaire or the multiplication of questions in a questionnaire in order to be more comprehensive). Thus, the classic duality between comprehensive and generalizing approaches is not tied to any particular method which is qualitative or quantative. Choices between the two approaches can occure at any time during a study. Approache by abstraction, Comprehensive approache , Qualitative methods, Quantitative methods, Biographies, Pre-questionnaire, Statistical Surveys, Multivariate aalyse, Factoral correspondence analyse.

N. 10


Thomas P. Wilson

The perenial controversy over quantitative and qualitative methods is addressed from an empirical point of view rather than as a purely methodological or epistemological question. Consideration of empirical findings leads to rejection of the prevailing views that social science is either nomothetic or idiographic and that a significant methodological distinction can be drawn between quantitative and qualitative methods in social research. As a consequence, quantitative and qualitative methods are seen as inherently complementary, and the question of objectivity in social science is viewed, not as a matter of following “correct” procedure, but rather as an issue dealt with as a pratical matter by researchers in terms of internal and external coherence. Qualitative methods, Quantitative methods, Logical positivist, Social categories, Social interaction, Context-free, Context sensitive mechanism, Reflexive context.

N. 10


Michel Thiolent

Note on the methodological tendancies in Brazilian social sciences. Work associated with major theories is much more valued than work on the tools of research, thus methodology is often relegated to a subalternate position. The major tendencies are the use of empirical and quantative techniques and the use of participative qualitative approaches. Statistical techniques are not oftenly used although micro-computers have tended to demystify “quantitatism”. Qualitative methods, Quantitative methods, Social science, Brazil.


N. 11, July 1986


Ray Pawson

This paper examines the variety of interpretations of how conceptualization is taken to shape sociological measurement. Part I offers a critique of the way in which measurement properties are currently established and shows that theory and measurement are still understood as broadly separated enterprises. Part II attempts to develop an interpretation of measurement consonant with post-empiricist philosophy and advocates the reworking of sociological theory so that it can play a more prominent role in grounding measurement systems. In the light of this revised understanding of enquiry, Part III is a post-script and post-motem on “level of measurement”. Measurement scales, Post-empiricist philosophy, Sociological concepts, Social class measurement, Social mobility theory.

N. 11


Pauline Marie Vaillancourt

First, this paper examines different conceptions of the dialectic within the Marxist tradition and shows that one, in particular, is more consistent with empirical research than the others. Second, the view of certains Marxists, that empirical research techniques are incompatible with a dialectic approach, are also discussed and rejected. Third, specific research tools common to modern social science are examined to detect if they incorporate assumptions that contradict dialectical explanation. Last, in conclusion, rather than repudiating dialectics, social scientists should reevaluate its potential for studying dynamic phenomena. Dialectic, Marxism, Empirical research, Dynamic phenomena, Time series, Panel analysis, Longitudinal data, Symetrical causality, Feedback, Interaction, Recursive structures, Hierarchical model, Path analysis, Stochastic process.


N. 12, October 1986


Marie-Ange Schiltz

Log-linear models for the analysis of contingency tables. Based on an example of the consumption of psychotropic medecins, the author explains how to select the models of interactions between variables, measure the ajustment of the model and interpret the parameters in order to estimate the relative important of the effects of the different variables and their interactions. Log-linear models, Cross-tabulations tables.

N. 12


Jean-Pierre Courtial, Jean Juan

Obtaiing strategic maps of scientific research based on the associated word analysis of documentary data files. Using a documentary data file on artificial intelligence, the authors try to graphically represent the proximity between concepts (and then between concepts and countries). The first method is based on the quantification of the association between two keyword using the number of their observed cooccurence in the documentary file. One then aggreagates the stronger pairs and the words associated with them in order to obtain groups of of a determined number of words with ties that are more or less strong. The representation of this graph is optimized (leximappe graph). A second method consists of to each frequent term a boolean vector of presence/absence of cooccurence of less frequent terms in the lexique. The representation of the results can be done by the previous method or by a factoral correspondence analysis. Documentary analysis, Leximappe graphic, Sociology of science.

N. 12


Yannick Lemel, Daniel Verger

A note on “basic types” in hierarchical classification anlaysis. The authors compare results from a dozen hierarchial classification analyses of the same objects. They find that the groups of objects are practically the same in every case but the larger groups are not stable from one technique to another. If “basic types” exist, they are of very small size. Basic types, Hierarchical classification anlysis.


N. 13, janvier 1987


Pierre Achard

Throughá examples of analysis of economic texts by aá formal ì methodá ofá sociolinguistics,á the author revealsá notá onlyá the ì relations between economists and state power, but also shows that ì theseá examples themselves are part of theá relations.á 1Discourse ì analysis,áá contentá analysis,áá methodology,áá sociolinguistics, ì economy, education, state power.1

N. 13


Karl M. van Meter

Recent research in social representation and sociological methodology, and in particular the analysis of French governent sponsored sociological research projects (AlPs) and French scientific literature in sociology, show that social representation and discourse on methodology play an important role in determining the outcome of sociological research. Social representation, methodology, discourse analysis, French sociology, deviance, ideology.

N. 13


Max Reinert

Hierarchically descending classification and lexical analysis by context: application to the corpus of A. Ri baud’s poetry. Using a lexical analysis by context and a hierarchically descending classification method, the author examines the corpus of Rimbaud’s poetry. Two different codings of the corpus with the use cf the same method of analysis, plus other methods also, furnish a means of judging the stability of the results obtained. Lexical analysis, Arthur Rimbaud, methodology, hierarchically descending classification analysis, coding.


N. 14

Les Structures de l’opinion en 1985 – Enquêtes et méthodologie


The structure of public opinion in France in 1985 – Surveys and methodology. By the use of a systematic selection process for questionnaire construction and a rigorous methodology controlling for the known sources of survey variability and bias, these successive surveys since 1977 furnish a detailed representation of how French public opinion is stably structured around a specific field of conflicts. Principal component analysis is the method of data anaylsis used here. Public opinion, surveys, conflicts, principal components analysis, bias, methodology.


N. 15, juillet 1987


Karl M. van Meter, Marten W. de Vries, Charles D. Kaplan, Chantal I. M. Dijkman

By a detailed analysis of the concept of classification and nomenclature of some behavior problems, the authors refine the concepts syndrome, class, model and ideal type, specifying the close relations between them. The method of cross-classification provides a way to operationalize these considerations. The experience sampling method (ES), which introduces variables for mental status and the immediate environment, provides a new research tool. Together, these developments form a research methodology currently used in two major research programs on behavior, one on anxiety, the other on the use of drugs. The combination of these two techniques reveals new aspects of the relationship between syndromes, analysis and models. Syndromes, Polythetic Classes, Models, Cross-classification, Ideal types, Operationalization, Anxiety, Drugs, Experience sampling (ES).


