How can comparative studies overcome the problem of ‘conceptual stretching’?
How can comparative studies overcome the problem of ‘conceptual
Ladder of Abstraction
High intension, low extension.
Right wing populist parties.
High intension - lots of defining attributes, therefore a relaxed category, allows for insight into all these.
Low extension - restricted to 'right wing' 'populist' 'parties'.
Low intension, high extension .
High extension and many cases fit the category, high range of cases.
Low intension - few defining attributes, only populism and movements.
Right wing populist movements.
Primary category of democracy, secondary category of different types of democracy.
Primary category meets all attributes (participation etc.).
Secondary categories must meet some of the attributes, but not all.
Types of democracy as the secondary category - participatory democracy, liberal democracy, popular democracy.
Primary category of authoritarianism.
Secondary categories of types of regime (populist or bureaucratic).
Primary and secondary must meet all defining attributes.
Attributes include - limited pluralism, distinctive mentalities.
Must meet some of the attributes.
Talking about politics, contacting local authorities, involvement in campaigns, membership of parties.
Ladder of Abstraction - Satori
To avoid conceptual stretching.
Extension - breadth of the application of concepts, dependent on the definition (number of cases, contexts crossed).
Intension - attributes which define a concept (high intension - large number of attributes, less well defined, more relaxed).
High extension requires low intension - e.g. when looking at democracies and 'freedom of speech' this is low, few attributes, so high extension can be used without conceptual stretching.
High intension requires low extension - e.g. if looking at direct democracy is low extension because few countries are of that definition, but then you can have high intension and look at a various number of defining attributes of these states.
Medium extension and medium intension also fine.
Define the best attributes for a context.
Must meet one key feature and a mixture of the others.
Overcomes issue of stretching as allows for an understanding and allowing of wider categories.
Allows for high intension and extension.
Doesn't stretch the concept as it defines the concept through a range of concepts - as long as it fits a number of attributes is cannot be considered stretched, ensures definition is met.
Flexibility of categories is a much disputed concept.
Clusters of features associated with a concept.
Case must contain some of the features.
Relaxing classical boundaries.
Concepts don't always mean the same thing in different contexts.
When contexts travel they become stretched and distorted - vague, lack meaning or specificity.
Ladder and Cases
Radial and Cases
Family and Cases
Overcomes from relaxing categories or the ladder of abstraction, as long as things are properly defined by attributes.