Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-19, 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 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2019.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

Synthesis in social science is the process of collating a number of arguments by extracting their essential elements and recombining them as a 'higher level' analysis that incorporates and accounts for these elements.

explanatory context

Synthesis is used in a somewhat more specific sense when considered in relation to dialectics. In this context sythesis is seen as the resolution of contradictions that exist in reality, represented by thesis and antithesis.

analytical review

Encyclopedia of Marxism (1999–2008) deines synthesis as:

The process of combining the parts to form a whole.

associated issues


related areas

See also




Encyclopedia of Marxism, 1999–2008, 'Synthesis', Glossary of Terms, available at, accessed 12 April 2013, still available 29 December 2016.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2019


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