N. 16, octobre 1987


Terry Shinn

Geometry and language: the structure of models in social sciences and in physical sciences. The first part argues that in physical sciences models are essentially based on visual or reified geometry while in the social sciences, models are often based on language constructions and, in particular, metaphors. The second part examines in detail the relationship between research in the physical sciences and in the social sciences, specifically according to their ontological reference to the models they use. Everyday language is the physical sciences is analyzed as well as three theories of metaphor. The author develops the idea that in the social sciences, there is a deterministic relationship between metaphoric models and social ontology. Models, physical sciences, social sciences, geometrical representations, language metaphors.


N. 17, janvier 1987


Joel H. Levine

The interlocks between boards of directors of some 400 of the world’s largest corporations are studied with methods of network analysis and, in particular, with the original methods of centroid scaling and frequency reconstruction scaling. The former furnishes stable global maps of these interlocks and discerns five groups of corporations: the French group; the Swiss group; the German group; the Dutch group; the British-Canadian-American-South-African group. The latter method furnishes very detailed maps of the internal structure of these groups and the ties between these groups. This article consists of the methodological sections of the author’s book, Atlas of Corporate Interlocks, Worldnet (Box A-201, Hanover NH 0375), 1985, 2 volumes, 501 p, 495 US$. Social network analysis, interlocking directorates, corporations, centroid scaling, frequency reconstruction scaling.

N. 17


AFARS (Association Française des Analystes de Réseaux Sociaux), BMS

The Seminar “An Intermediate Level – Social Networks”. This article includes a presentation of this international seminar, a description of the published proceedings and a detailed abstract of each of the eleven presentations given during the seminar. Social network analysis, France.

N. 17


Leo P. Chall (Sociological Abstracts)

In this original survey, 123 major English-speaking sociologists, including many editors of sociology serials, ranked by importance of scientific contribution, 90 sociology serials published in English. An analysis of these data shows the structuring of this domain and an important difference between annuals and other serials. Also, the non-American English-speaking subpopulation behaves in a manner different from the American subpopulation. Sociology of sociology, scientific publishing, American sociology, English language sociology, scientific prestige.


N. 18, avril 1988


Johannnes van der Zouwen, Wil Dijkstra

The authors present a model of the interaction between interviewer and interviewee during the survey interview process. On this theoretical basis, survey interviews were recorded and analysed, revealing four types of inadequate behaviour: the adaptation of questions for the interviewee by the interviewer; the interviewer’s inattentiveness; the interviewer’s choosing of a response “on the behalf” of the interviewee; the hinting by the interviewer to clarify the interviewee’s response.  These different types are thoroughly analysed, showing that it is especially hinting that distorts survey interview data. Interviewer, interviewee, interview, survey, questionnaire, behaviour.

N. 18


Opinion polls and social science research. Summaries of presentations during the day of study in memory of Jean Stoetzel, organised by the Society of friends of the Centre of sociological studies on 29 February 1988. This day of study consisted of six presentations: Hélène Riffault, “Public perception of opinion polls”, which presents and analyses a detailed survey on the public perception of opinion polls; Jacques René Rabier, “The comparative and diachronic analysis of survey data”, which presents the results of European Communities Commission surveys concerning well-being, confidence between people, and national cultures; Jean Paul Grémy, “The problems of secondary analysis”; Guy Michelat, “Opinion polls in the study of political behaviour”; Yannick Lemel, “Opinion polls in the study of socio-economic behaviour”; François Chazel, “Opinion polls in the study of cultural practices”. Jean Stoetzel, IFOP, opinion polls, surveys, secondary analysis.

N. 18


Jacqueline Feldman

Mathematics and social sciences: Highs and lows, 1960- 1980. Summary of the day of study organized by the French Society for the history of the human sciences on 16 January 1988. This day of study included an initial presentation by Jacqueline Feldman, and presentations by Bernard Monjardet on mathematics in the social science curriculum, by Marie-Ange Schiltz on mathematics in sociology, by Marion Selz-Laurière on mathematics in ethnology, by Benjamin Matalon on mathematics in psychology, by Denise Pumain on mathematics in geography, by Sylvie Rimbert on mathematics in cartography, and by Jean Philippe Genet on mathematics in history. Mathematics, social sciences, teaching mathematics, sociology, ethnology, psychology, geography, cartography, history.


N. 19, July 1988


David J. Jackson, Max A. Woodbury, Kenneth G. Manton

The Discrete GOM Model at a conceptual level is a model with enormous theoretical appeal as a psychometric model. While it was initially developed as a solution to problems posed in medical classification, social scientists should be quick to realize its many potential applications. This is especially true for sociologists who have been captivated by the intuitive appeal of typological theories, but have been limited by inadequate methodological tools. The GOM models have a number of interesting statistical properties and have proved to be an effective theoretical and data analysis tool in a number of disciplines. The true value of the GOM model will be known by the capacity to make theoretical and practical sense out of data. This paper provides an introduction to GOM Analysis in terms of a heuristic analogy and a concrete sociological example of a two pure type model of parental values. The primary emphasis is on providing a conceptual perspective, rather than a detailed mathematical and statistical specifications. Classification, Grade of Membership, Fuzzy Sets, Maximum Likelihood, True Score Models, Latent Structure, Latent Class Analysis.


N. 20, octobre 1988


Marie-Paule Lecoutre

Sociologists’ attitudes toward the generalization of results: a questionnaire on statistical inference. A questionnaire was presented to 19 sociologists. It required the use of statistical inference based on results obtained from numerical data from a hypothetical study. The questionnaire responses were compared with a Bayesian method in order to study the sociologists’ attitudes in making a statisitical inference. The responses were very heterogeneous and many subjects were quite reserved about working with results based only on numerical data with no supplementary information. Statistical inference, Bayesian methods, numerical data, generalisability, social science research.

N. 20


Jean-Marc Bernard, Philippe Cibois

Introduction to the use of the computer program “Bayesian Inference based on Frequencies” (IBF2XK). With several different examples of frequency distributions, the authors show how to use this microcomputer program of bayesian analysis to answer typical questions of statistical inference that arise in social science research. Examples include inferences from one or two frequency distributions, significance tests, variance from independance, and confidence intervals. Bayesian analysis, statistical inference, frequency distributions, significance tests, variance from independance, confidence intervals.


