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A Structural Theory For Intergroup Beliefs and Action
American Sociological Review
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jun., 1959), pp. 318-328
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2089380
Page Count: 11
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The relation of an abstract theory to empirical research is one of the problems tackled by the metatheory of facets. A distinction is made between the structure of the universe of content of a theory and the statistical structure of the corresponding empirical observations. When there is a clear design for the universe, a special metatheory--like the contiguity principle--can be used to predict the statistical structure: the closer two variables are semantically, the closer they will be statistically. An empirical example is given to illustrate one type of content--intergroup behavior--for which the inference of statistical structure from semantic structure seems justified. Other special metatheories may be necessary for other types of universes of content.
American Sociological Review © 1959 American Sociological Association