Summary and Info
"Knowledge and Reflexivity" is an exploration of the significance of the concept of reflexivity for sociology in particular and the social sciences in general. Concern with reflexivity arises from work in the social studies of science, which has shown that knowledge in the natural sciences is a product of social, cultural, historical and political processes. The book argues that it is high time that social science itself is seen as generated by those forces, and explores the consequences of reflexivity for social theory, social research and the practice of social science.Scholars working in the area broadly described as 'social studies of science' have convincingly demonstrated over the past decade that natural scientific knowledge is a product of social, cultural, historical and political processes. The eight contributors to this volume - newly available in paper - argue that it is high time that social science itself is seen as actively generated by those same forces.The tool that they use to analyze the social scientific text is that of reflexivity - at its simplest, a term which connotes self-reflection and self-referral. Knowledge and Reflexivity examines the wide-ranging implications of reflexivity for ethnography, discourse analysis, textual analysis, medical sociology and the sociology of science. A number of contributors - such as Trevor Pinch and Bruno Latour - are critical of the use of reflexivity. Each chapter is followed by a 'reflexion' from another contributor to give an unusual format to the book.The contributors are concerned to develop a practice in which the interrogation of the methods proceeds simultaneously with, and as an integral part of, the investigation of the object. Knowledge and Reflexivity brings debates within the social studies of science to a new frontier and will be stimulating reading for all researchers within the social sciences.
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