Definition here o a concept are one of the processes

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DEFINITION HERE o A concept are one of the processes through which we construct our understanding of the social and material world; it’s a collective creation I.e. Lines in the sand metaphor Concept Formation : Term must meet the criterion of familiarity (established usage), but you find that the term has little theoretical utility (usefulness of theory), so you come up with a new term that offers resonance (a “ring” that clicks) but this may cost too much. Parsimony (explaining the most with the least) must be balanced with depth (the number of features shared by the observations we wish to regard as alike). Coherence (internal consistency of observations – do all the concepts belong together?) need to be considered in relation to differentiation (of the observation from similar concepts). o Needs clarity (Familiarity), coherence (Parsimony) and consistency (differentiation) o Theoretical Utility: Use concepts in the formation of theory; how the concept moves you forward in the process of theory building o Field Utility: ADD DEFINITION HERE o Ineffective Concepts: Democratization consists of all the positive things that happen when a society changes This lacks clarity & its incoherent “Democratization is the expansion of liberty and equality.” Inconsistent because of weak concept o Effective Concept: Democratization is the process by which civil liberties and political rights are extended to all adult citizens in a nation
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o Ladder of Abstraction: (Giovanni Sartori) The more abstract the concept, the more widey applicable BUT less descriptive For example… how do we conceptualize democracy? Electoral regime: Hold elections Democracy: Hold free and fair elections and has liberties Presidential Democracy: Hold free and fair elections, liberties and separation of power o I.e. We’re more descriptive when we use Presidential Democracy Therefore this is the relationship between Definitional Thickness (a concrete concept) and travelling capacity (abstract concept) Concept Formation versus Operationalization: o Conceptualization: Labelling instances/characteristics/classes commonly found together (how to define them into a term) Concept formation: Process of selecting the term o Operationalization: Process of turning abstract ideas into empirical indicators that determines presence/absence of variable A concept is operationalized when its operational definition matches with the concept How do I know I am observing the thing I am studying? Working definitions of concepts Can mean measurement or detailed criteria Operationalization for Interpretivists: Studies focus on how concepts/ideas are produced Case Study: Multiculturalism in Contemporary Democracies: Multiculturalism: o Pluralism: Self-expression; Respect for differences o Citizenization: Differentiated relationships; New inclusive norms alongside old Conceptualization: o Dimensions (immigrants, indigenous, national) o Criteria (Differentiation of rights)
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