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Critical Realist Metatheory and the Sociology of Organisations: Using contrastive explanation to explain personal internet use at work

Lookup NU author(s): Julie Monroe, Professor Steve VincentORCiD, Dr Ana Lopes



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Elgar, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This chapter explains one process of applying a critical realist methodology, namely contrastive explanation. In doing so, we address the question: how is social theory developed from contrastive evaluation? Using an exemplar qualitative study related to personal internet use at work [PIUW], we demonstrate how we develop novel insights about gender and class from in-group and between-group contrasts. The overall argument is that contrasts can be used to facilitate theoretical explanation of causal processes, in this case about PIUW.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Monroe J, Vincent S, Lopes A

Editor(s): Godwyn, M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Research Handbook on the Sociology of Organizations

Year: 2022

Pages: 475-490

Print publication date: 07/06/2022

Acceptance date: 29/03/2006

Publisher: Elgar

Place Published: Cheltenham, UK


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781839103254