N. 21, octobre 1988


Slavko Splichal, Anuska Ferligoj, Zdravko Mlinar

The growing differentiation within the International Sociological Association (ISA) requires different forms of integration among Research Committees (RCs). The aim of this paper is to reveal some patterns of integrational versus differentiational activities and produce an organizational and conceptual typology of RCs. The problem is approached by different clustering methods: Ward’s hierarchical clustering, local optimization methods and hierarchical clustering with relational constraints for different types of connectivity between units in clusters. International Sociological Association, Sociological Specialization, Classification Analysis, Typological Analysis, Classification with Constraints.


N. 21


France Rudolph Ingold, Sylvie Ingold

Methodological complementarity of quantitative and qualitative research approaches in the study of toxicology. With the intention of showing the complementarity of quantitative and qualitative methods, this article présents three studies done in Paris and the Paris region between 1980 and 1986 in the domaine of toxicology. The first study analyzes 793 questionnaires of first requests of assistance made to specialized institutions, complemented by an ethnographic analysis. The second study analyzes 224 questionnaires and many non-directive interviews with imprisoned drug users. The last study concerns statistics of deaths attributed to the use of drugs. Quantitative Methodes, Qualitative Méthodes, Methodological Complementarity, Toxicology.


N. 22, March 1989


Vladimir Andreyenkov

Following the previous joint Soviet-American and Soviet-French public opinion polls, the author and the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR organized the first Soviet-West German public opinion poll during the October 1988 visit of Helmut Kohl to the Soviet Union. The questionnaire is presented along with a brief analysis of the results. USSR, West Germany, Public opinion polls.

N. 22



N. 23, June 1989


Jean-Marc Bernard, Brigitte Le Roux, Henry Rouanet, Marie-Ange Schiltz

Multidimensional data analysis with LID data interrogation language. Chapter I describes the three stages which lead to the analysis of a questionnaire by the language LID: correspondence analysis, data structuring, data exploration with LID. Chapter II describes the language LID and the interface program INTERF between EyeLID-1 and ADDAD. Chapter III presents two concrete examples of application: the first is the reanalysis of a British survey; the second is the analysis of a French survey. Chapter IV, in the framework of a ternary frequency table, presents a study of data interaction. Multivariate Data Analysis, Factoral Correspondence Analysis, Data Interrogation, LID.

N. 23



N. 24, September 1989


Rudolf Andorka (Karl Marx University of Economics, Budapest)

Initially presented at the Research Council meeting of the International Sociological Association in October 1988 in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, this article traces in detail the development and evolution of social mobility studies, and their comparison between countries, from their conception in the 1920s and through successive “generations” with their concomitant methods which have included inflow-outflow rates, path analysis, log-linear analysis, and life history methods. Social Mobility, Comparative Research, Methodology, History of Methods.

N. 24


Jacques A. Zighera

Decorrelation of categorical variables. Using data from a survey of family structure and female occupation, the author shows how categorical variables can involve co-linearity as with continuous variables. Through the use of log-linear analysis and analysis of variance, these problems and traps of co-linearity can be resolved and avoided. Co-linearity, Categorical Variables, Log-linear Analysis, Analysis of Variance.


N. 25, December 1989


Kenneth D. Bailey

The lack of a statistical model has been said to make clustering methods inadequate for finding underlying types. It is shown that clustering, while lacking a statistical model, does have a well developed logical model. Monothetic, polythetic, and fully polythetic types are defined. These are logical definitions, based on the logic of classes. The goal of typology construction is stated. The relationship between the logical model and a statistical model based on the mixture problem is discussed. It is shown that typology construction (via clustering or any other method) is unnecessary for studying a small number of variables, but is essential for a large number of variables, and that clustering is the only method that can adequately construct the necessary typology. Cluster Analysis, Monothetic Classes, Polythetic Classes, Typologies, Statistical Models, Logical Models.

N. 25


Nancy Andes

The author discusses the capability and implementation of jackknife and bootstrap simulation techniques for estimating bias in statistical procedures, particularly in placing confidence intervals on the quality of cluster analysis results. The author examines the reproducibility of a classification scheme by applying associated statistical procedures to access the stability of the clustering solution. Using the example of U.S. occupation data, the author compares bootstrap simulation to discriminant analysis results concerning cluster validity, and provides a listing of SAS commands to construct bootstrap samples. Cluster Analysis, Simulation, Jackknife, Bootstrap, Discriminant Analysis, Validity, Confidence Intervals, U.S. Occupation Data.


N. 26, March 1989


Philippe Cibois

Clarifying the Vocabulary of Open Questions by Using Closed Questions: The Lexical Table of Questions. The “Lexical Table of Questions” which cross-tabulates the vocabulary of an open question with the closed questions of a survey is a tool of data analysis which permits the clarification of each type of question by the other. An application using factorial correspondence analysis of such a table is presented concerning an opinion survey on the reform of French spelling. Open questions. Lexical Table of Questions. Factorial Correspondence Analysis. Content Analysis.

N. 26


Max Reinert

ALCESTE – A Methodology of Textual Data Analysis and an Application: Aurélia by Gérard de Nerval. Beginning with a cross-tabulation with different all sentence fragments in rows and a selected vocabulary in columns for a specific corpus, the author presents: the methodology, including principle concepts and objectives of this form of analysis; the technique, the ALCESTE computer program of automatic classification based on resemblance or dissimilarity; and an application, the analysis of Gérard de Nerval’s text Aurélia. The analysis distinguishes three types of fragments which are described and analyzed further. ALCESTE. Textual Analysis. Gérard de Nerval. Aurélia. Hierarchical Descending Classification.


N. 27, June 1990


Jean Bourdon

Economic Troubles, Economists’ Words. Economic methodology has greatly separated discourse (hypotheses, theory, body of thought) and action (essentially represented by applications or descriptive monographs). In this study, with the greatest care associated with original attempts, we try to give a synthetic representation over a long period of time of the evolution of economic literature by using classic methods of data analysis. No matter what type of results are obtained, this approach remains based on the hypothesis that each literary production can be taken as a simple statistical object. The scope of this study covers work published in French on work economy from 1960 to 1980 and reveals three tendencies: (1) an decrease in accordance with the real subjects studied (job segmentation and increasing unemployment); (2) a profound desire to better assure the link between analysis of economic policy and a body of thought; and (3) a certain divergence according to dissatisfaction or failures encountered in studies by authors of the two preceding categories. Sociology of Labor. Economic Policy. Text Analysis. Social Representation of Economy.

