Complex realism in social research

Williams, Malcolm and Dyer, Wendy (2017) Complex realism in social research. Methodological Innovations, 10 (2). ISSN 2059-7991

Text (Full text)
Williams, Dyer - Complex realism in social research.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


In recent years, both realism and complexity have begun to have methodological influence in social research. Yet for the most part, these have existed separately and have had limited impact on empirical research. In this article, we develop a theoretical argument for complex realism, grounded in an ontology of probability, that may be operationalised to demonstrate the reality of social change at a micro- and meso-level. We apply our conception of complex realism to an example using the method of longitudinal case–based cluster analysis to analyse the trajectories over time of male and female prisoners aged 18 and above who were at risk of self-harm.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complexity, realism, probability, prisoner self-harm, trajectory, longitudinal analysis, case based cluster analysis
Subjects: L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2018 16:59
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:20

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics