John Law's After Method: Mess in Social Science Research PDF

By John Law

ISBN-10: 0415341752

ISBN-13: 9780415341752

John legislations argues that equipment do not simply describe social realities yet also are concerned with developing them. the results of this argument are hugely major. if so, equipment are continuously political, and it increases the query of what varieties of social realities we wish to create. most present tools search for readability and precision. it is often stated that basically negative study produces messy findings, and the concept issues on the planet should be fluid, elusive, or a number of is unthinkable. Law's startling argument is this is inaccurate and it's time for a brand new process. Many realities, he says, are imprecise and ephemeral. If equipment need to know and aid 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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One might, for instance, live in a world in which what went on was always vague, diffuse, uncertain, fluid, elusive and/or undecided – and was taken to be so. But though the social world may sometimes be apprehended in this way, Euro-American empirical experience mostly doesn’t work like this. Instead it buys into an assumption that the world is more or less specific, clear, Scientific practices 25 certain, definable and decided. It agrees, to be sure, that we may dream or imagine in ways that are vague and indefinite – but this has little to do with reality.

The relations between these become an empirical matter. 36 Scientific practices Given the flexibility of the modern episteme, the position is not necessarily inconsistent with that of Foucault. Further it shares with him the commitment to the idea that it is not simply knowledge of realities, but also realities themselves, that are generated in the practices of production. My question, and one to which I will return in Chapter 3, has to do with singularity. Latour and Woolgar tend to assume that inscription devices (and so their hinterlands) mesh together fairly well.

It also has the virtue of connoting active and evolving practices rather than a passive and static structure. (Watson-Verran and Turnbull 1995, 117) Here Verran and Turnbull have caught exactly what is needed. An assemblage (without the method) is an episteme plus technologies. It is ad hoc, not necessarily very coherent, and it is also active. In Deleuze and Guattari the English term ‘assemblage’ has been used to translate the French ‘agencement’. Like ‘assemblage’, ‘agencement’ is an abstract noun.

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After Method: Mess in Social Science Research by John Law


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