N. 27


Paul ten Have

Conversation Analysis (CA), a research tradition that grew out of ethnomethodology, has some unique methodological features. It studies the social organization of ‘conversation’, or ‘talk-in-interaction’, by a detailed inspection of tape recordings and transcriptions made from such recordings. In this paper, the author describes some of those features in the interest of exploring their grounds. In doing so, he discusses some of the problems and dilemma’s conversation analysts deal with in their daily practice, using both the literature and his own experiences as resources. He presents CA’s research strategy as a solution to ethnomethodology’s problem of the ‘invisibility’ of common sense and describe it in an idealized form as a seven step procedure. The author also discusses some of the major criticisms leveled against it and touches on some current developments. Conversation Analysis is a disciplined way of studying the local organization of interactional episodes, its unique methodological practice has enabled its practitioners to produce a mass of insights into the detailed procedural foundations of everyday life. It has developed some very practical solutions to some rather thorny methodological problems. As such it is methodologically ‘impure’, but it works. Conversation Analysis. Ethnomethodology. Interaction Episodes. Quantification. Coding.

N. 27


Anselm L. Strauss

In the framework of Grounded Theory and qualitative research, the author uses a study of medical technology and medical work to examine the supposedly “self-evident” procedure of coding field observations to show how in concrete terms different categories of coding and variables can be elaborated. He treats open coding, axial coding, selective coding, and coding for structural and interactional relationships. He ends with several rules of thumb concerning coding procedures. Grounded Theory. Coding. Field Observation. Qualitative Methodology.


N. 28, September 1990


Ghislaine Chartron, Alain Degenne, Marie-Odile Lebeaux, Lise Mounier

Images of Current Sociological Research. Three sociological associations participated in 1988 in the production of a directory of French-speaking sociologists: Sociologie française et francophone. This directory includes research topics – presented as text in an open question – and key words. After an initial compilation of the vocabulary (with Lexinet), 1460 entries were the object of a statistical classification analysis (with Leximappe) in order to reveal the research problematics covered by the corpus. A statistical indicator of coherence and a more subjective evaluation of thematic coherence showed: research specialties which were both narrow and very homogeneous, more open specialties organized around a thematic core, and finally traditional specialties which persist. It is more the objects of study than the concepts employed which structure the domain. It is a picture of a rich and active sociology closely tied to social problems. Text Analysis, Lexinet, Leximappe, Structure of French Sociology, Classification.

N. 28


John Bynner

From an historical overview of reliability and validity appraisal it is concluded that too narrow a view of validity has been taken by researchers working in the tradition of structural equation modelling, especially as applied to the classical factor model and its multi-trait multi-method extension. The partitioning of error variance in the approach between substantive effects, and method effects and its relation to unreliability and invalidity is explained; the alternative simplex interpretation of the relations among a set of indicators is then presented. An empirical example is used to demonstrate the dependence of reliability and validity estimates on the theoretical context in which they are made. It is concluded that, following Cronbach, the meaning of the term validity should be restored to encompass all the evidence that the theoretical properties assigned to a measurement are achieved and that the specific biases brought about by method effects and other confounding variables should be referred to in terms of measurement accuracy. Reliability, Validity, Structural Equation Models, Measurement.

N. 28


Alberto Marradi

“Validity” is one of the few metaterms on whose meaning a certain degree of consensus has been reached by the social science community which currently tends to define it as a (more or less informed, more or less consented) subjective judgment on the degree of semantic correspondence between a concept A and another concept B, taken as an indicator of A. As such, validity cannot be measured, and alleged coefficients of validity are actually measuring something else; i.e., some form of statistical r between vectors. Two consequences ensue: (1) reliability cannot be measured, since there is no way of directly “apprehending” an individual’s state on a property; (2) reliability cannot be a property of a variable, or indicator, or operational definition, or of anything pertaining to a plurality of individuals. Validity, Semantic Correspondence, Reliability, Variables.


N. 29, December 1990


Johannes van der Zouwen, Edith D. de Leeuw

In a series of meta-analyses on the outcomes of “mode experiments”, we found small, but statistically significant, and consistent, effects of the method of data collection (“mode effects”) on the quality (i.e., the representativity, completeness, and accuracy) of the data gathered in surveys. On several indicators of data quality, the face-to-face interview scores slightly better than the telephone interview, but these differences are gradually disappearing over time. Mail surveys usually have lower response rates and less item response than face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews. Mail surveys result in more accurate, less biased, answers than both forms of interviewing, especially when sensitive or embarrassing questions are being asked. In order to give an explanation for these mode effects, we distinguished three “mode characteristics”, or intervening variables (the “persuasion power” of a mode, the complexity of the task for the respondent, and the degree of control over the question-answer process, i.e., control over role-related behavior of respondents and interviewers), and one conditional variable (the degree to which the response categories of the questions differ with respect to their social desirability). These variables were “inserted” in a model which has as independent variables the three modes concerned, and as dependent variables the response rate, and the completeness and accuracy of the responses. Face-to-face interviews, Telephone interviews, Mail surveys, Data quality, Mode effects, Meta-analysis.

N. 29


James Schmeidler

In random sampling, the researcher may not exercise any personal preference in the selection of respondents. In contrast, an ethnographer chooses respondents for their informative value. This paper proposes “ethnographic random sampling,” in which a sample is selected according to ethnographic methods, but with random selection from strata composed of similar potential respondents. This synthesis retains the adaptive initiative of ethnography while providing the generalizability of random sampling. The sampling frame consists of all potential respondents. Unlike traditional surveys, it may be determined only at the end of an ethnographic study. Random sampling justifies the use of survey weighting techniques to estimate characteristics of the sampling frame from the sample. However, generalization beyond the sampling frame to a larger population is especially problematical when the population is not well characterized. An example of incomplete snowball sampling is weighted two ways. Weighting by the reciprocal of the selection probability may be interpreted as projecting each respondent to represent also others in the sampling frame who might have been selected instead. Alternatively, poststratification weights can project each respondent to others linked in the network. Random Samples, Ethnography, Snowball Sampling, Sampling Frames, Sample Weighting.


N. 30, March 1991


Nicholas Bateson, Paul Hunter

The introduction of CAPI systems2 seems likely to constitute the largest change in face-to-face interviewing procedures since social surveys began. A brief account is given below of work done up to mid-1990 to develop CAPI systems for surveys carried out on behalf of British government departments by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS). The paper continues with a discussion of the merits and problems of CAPI that have become apparent so far and some of the implications for a survey organisation of its introduction. CAPI, Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing.

N. 30


Owen Thornberry, Benjamin Rowe, Ronald Biggar

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a continuous cross-sectional survey of the civilian population of the U.S., involving annual interviews with 48,000 households (120,000 persons). Data collection instruments include a core health and demographic questionnaire and one or more supplements designed to address current health issues. For several years, research and developmental work have been pursued via a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) system, which, since 1988, has been used with the NHIS to collect data on AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) knowledge and attitudes: there are plans to rely entirely on the CAPI mode by 1992. A summary is provided of the research and development work to date, and substantive uses of CAPI are described. Issues addressed include: hardware and software choices, data quality, timeliness of data release, quick- turnaround survey capability, and cost. National Health Interview Survey, Computer-Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI), AIDS, Data Quality, Data Collection.

N. 30


Gill Jones

The increasing emphasis in social research on the life course and the consequent methodological emphasis on longitudinal studies have led to the need for exploration and clarification of the concepts which underlie such studies. One of these crucial underlying concepts is that of time. The article explores the ways in which our assumptions about time impinge on a longitudinal cohort study, using the Scottish Young People’s Survey as an example. Following and developing the themes of Hareven (1982), we can identify the time contexts of individuals, families and other social institutions as being within different frameworks and on different scales. A cohort study, following individuals in time, loses any sense of the time frameworks of other family members. This leads, inter alia, to false assumptions about the homogeneity of families of origin and about the effects of family variables on individuals. Examples are given. The article considers the implications for data collection of background information and analysis which uses background variables. The article concludes by asking how longitudinal can a longitudinal cohort study be, when the emphasis is on the individual and the study is unable to assimilate the time context of the social institutions in which individual cohort members live and with which they negotiate their own life courses. Longitudinal cohorts, life course.


N. 31, June 1991


Peter Elias

This paper examines the methodological, statistical and practical problems encountered in collecting and analysing work and life history information.  For illustrative purposes, it draws upon recent experience of and data from the United Kingdom Social Change and Economic Life Initiative, a major socio-economic research programme sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council and conducted between 1985 and 89.  Additionally, it reviews survey-based approaches to the collection of life and work history information since the mid 1970s, and looks at forthcoming applications of the technique in national surveys. The paper divides into three major sections. Part One examines the rationale for collecting life and work history information.  Part Two considers the methodology of data collection, the practical problems likely to be encountered and the techniques for tackling such problems.  This section examines recent major surveys conducted within the United Kingdom which have collected life and work history information, together with the prospect for further developments in this area.  Part Three is concerned with data management and statistical analysis, specifically focussing upon areas of difficulty which are particular to life and work history data. Life Histories, Work Histories, Surveys, Data Collection, United Kingdom.

N. 31


Michael Pollak, Marie-Ange Schiltz

Six Years of Surveys on Male Homo- and Bisexuals in Confrontation with AIDS – The Data Report. A criticism of statistical constructions is all the more necessary when the object of study is a population difficult to delimit and hard to encounter (male homosexuals) and when it is a question of such intimate details as sexual practices in relation to a stigmatizing epidemic. With repetition of a survey the question of compatibility of results arises, given the fact that each year the sample is different. Along with this there are the problems of the effect of 6 years of time between the first and last survey (effects of age and change of generations). Also, the questionnaire has changed over these 6 years. The first in 1985 was a research questionnaire whose exploratory character explains the presence of open questions that were replaced later by closed questions. However, the comparison of open and closed responses is informative. On the other hand, closed binary questions were increased and the effect of their increased on the resulted was studied. Multiple verifications of the sample, of questionnaire coherence, and question formulation permits us to judge the robustness of our research instrument. The stability of the social-demographic structure of the respondents over the years permits us to follow the evolution of changes engendered by the epidemic. Sexual Behavior, Male Homosexuals, Surveys, Questionnaires, AIDS.

N. 31


Johannes van der Zouwen, Edith D. de Leeuw

In a series of meta-analyses on the outcomes of ‘mode experiments’, we found small, but statistically significant, and consistent, effects of the method of data collection (‘mode effects’) on the quality (i.e., the representativity, completeness, and accuracy) of the data gathered in surveys. On several indicators of data quality, the face-to-face interview scores slightly better than the telephone interview, but these differences are gradually disappearing over time. Mail surveys usually have lower response rates and less item response than face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews. Mail surveys result in more accurate, less biased, answers than both forms of interviewing, especially when sensitive or embarrassing questions are being asked. In order to give an explanation for these mode effects, we distinguished three ‘mode characteristics’, or intervening variables, (the ‘persuasion power’ of a mode, the complexity of the task for the respondent, and the degree of control over the question-answer process, i.e., control over role-related behavior of respondents and interviewers) and one conditional variable (the degree to which the response categories of the questions differ with respect to their social desirability). These variables were ‘inserted’ in a model which has as independent variables the three modes concerned, and as dependent variables the response rate, and the completeness and accuracy of the responses. Predictions about mode effects on data quality, derived from this model, were confronted with data from a recent mode comparison held in the Netherlands, in which questions about (a.o.) feelings of loneliness, self-esteem, income, and well-being, were posed in face-to-face interviews (N=243), telephone interviews (N=265), and in a mail survey (N=254). This confrontation resulted in a further refinement of the explanatory model, which in its turn may help survey researchers to optimally choose and implement the method of data-collection. Face-to-face Interviews, Telephone Interviews, Mail Surveys, Data Quality, Mode Effects, Meta-Analysis.

N. 31


Jean Michel Berthelot

Dualism and Pluralism in Sociology. This text examines the epistemological meaning of the multiple dualist oppositions regularly employed in sociology, examining them in the light of the concept of incommensurability introduced by the philosophy of science. The advantages and the limits of the use of these oppositions are discussed: even if sociological analysis employs techniques and methods that are often incompatible with the meta-discourse, in concrete argumentation these techniques and methods to be used in a variety of manners. The author proposes the concept of an interlanguage to describe these mechanisms of logic which allow such combinations. Dualism, Pluralism, Methodology, Incommensurability, Meta-Discourse, Interlanguage.


N. 32, September 1991


Udo Kuckartz

In methodological discussion the concept of the ideal type is closely related to the name of Max Weber. This paper discusses Weber’s own empirical research at the beginning of the century and his application of the term “type” in this research. It seems that his description of the ideal type as a “researcher’s construction”, as “utopia” constructed by composing and enhancing certain aspects of social reality, as an “artificial construction” is indeed the opposite of empirical types. This paper shows that Weber’s articles, which were written in close relationship to his empirical research between 1905 and 1912, use the term type in a different manner. Ideal Type, Empirical Type, Max Weber, Classification Analysis.

