Lazarsfeld's Legacy| Paul Lazarsfeld’s Methodological Innovations and Their Importance Today

Hynek Jeřábek


Paul Lazarsfeld developed an efficient model of scientific sociological research that used a combination of several quantitative and qualitative methods and approaches. This article discusses Lazarsfeld’s general research strategy, which was based on teamwork, his use of the workshop as a method for teaching by doing, and his elaboration model, developed to test important causes of phenomena of scientific interest and their consequences. The article also discusses several new analytical methods and methodologies of social research that he developed: panel analysis, contextual analysis, and latent structure analysis. These methods and methodologies have since given rise to more advanced versions of themselves. Multilevel models were used for a contextual analysis. Latent class analysis is the modern-day successor to latent structure analysis. He also developed an original method that combines qualitative and analytical principles—reason analysis.


elaboration model; teamwork; training in advanced methods; panel analysis; contextual analysis; multilevel models; latent structure analysis; latent class analysis; reason analysis

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