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.
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Imagination and narrative
ontological politics and after
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Aboriginal method actor-network theory alcoholic liver disease allegory angiography answer argued argument assumptions atherosclerosis bundle Chapter coherence complex condense context crafting cultural cyborg definite and singular depictions describe different realities Dr Warrington enacted ethnography Euro-American Euro-American metaphysics Euro-American method explore flux Haraway Helen Verran hinterland hospital imagine implication important in-here indefinite independent inquiry inscription devices instance intermittent claudication Kata Tjuta kind knowledge Ladbroke Grove Latour and Woolgar less manifest absence material metaphor method assemblage methodological multiple narrative necessarily non-coherent objects ontological ontological politics organisational out-thereness partial connections particular patient patterns Perhaps perspectival philosophical possible practices presence problem produce Quaker question reality out-there relations relevant representation resonate Salk Laboratory scientific scientists shape simply single Singleton social science sociologists of science sociology sometimes specific stories suggest talk technoscience Thames Train theory things Tjukurpa truth Uluru Verran