N. 32


David Rose, Nick Buck, Louise Corti

The British Household Panel Study is the largest single project ever funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. Housed in the ESRC’s Centre on Micro-social Change in Britain at the University of Essex, the BHPS will comprise an initial 5000 households and 10000 individuals. This paper introduces the Study through an overview of its coverage and some key aspects of its design. A short discussion of some of the analytic advantages of panel data is complemented by three examples of substantive research issues where panel data can assist in our understanding of micro-social change. The BHPS is discussed as an instance of a dynamic approach to social change and its overall rationale is briefly examined. The Study’s six substantive research areas – household organisation and dynamics; labour market behaviour and activity; income and wealth dynamics; housing; health; and socio-economic values – are described. The remainder of the paper is concerned with three key design issues for panel studies and explains how these have been tackled on the BHPS. The issues are (1) changing populations; (2) non-sampling errors (and especially non-response and panel conditioning); and (3) sample design. The paper is accompanied by a substantial bibliography on panel design and methodology. Micro-Social Change. Panel Studies. Following Rules. Nonresponse. Panel Conditioning. Longitudinal Sample Design.

N. 32


K. Walter Schwager

Empiricist sociology is based on distinct epistemological and ontological presuppositions which usually remain unacknowledged and unscrutinized. This “empiricist metatheory” assumes that language fits reality, i.e., that all descriptive concepts match characteristics in reality; therefore all descriptive concepts can be admitted into scientific theory. These concepts are supposed to be understood, shared, isolated, and static. Measurement now has to reflect the logically prior meaning of these concepts, but measurement remains inherently partial and imperfect. Theory is seen as the probabilistic network of relationships linking the presumed “true values” on these concepts. However, the history of science demonstrates that concepts and their measurement procedures change over time, in a search for better and stronger theories. The assumptions of empiricist metatheory are therefore erroneous, given the history of science, and its methodology removes the impetus towards conceptual change and measurement modification which underlies progress in the natural sciences. Instead concepts and their measurement procedures should be seen primarily as tools for theory development, and as changeable in the pursuit of better theories. Social Theory, Empiricist Sociology.


N. 33, December 1991


Johannes H. Smit, Wil Dijkstra

The verbal interactions between interviewer and respondent of the introductory part of 85 telephone interviews were audiotaped and analyzed to investigate whether the respondent’s refusal or participation could be ascribed to differences in interviewing behavior. Content analysis showed that, among other things, refusing behavior appeared to depend on the kind of the requests made by the interviewer, and the amount of information provided by the interviewer. Telephone surveys, Refusal rates.

N. 33


Karl M. van Meter, Lise Mounier, Ghislaine Chartron, Max Reinert

Using official biographies of the 503 members of the Soviet Central Committee between 1980 et 1987, we have previously published the results of an analysis of these biographies for occurrences of geographical names using factorial correspondence analysis. In this study, we use two methods of analysis: LEXINET followed by both a factorial analysis and a typological classification analysis; and ASCESTE, a hierarchically descending classification analysis, both applied to all words and dates occurring in these biographies. The results of these two approaches are compared to verify the stability of the results and their independence in relation to the method that produced them. Soviet Union, Biographies, Factorial Analysis, Classification Analysis, Content Analysis.

N. 33


Joël Le Fourn, Alain Mailles

Seriation in Blocks – Bertin Graph Modalities – Use and conception of a software in geo-lingistics: Data processing by seriations block methods is based on maintaining the differentiation of individuals observed. The format of the data allows a rich interpretation of the relationship between individuals and the partitioning criteria. In Bertin Gaphis, the suitable tool is orderable matrix, whose foundations are a consequence of the rules of Graphic Semiology. The example of geo-linguistic concerning the personal pronoun subject in Forez allows an interactive way to go from the the matrix to the map, which is the basic idea of the TMC software, which can be regarded as a spreadsheet with mapping capabilities. Bertin Graphs, Seriation in Blocks, Geo-linguistics, Cartography.


N. 34, March 1992


Pim Fenger

Following a survey in the countries concerned, carried out at the request of the Dutch government, this study presents the situation of graduate (“third cycle”) studies and research in several European countries (Netherlands, France, West Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom) and in the United States. A comparison is made between the American system and the European systems, and suggestions for the future are also made. The conclusion of the international committee involved in this study is included as an annex. Education, Research, Graduate Studies, Europe, United States.

N. 34


Salvador Juan

Measurement of Heterogamy, Social Mobility and their Relationship in France: Secondary Construction of Two Variables Based on the 1989 INSEE “Employment” Survey. Based on the INSEE “Emploi” (Employment) survey, a table is constructed which crosses the social origines of male and female members of a couple. The table is then used in the study of social trajectories. Social Mobility.


N. 35, June 1992


Greta Noordenvos

In this article I will present some possible explanations for the general finding in the literature that men publish more than women and shall present the results of my  research in which I compare women with men and productive women with less productive women. In 1973 Cole and Cole found that academic men publish more then academic women. This finding has been replicated many times since then. In later publications it even became a kind of tacit fact that was taken for granted but no longer questioned. Research questions then focussed on phenomena such as why married women publish more than single women and why women who have children do not publish less then women who do not have children (Cole & Zuckerman, 1987; Kyvik, 1990; Thagaard, 1988; Toren, 1989). The question why women publish less then men seems no longer to dominate which implies that this kind of tacit knowledge no longer has the possibility of being corrected. In my research I matched pairs of men and women working at the university of Leiden according to the following variables: the year and field in which they started their university career and the rank to which they were first assigned. In that way the duration of their career and the working environment were held constant. The number of relatively well-matched persons who could be identified from data provided from personnel records made available for this purpose was 198, that is, 99 pairs. Each of these 99 pairs received a questionnaire concerning their working conditions, their publications, their career and private lives. In total 112 questionnaires were returned, 72 from women and 40 from men. Of these, 66 questionnaires were from 33 matched pairs. I compared the publication rates of men and women and made the hypothesis that in the same working environment women do not publish less than men. Furthermore, I compared women who had published much and women who had published little. My hypothesis is that productive women have significantly more time to publish and better working conditions at work and at home. Publication rates.

