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The use of abduction in alienation research: a rationale and a worked example.

Yuill, Chris�


Chris� Yuill


Abduction as a form of inference is recommended as a means of analysis within theory-driven research. Its capacity to provide creative (re)interpretations of data that add to a theory allowing it to become a growing dynamic and nuanced body of thought is highly appealing. For Marxist research into alienation, abduction has that advantage but also assists in overcoming one of the central problems that hinder the theory's development and use in the 1960s and 1970s: the inability to productively articulate theoretical insights with empirical findings. What abduction involves as a form of analysis is laid out here before proceeding to discuss in greater depth its utility for research into alienation and the laying out of a worked example of how abduction was applied in an actual instance of research. A way forward for research driven by alienation theory is therefore established which could lead to wider re-engagement with what should be a core concern of sociology.


YUILL, C. 2017. The use of abduction in alienation research: a rationale and a worked example. Social theory and health [online], 15(4), pages 465-481. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 19, 2017
Publication Date Nov 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2018
Journal Social theory and health
Print ISSN 1477-8211
Electronic ISSN 1477-822X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 465-481
Keywords Abduction; Agency; Alienation; Marx; Methodology; Work
Public URL


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