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Download e-book for iPad: After method : mess in social science research by John Law

By John Law

ISBN-10: 0203481143

ISBN-13: 9780203481141

John legislation argues that tools do not simply describe social realities yet also are considering growing them. the consequences of this argument are hugely major. if that is so, equipment are continually political, and it increases the query of what types of social realities we wish to create.

Most present tools search for readability and precision. it's always acknowledged that basically negative learn produces messy findings, and the concept issues on this planet will be fluid, elusive, or a number of is unthinkable. Law's startling argument is this is incorrect and it's time for a brand new technique. Many realities, he says, are obscure and ephemeral. If tools need to know and aid to form the area, then they should reinvent themselves and their politics to house mess. that's the problem. not anything much less will do.

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Additional info for After method : mess in social science research

Sample text

More generally, it is a set of arrangements for labelling, naming and counting. It is a set of arrangements for converting relations from non-tracelike to trace-like form. It is a set of practices for shifting material modalities. This is their understanding of the special materiality of science. It is the process of making particular kinds of relations in an experimental and instrumental setup, and turning these into traces. This is why they insist that: We do not wish to say that facts do not exist nor that there is no such thing as reality.

Such apparatuses, the hinterlands of much of social science, embed and enact many assumptions about the nature of the social. Arguably, ‘the social’ was brought into being in these apparatuses, as they developed and carried strategies of social and state control. By now however, with so many daily practices (public and private) dependent on official and other statistics, their reversibility is in doubt. It is possible to tinker with them – but overall, undoing them would be extremely expensive both literally and metaphorically.

They simply describe the outside world without qualification. For instance: ‘Ribosomal proteins begin to bind pre-RNA soon after its transcription starts’ (1986, 77). And, closely related to these, there are statements that are hardly statements at all because everyone takes them for granted anyway. These are only made explicit when talking to students or outsiders. Then, and usually (though not always) with less authority, there are statements that include what Latour and Woolgar call modalities.

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After method : mess in social science research by John Law

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