N. 35


ASCF Group (coordinators Nathalie Bajos, Alfred Spira)

In December 1990, a pilot survey was carried out  to measure the effect of an advance letter on the acceptance rate in a telephone survey in France on sexual behavior. The results of this pilot study showed that the acceptance rate could be increased by sending to the household an advance letter announcing a survey on health and prevention a few days before the survey began. The acceptance rate of the survey increased from  69%  when no letter was sent to 81% in the case of an advance letter (p<0.001). For legal reasons, another pilot survey had to be carried out in June 1991 to test a modified advance letter announcing a survey on sexual behavior and Aids. The results of this second pilot survey showed an acceptance rate of 54%. So, it appears that an advance letter is useful only if it is judiciously written. Otherwise, it may have a negative effect on the acceptance rate. Sexual behavior, Survey, Telephone survey, Acceptance rate, Comparison of mode of investigations, Advance letter.

N. 35

Quelles contrées intéressent les gens d’ici? Une méthodologie de traitement pour les tableaux de contingence bi-spatialisés

Alain Mailles, Jean-Pierre Montalieu

Which regions interest the locals? A methodology for bi-spatial contingency array processing: The methodology presented here was carried out to attempt the construction of regionalizations of France withn the framework of research on a geography of spatial representations. Car-window stickers quoting places are the concrete basis for the observations. From the set of more than fifty thousand observations distributed over the entire territory, we constructed a contingency array of 95 rows and 95 columns, each of the two margins being directly associated with a map of France. The following processing methods were used: analysis of multivariate data followed by a cartography, reorderable matrix interactif processng, synthesis mapping. They provide the basis of a methodology capable of providing the basis for the construction of softwar. Bertin Graphics, Data Analysis, Block Seriation, Representational Geography, Computer cartography.


N. 36, September 1992


A. S. Klovdahl, J. Potterat, D. Woodhouse, J. Muth, S. Muth, W. W. Darrow

The completion of the second year of the Colorado Springs Study provided new insights into the location of HIV infection in a large urban social network.  About 250 persons were interviewed by the end of the second year and provided information on over 3500 reported social relationships.  Roughly 2000 persons were found to be part of a core connected region which included six individuals confirmed HIV positive.  The density of social ties in this core region was about 0.01.  The average number of steps (along shortest paths) between HIV-infected persons and others in connected core of this large urban social network was quite small (between 4 and 6).  Some implications of the observations are discussed.  When individuals are connected together to form large social networks, the concepts and methods of network analysis can lead to a better understanding of factors affecting the spread of infectious agents transmitted in the course of close or intimate personal contact.  A better understanding of the factors involved, in turn, can lead to more effective disease control strategies (Klovdahl, 1985). Social Networks, AIDS, Shortest Paths, Urban Communities, Infection.

N. 36


Tom A. B. Snijders

Paper presented at the Workshop on Generalizability Questions for Snowball Sampling and Other Ascending Methodologies, Groningen, 20-21 February, 1992. What are the possibilities of snowball sampling, if one desires valid statistical inference without making probabilistic assumptions on the network structure? In a critical review of the possibilities of snowball sampling for a population of vertices connected by a network of arcs, it is argued that the snowball method is much more suitable for the estimation of parameters of the network structure (or parameters of the population of arcs) than to estimate parameters of the population of vertices. Further work needs to be done to relax the assumption of randomness of the initial sample of the snowball. Snowball Sampling, Weighting, Parameter Estimations, Social Networks.

N. 36


Marinus Spreen

Paper presented at the Workshop on Generalizability Questions for Snowball Literature on snowball sampling and other ascending methodologies (intensive data collection methodologies) is widely scattered. In order to indicate a structure in the diversity of articles, snowball sampling and other ascending methodologies are embedded in the general concept of link-tracing methodologies. From this point of view link-tracing methodologies are considered as tools for analysing social structure and for locating members of special populations. By introducing a new theoretical concept for defining special populations, a subdivision is made in link-tracing methodologies as a tool to locate rare populations and as a tool to locate hidden populations. Hidden Populations, Rare Populations, Ascending Methodologies, Link-Tracing Methodologies, Social Network Analysis.


N. 37, December 1992


Linton Freeman

The Ressurrection of Cliques: Application of Galois Lattices. The mathematical definition of clique has never been entirely satisfactory when it comes to providing a procedure for assigning individuals to groups.  This paper shows how the clique definition, when it is linked with Galois lattices, can be used to produce an intuitively appealing characterization of groups – one that is consistent with ethnographic descriptions.  Two examples, using “classical” social network data sets, are provided.  Social network analysis, cliques, Galois lattices.

N. 37


Warren D. TenHouten

Ability to extrapolate from snowball samples depends on the way zero-stage subsamples are obtained. If the zero-stage sampling is done on the grounds of convenience or is guided by ethnographic criteria, then statistical inferences cannot be drawn. However, generalization is possible in three ways: (i) as an ethnographically obtained dataset, the results of a snowball sample can be studied as any other field research dataset; (ii) a snowball sample can usually be made more representative of a population by Schmeidler-type weighting schemes; (iii) by regarding sites as subjects and snowball samples as repeated measures of the sites’ informal social networks, generalization through replication becomes a possible strategy. Site sampling is suggested as one approach to accessing sites; for example, by using as sites profiles over facets with attribute pairs day/night, inside/outside, and commercial/residential. If zero-stage sampling is random, statistical inferences can be made from at least the first two stages of the population of individual network members. Snowball sampling is potentially the sociologist’s data acquisition methodology per excellentium, as it provides for inferences about the population of relationships between network members. Since multiple criteria are used to define targeted populations, and since social relationships are multi-level, a generalization of snowball sampling, Multi-Criterion Snowball Sampling (MCSS), is proposed. MCSS is then applied to the measure of hierarchical and solidarity social roles. Social Networks, Snowball Sampling, Site Sampling, Extrapolation, Nulti-Criterion Snowball Sampling.

N. 37


Emmanuel Lazega, Stéphane Vari

Actors, Targets, and Levers: Factor Analyzing Indirect Control Relationships in an American Law Firm. This paper analyzes Krackhardt (1986) type of network data collected from 36 partners in an American law firm. The data describes strategies of indirect control. A strategy is defined as a choice by an actor (the person who delegates the task) of a lever (the person who is asked to perform the task) who takes care of a target (the person who is to be influenced). Despite the heavy-handedness of this approach, factor analyzing this data provides a simple way to represent actors, targets and levers in the same space. It is also useful to describe a division of control work among peers, as well as roles shaping this form of relational influence. Using the results of this analysis, we classify strategies based on whether actors make use of universal and generalist levers, or of local and specialized ones. Social Networks, Factor Analysis, Social Control, Actors, Levers, Targets.


