Levels of analysis

Me, us, them, and everybody

The various social sciences operate at different levels of analysis. They find different things, just like the earth looks different from an airplane than it does from a footpath, or through a microscope.

In order to understand human social behaviour we often need at least the three levels in this picture.

  • the individual
  • the group, nexus of we / they dynamics and morality
  • all people, with their shared attributes, including capacity for culture - inevitably created during childhood.3levels

Background reading

In 1995, Geert wrote an article "Multilevel research of human systems: flowers bouquets and gardens". This is still very good reading, especially for researchers who normally only work with individuals.