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Processual Sociology$
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Andrew Abbott

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226336596

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226336763.001.0001

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The Idea of Outcome1

The Idea of Outcome1

(p.165) Chapter 6 The Idea of Outcome1
Processual Sociology

Andrew Abbott

University of Chicago Press

The chapter considers how we evaluate the results of periods of time for social actors, contrasting the economic focus on evaluation from the beginning through forward-thinking and discounting with the sociological focus on a single-value at the end. Many different forms of outcome are discussed. In terms of “breadth” of concept there are process outcome, trend outcome, and point outcome. In terms of temporality, there are “tensed” and “untensed” outcome (depending on whether the crucial point of measure moves with time). In terms of direction, there are prospective, momentary, retrospective, and pantemporal outcomes. All are possible, and the choice between them is purely normative.

Keywords:   discounting, momentary outcome, outcome, tensed outcome, trend outcome

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