Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Analytic Narratives: Applications
Robert H. Bates
Often derided by colleagues for “possessing an N of 1,” those who focus on case studies—Germany between the wars, France during the revolution, or Kasumpa village (see below)—nonetheless aspire to be social scientists. While their commitment to fieldwork, archival research, and qualitative methods runs deep, so too does their commitment to science. Analytic narratives offer a means for reconciling this apparent contradiction. Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Lauran Rosenthal, Barry Weingast, and Robert Bates formulated the approach while focusing on historical cases. This entry illustrates the approach by reviewing its use in a study of Kasumpa village in the Luapula Valley of Zambia. In this essay, “fieldwork” is defined as immersion in the lives of people who remain resident in their own social setting, while observing and recording their behavior and discussing with them their actions and the values and beliefs that shape it. This also includes, of course, knowledge of ...