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The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Parallel worlds - sampling

I really must stop searching for confirming evidence, but wherever I look at the moment all I seem to see are signs that sociology as I know it is doomed. 

Looking at a recent issue of a peer reviewed journal dedicated to social research methods I chanced upon an article about sampling. I'll say no more than that - there is a limit to the number of battles I can fight simultaneously - so the author won't be named and shamed,  yet. To cut a long story short, in my opinion, it could easily merit a place in Sokal and Bricmont's Intellectual Impostures. It has all the classic signs - grand sounding philosophical vocabulary, technical words thrown in at random locations, utter opaqueness and plausible deniability. 

I don't know the journal very well and had to look up the editors - all of whom seem to hold rather exalted positions in the world of (university based) UK social research. What disturbed me a bit is that the editorial board contains the names of quite a few people I respect. These people are not fools and it is inconceivable that  any of them could have refereed the article in question and found it fit for anything but the garbage bin. 

All of which strengthens my belief in the existence of a sociological parallel world in which illogicality, pretention and pseudo-science are trumps. Surely I must be deluded. Just think what would happen if those guys ever got their hands on the steering wheel...

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