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Aнализ последовательностей в социологии: возможности, ограничения и потенциал применения

Алексеев Т. Д.

The article provides a brief review of social sequence analysis as an algorithmic deterministic approach to the classification of event series. The method is discussed in the context of its reception in social sciences in early 1980s with the help of a pioneering research enthusiast A. Abbott. The specificity of sociological applications of sequence analysis under certain data assumptions inherited from bioinformatics, e.g. universal interchangeability of events, arbitrary censoring, rank time variable, is considered. The article classifies a broad set of methods of time-ordered data analysis to provide a base for epistemological confrontment and pinpoint the advantages and shortcomings of sequence analysis compared to nonparametric statistics and general linear models of ordered events. The bases of classification are the dichotomies of time/order event definition and algorithm/ statistical inference method of result acquiring. The comparison covers different methods’ applications in cases of varied research goals, data types and theoretical assumptions. The article provides a sketch of sequence analysis development over time, considering its aggressive movements towards positioning on the bases of philosophy of history and narrative criticism of general linear models. The roots of its recent orientation towards visualization techniques are discussed as revealed in the scope of early 2000’s controversy over the capability of the use of sequence analysis to solve the theoretical problems stemming from the limitations of general linear models.