Download After method : mess in social science research by John Law PDF

By John Law

John legislations argues that equipment do not simply describe social realities yet also are interested by developing them. the results of this argument are hugely major. if so, tools are constantly political, and it increases the query of what varieties of social realities we wish to create.

Most present equipment 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 equipment need to know and support to form the realm, then they should reinvent themselves and their politics to accommodate mess. that's the problem. not anything much less will do.

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The findings of their ethnography are neither empirically weird nor theoretically strained. They explain perfectly well why scientists (and social scientists and lay people) tend to be committed to a strong version of out-thereness. But at the same time they also show how this is consistent with the idea that out-thereness is something enacted in practice. 31 Latour and Woolgar’s argument applies just as well to our social sciences. Scientific practices 39 We too have our instruments of research.

1986, 64) This, then, is their fifth point. It is that particular realities are constructed by particular inscription devices and practices. Let me emphasise that: realities are being constructed. Not by people. But in the practices made possible by networks of elements that make up the inscription device – and the networks of elements within which that inscription device resides. The realities, they are saying, simply don’t exist without their matching inscription devices. And, implicitly at least, they are also saying that such inscription devices – and even more so their particular products – are elaborate and networked arrangements that are more or less uncertain, more or less able to hold together, and more or less precarious.

Politics in one form or another also becomes important. But the moment we acknowledge this we are faced with new questions. What kind of out-therenesses are possible? Which are so embedded that they cannot be undone? Where might we try to undo or redo them? 34 To bend a phrase, if we think in this way then reality is no longer destiny. In the rest of the book I pursue this non-conventional option. The stakes for politics, but also for truth, are surely so high that it would be mistaken not to try to think these through.

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