N. 38, March 1993


Kenneth D. Bailey

Clustering techniques have gained rather wide acceptance in both the social and biological sciences.  There are a number of popular agglomerative clustering techniques, based upon various clustering algorithms.  Unfortunately, there has been little recent attention to the manner of nucleus formation for agglomerative methods.  This is an important issue, as the choice of initial nucleus can greatly affect the finished clusters regardless of the subsequent clustering algorithm, and further, can have differing effects for different algorithms.  This paper examines the effects of four techniques of nucleus formation, an objective and a subjective method of minimizing within-cluster variance; and an objective and subjective method for maximizing between-cluster variance.  I conclude that the standard practice of initiating the cluster with a reciprocal pair is recommended for “within” cluster analysis for both single-linkage and complete-linkage methods.  However, for “between” clustering, subjective nucleus formation is often preferred for single-linkage analysis.  “Between” nucleation methods, either objective or subjective, prove unsatisfactory for complete-linkage clustering, as they tend to select nuclei which are not sufficiently central for cluster formation, and may even be outliers.  Cluster Analysis, Nucleus Formation, Clustering Algorithms, Single-linkage, Complete-linkage.

N. 38


Alastair Leyland, Marina Barnard, Neil McKeganey

Study objective – The aim was to estimate the size of the female street-working prostitute population in Glasgow and thereby, in conjunction with collected HIV seroprevalence data, estimate the prevalence and exposure of HIV infection in this population. Design – Street-level interviews were conducted using a short, non-standardised format on 53 nights covering a period of 7 months.  A unique identifier (consisting of initials and date of birth) was obtained from each woman each time she was seen working.  Saliva samples obtained from the women were analysed for presence of antibodies to HIV. Setting – The major “red light” area in Glasgow, Scotland. Participants – 206 female street-working prostitutes; saliva samples were requested from 197 (96%) of the women and 159 (81%) of these provided specimens. Main results – The prevalence of HIV infection of 2.5% (95% confidence interval 0.7% – 6.3%; n=159) may be combined with a point estimate of the population size over 12 months of 1147 to suggest that approximately 29 HIV positive women may work on the streets of Glasgow in the course of a year.  The population may be subdivided into a group of 30 “permanent” workers and a larger group who may cease working and are replaced in equal numbers at a rate of approximately 19 per week. Conclusions – It is possible not only to estimate the size of a covert population but also, by the collection and analysis of longitudinal data, to identify subgroups of workers whose working patterns differ from the remainder of the population. Prostitutes, Street-level Interviews, HIV Infection, Covert Populations, Longitudinal Data, Capture-recapture.

N. 38


Karl Ashworth, Robert Walker

Studies of poverty that exploit panel data have typically been constrained by the need to address the problem of spell censorship (censorship occurs when spells of poverty begin or end outside the observation period provided by the panel study).  The technical solution – a creative blend of simulation and event-history analysis – has had a number of undesirable consequences.  It has shifted the unit of analysis from individuals to spells and so inhibited study of the incidence or prevalence of poverty.  Attention has focused on the duration of poverty at the expense of severity.  It has also proved impossible to examine the pattern of poverty experienced by individuals over time. This paper reports work, based on life course analysis, which attempts to overcome these deficiencies and to exploit the richness of panel data in order better to differentiate the experience of poverty.  The data relate to the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Poverty, Panel Data, Spell Censorship, Life Course Analysis.


N. 39, June 1993


E.-Jürgen Flöthmann

Migration events during life course describe a biographic process which is part of the individual biography. Unlike other demographic processes the migration process can be described by a lot of various factors like the frequency of moves, the age when changing residence, the distance, the direction, the motives. In West Germany all these factors have changed for the birth cohorts after the Second World War. Demographic events during the life course are based on experience and commitments in the past life span and on individual goals and ambitions in the future. Therefore, each change of residence has both an retrospective and prospective aspect. Additionally, changes in other biographic processes like marriage or births of children in the familial career or changes in the occupational career directly influence migration decisions. But there are also effects in the opposite direction: the migration process can influence the further development of other biographic processes. Thus, there exist a very complex structure of strong interdependent relationships between the several biographic careers. Migration, Demographic Processes, Life Course.

N. 39


Annette Scherpenzeel, Willem Saris

The quality of survey data can be affected by many characteristics of measurement instruments, like the length of the question and the introduction to the question, the form of the response scale, the number and labelling of response categories, the position and context of a question and the data collection technique. An approach that is often used to evaluate measurement instruments is the multitrait-multimethod design. This approach was first introduced by Campbell and Fiske (1959), who suggested to measure each of a number of traits with a number of different methods, and provided guidelines to infer convergent and discriminant validity directly from the multitrait-multimethod correlation matrix. In recent work, confirmatory factor analysis is used mostly to analyse multitrait-multimethod data and to estimate validity, reliability, and method effects. Andrews (1984) first used this approach in a large scale study to evaluate many different measurement instruments across American and Canadian surveys. Very recently, a modified version of the causal model used to analyse multitrait-multimethod matrices with confirmatory factor analysis has been developed. This second order factor model is used in an international comparative research project that is carried out at the moment. In this international project, 15 countries are collecting multitrait-multimethod data, and a meta-analysis will be carried out across all these datasets, to get an evaluation of measurement instruments in the line of Andrews’ study. The procedure that is followed in the international project is demonstrated by a large scale study of life satisfaction. For this study, data about satisfaction with life in general and satisfaction with different aspects of life were collected in 10 different european countries. It is shown how the information that results from the meta-analysis across these datasets can be used to correct for measurement error in a substantive model of life satisfaction. Measurement Instruments, Secondary Analyse, Multitrait-multimethod Studies, Life Satisfaction, International Comparative Research.

N. 39


Johannes van der Zouwen, Wil Dijkstra, Wander van der Vaart

In a field experiment the effects of four different measures, aimed at  increasing the data quality of retrospective questions, were assessed: 1) a ‘checklist’ for factual questions, 2) use of backward recall – instead of the usual forward recall – for the reporting of a series of life-events, 3) a ‘cue-list’ for attitudinal questions, and 4) the use of a ‘time-line’ for the reconstruction of sequences of particular life-events. Only the first and last mentioned measures showed some of their assumed beneficial effects. The results of our analysis indicate that quality of information collected with retrospective questions is not very good and that the measures aimed at improving data quality are generally not very effective. This means that life history research, largely based on answers to retrospective questions posed in survey-interviews, is a risky affair.  Recall Data, Retrospective Questions, Recall Error, Check-list, Cue-list, Time-line, Backward Recall.