Martyn Hammersley The Open University NCRM Research Methods Festival, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, July 2012. What is Analytic Induction?. Why should we be interested in analytic induction?. It has historical significance: it was closely associated with the Chicago School of Sociology.
More recent examples that appeal to this approach include: Bloor 1978; Katz 2001a; Gilgun 1995, and Rettig et al 1996.
Cressey (1953) started by studying people who had been convicted of embezzlement and equivalent offences, looking for factors they shared in common. From this he developed a hypothesis, but deviant cases were found so that he had to revise it. At one point he reformulated the type of case he was trying to explain, excluding those people who had taken on positions of financial trust specifically to steal money, focusing solely on those already in positions of financial trust who had subsequently decided to ‘borrow’ money.
The curious co-existence of AI and GT in the development of Chicago Sociology (see Hammersley 2010a).
‘Analytic induction is unlike other qualitative approaches since it begins with a pre-existing theoretical viewpoint or premise that guides the investigator’s approach to the cases that are examined (Gilgun, 1995; Miller,1982)’ (Rettig et al 1997:208).
If not, it can only discover necessary conditions, at best.
AI relies upon a very strong interpretation of causation, in which a cause = a set of necessary and jointly sufficient conditions that must be met for some outcome to occur.
We need to consider whether this is appropriate.
Presence of flammable materials
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