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Event Catalogs as Theories

Formal Methods

The article describes one of Tilly’s favorite formal methodologies, the event catalog. The benefit of using event catalogs, defined as a set of descriptions of multiple social interactions collected from a delimited number of sources using a uniform procedure, is that it focuses the researchers attention on three critical methodological questions: (1) how phenomena leave traces, (2) how phenomena can be observed, and (3) how traces of phenomena can be used to reconstruct attributes and elements.