Social Research Glossary


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home


Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises


Set theory

core definition

Set theory is a mathematical approach in whch a set is a group of elements with a common property.

explanatory context

Set theory refers to one of the foundations of mathematical thinking. A set is defined as a group of elements that can be specified by a common property (which might simply be that they all appear in a given list).


Although a set is defined concretely, the concept of set is an abstraction and set theory is the mathematical discipline of studying the general properties of abstract sets.


Set theory underpins much of the use of mathematics in the social sciences. In these circumstances a social phenomenon usually defines a set.

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also



copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home