Mario Quaranta

Max Weber Fellow • EUI


Department of Political and Social Sciences
European University Institute
Via dei Roccettini, 9
50014 San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy

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Hosted on GitHub, powered by Jekyll, and based on the Minimal theme under CC BY 4.0 | 2018

Quaranta, M. ‘Fuzzy set theory and concepts: A proposal for concept formation and operationalization.’ Comparative Sociology 12.6 (2013): 785-820
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The quantity-quality debate in social sciences also concerns concept formation and operationalization. The first approach has strong naturalist assumptions, while the second one focuses on the historical specificity of concepts. The solution to overcome this divide would be finding a path which balances the two perspectives. In this article we argue that fuzzy set theory can be a helpful tool for concept formation and operationalization. The application of fuzzy set theory to concept formation and operationalization provides, first, the opportunity of looking at concepts as complex constructs made up of attributes logically interconnected one with the other and, second, of measuring them accordingly. Thus, after presenting our general argument, we show a theoretical and an empirical application of how to use fuzzy sets in concept formation and operationalization.

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