THE DIFFUSION OF A STATISTICAL METHOD: A SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE APPROACH TO HAZARDS MODELS (MEDICINE, ISRAEL, TAIWAN)

DONNA SHAI, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This dissertation deals with the diffusion of hazards models into the social sciences from medical research. It is particularly concerned with applications in demography. The comparative case method is used to contrast the applicability of the technique in medical research and demography. The "social structure" of the two disciplines are examined from a sociology of science point of view. Major differences discussed are: (1) the individual focus of medicine versus the aggregate focus of demography; (2) differences in the opportunities for observation of a patient/informant; (3) differences in timespans of interest; and (4) differences in the opportunities for intervention. These differences are illustrated through an adaptation of survival techniques to a restrospective approach to the open birth interval. Fertility data sets from Israel (Cochini immigrants) and Taiwan are analyzed in an proportional hazards study of the influence of social factors on the length of the open interval. It is shown that aside from certain technical difficulties the proportional hazards model provides a convenient framework for comparing populations in demography.

Subject Area

Demographics

Recommended Citation

SHAI, DONNA, "THE DIFFUSION OF A STATISTICAL METHOD: A SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE APPROACH TO HAZARDS MODELS (MEDICINE, ISRAEL, TAIWAN)" (1984). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8417360.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8417360

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