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 equipment do not simply describe social realities yet also are serious about developing them. the consequences of this argument are hugely major. if so, tools are consistently 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 simply negative study produces messy findings, and the concept issues on the earth may 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 technique. Many realities, he says, are imprecise and ephemeral. If tools 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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Extra info for After method : mess in social science research

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If the answer is ‘yes’ then they tend to add to its authority. But we have also seen that this is only a part of the story. Scientific statements also draw more or less directly from a network or a hinterland of appropriate inscription devices. Do the practices in which these are embedded produce figures that can be compared and tend to reinforce one another? If the answer is ‘yes’ then the authority of a statement increases. If it is ‘no’, then the statement is Scientific practices 29 likely to enter the limbo of the might-have-beens.

Latour and Woolgar again: Once a large number of arguments have become incorporated into a black box, the cost of raising alternatives to them becomes prohibitive. It is unlikely, for example, that anyone will contest the wiring of the computer . . or the statistics on which the ‘t’ test is based, or the name of the vessels in the pituitary. (1986, 242) For individual practitioners it is often, perhaps usually, best to borrow from and make use of a very extensive and expensive set of inscription devices, because these would be extremely costly to overturn.

In perspecti- Scientific practices 27 valism they are specified in geometrically spatial terms, while endocrinological definiteness and singularity are generated in an alternative, chemically defined, manner. But what of Latour and Woolgar? What of their assessment of the practices of the scientists? What of their counter-intuitive conclusion that particular realities do not exist without sets of practices that include inscription devices and the networks within which these are located? To tackle these questions we need to return to the Salk Laboratory.

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After method : mess in social science research by John Law

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