Read selection 1, "Dissecting the Social," in Hechter and Horne and answer the following "leading questions."

  1. Explain to the proverbial taxi-driver the difference between a description and an explanation. As an example offer a description and an explanation of the challenge of finding a cab in downtown Oakland (you can make up the empirical data).
  2. How does a typology differ from a taxonomy?
  3. Follow through development of explanation by
  4. Sketching 2x2 table that captures the observation
  5. Elaborate the table with a third variable that "explains" the difference.
  6. Propose an mechanism explanation that goes from macro to micro to macro.


  1. Drop in applications to law schools.
  2. Bike/car accidents different rates across cities/counties. (data)
  3. More women than men in college these days.
  4. Suppose one sees more men than women in the exit row seats of airplanes with open seating.
  5. Empty seats in cinema always toward the front. Same in lecture halls.
  6. One sees more capris pants and sandles in LA than in Oakland.
  7. Boys and girls throw balls differently.
  8. Teen pregnancy higher in group A than group B.

Provide a statistical explanation and a mechanistic explanation for each of the following