Sociological Aspects of the Statistical Research Process: Toward a Sociology of Public Statistics
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Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Publication date: 2020-09-29
Polish Sociological Review 2020;211(3):323–344
The statistical process is a multifaceted, socially immersed research process. Statistics as a research activity is—and statistics as a product are—influenced by a variety of factors, covariates, and participants/stakeholders in data generation, analysis, dissemination and use. The aim of this paper is to identify and systematize key elements of the socio-cognitive status of statistics and of relations between statistics and society. To this end, a conceptual meta-model of the statistical process, involving an interwoven “logic of method” and “logic of action,” provides a framework for the exploration of statistics from the perspective of sociology. Given that social, cultural, and political conditions affect the quality of statistical products and the status of statistical institutions, sociological study seems especially well suited to dealing with the complexity of the issues involved. To be successful, however, advances in the sociology of statistics are also desirable.