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Solving Problems That Have Never Been Solved

Fri, August 18, 8:00 to 9:30am, Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, Floor: Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon G

Session Submission Type: Invited Session (90 minute)


Sociologists often compare successful cases to unsuccessful cases to identify solutions to problems. But what happens when there are no successful cases? How can we think rigorously about theory, methods, and evidence in this situation? Papers consider how activists in the past imagined solutions to problems that had never been solved; how scholars gather and evaluate evidence for things that do not exist; how we can break problems down into parts or analogize them to other problems; and how new technologies could be deployed to solve previously unsolvable problems. Papers also give ideas for solving currently unsolved problems, including racism and climate change.

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