abstracted empiricisma term used by C. Wright MILLS (1959) to refer to those forms of social survey research that involve QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH TECHNIQUES but draw little on the theoretical tradition in sociology and contribute little to sociological understanding. Somewhat unfairly, Mills singled out the work of Paul LAZARSFELD as an exemplar, which he saw as elevating research techniques and the quest for reliability' of data at the expense of relevance'. See also EMPIRICAL SOCIOLOGY. Compare EMPIRICISM.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000