After Method: Mess in Social Science Research
John Law argues that methods don't just describe social realities but are also involved in creating them. The implications of this argument are highly significant. If this is the case, methods are always political, and it raises the question of what kinds of social realities we want to create.
Most current methods look for clarity and precision. It is usually said that only poor research produces messy findings, and the idea that things in the world might be fluid, elusive, or multiple is unthinkable. Law's startling argument is that this is wrong and it is time for a new approach. Many realities, he says, are vague and ephemeral. If methods want to know and help to shape the world, then they need to reinvent themselves and their politics to deal with mess. That is the challenge. Nothing less will do.
What people are saying - Write a review
Imagination and narrative
ontological politics and after
Other editions - View all
Aboriginal absence alcoholic liver disease allegory answer appears argued argument assumptions becomes Chapter claims coherence common complex context course crafting created cultural definite describe discussion enacted Euro-American experience explore follow further hand happens hinterland idea imagine important in-here independent inquiry inscription devices instance interest kind knowledge laboratory Ladbroke Grove Latour and Woolgar least less limits live look manifest material means metaphor method assemblage multiple natural necessarily necessary non-coherent objects ontological organisational out-thereness partial particular patient patterns Perhaps person politics possible practices presence problem produce Quaker question realities reasons relations relevant representation scientific scientists seen sense shape similar simply single singularity social science sometimes specific statements stories studies suggest taken talk tell theory things truth turn understand usually writing