Filippo Barbera

Meso-Level Mechanisms and Micro-Level Foundation



The paper discusses Daniel Little's argument about meso-level properties and their explanatory power it in the light of analytical sociology literature. The difference between causally relevant and causally generative properties is outlined. Following critical realism, causal statements are of two kinds: claims about the objects and events that produce effects and claims about the properties of or facts about these objects and events that are relevant to these effects. I argue that this distinction is in line with analytical sociology for which generative causes must be events rather that facts or states, but where social structure is for sure causally relevant for the explanation.


  • Social mechanisms
  • social structure
  • causation
  • explanation
  • analytical sociology


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