This book provides social science majors with a systematic way of learning to write in their fields. It is based on the assumption that such writing is not a mechanical process, but a kind of rhetoric social scientists use to persuade each other of the validity of their research. KEY TOPICS: Features comprehensive coverage of research methods, including how to plan and propose original research, how to gather data or evidence from sources and how to document it. It goes beyond the typical survey of library tools and offers a brief chapter on how to use the Internet as a research tool.
Arguing and Thinking
Author: Michael Billig
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
New edition of seminal book which provoked the discursive turn in the social sciences.
Writing the Social Text
Author: Richard Harvey Brown
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
During the past decade, it has become commonplace to interpret social and cultural reality-the very groundwork of the social sciences-as linguistic constructions. Not only is society viewed as a text, but scientific texts themselves are seen as rhetorical constructions. This collection of scholarly essays begins with an overview of this emerging field, and covers the specific stylistic practices by which social scientists create "objective" or "true" representations of society. The volume closes with a consideration of the more telling challenges to the rhetorics of the social sciences and how these might be encompassed or overcome.
Imaginative Methodologies in the Social Sciences develops, expands and challenges conventional social scientific methodology and language by way of literary, poetic and other alternative sources of inspiration, as sociologists, social workers, anthropologists, criminologists and psychologists all rethink, provoke and reignite social scientific methodology. Challenging the mainstream orthodoxy of social scientific methodology, which closely guards the boundaries between the social sciences and the arts and humanities, this volume reveals that authors and artists are often engaged in projects parallel to those of the social sciences and vice versa, thus demonstrating that artistic and cultural production does not necessarily constitute a specialist field, but is in fact integral to social reality. As such, it will be of interest to scholars and students in the social sciences and across the arts and humanities working on the philosophy of social science, methodology, social theory, creativity, poetics, pedagogy and other related topics.
This book is both a handbook for defining and completing a research project, and an astute introduction to the neglected history and changeable philosophy of modern social science.
Learn to Write Badly
Author: Michael Billig
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Modern academia is increasingly competitive yet the writing style of social scientists is routinely poor and continues to deteriorate. Are social science postgraduates being taught to write poorly? What conditions adversely affect the way they write? And which linguistic features contribute towards this bad writing? Michael Billig's witty and entertaining book analyses these questions in a quest to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong with the way social scientists write. Using examples from diverse fields such as linguistics, sociology and experimental social psychology, Billig shows how technical terminology is regularly less precise than simpler language. He demonstrates that there are linguistic problems with the noun-based terminology that social scientists habitually use - 'reification' or 'nominalization' rather than the corresponding verbs 'reify' or 'nominalize'. According to Billig, social scientists not only use their terminology to exaggerate and to conceal, but also to promote themselves and their work.
In Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Susan Peck MacDonald tackles important and often controversial contemporary questions regarding the rhetoric of inquiry, the social construction of knowledge, and the professionalization of the academy. MacDonald argues that the academy has devoted more effort to analyzing theory and method than to analyzing its own texts. Professional texts need further attention because they not only create but are also shaped by the knowledge that is special to each discipline. Her assumption is that knowledge-making is the distinctive activity of the academy at the professional level; for that reason, it is important to examine differences in the ways the professional texts of subdisciplinary communities focus on and consolidate knowledge within their fields. Throughout the book, MacDonald stresses her conviction that academics need to do a better job of explaining their text-making axioms, clarifying their expectations of students at all levels, and monitoring their own professional practices. MacDonald’s proposals for both textual and sentence-level analysis will help academic professionals better understand how they might improve communication within their professional communities and with their students.
Author: John Law
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.
This latest addition to the Fortress Social-Science Commentaries on New Testament writings illuminates the values, perceptions, and social codes of the Mediterranean culture that shaped Paul and his interactions - both harmonious and conflicted - with others, Malina and Pilch add new dimensions to our understanding of the apostle as a social change agent, his coworkers as innovators, and his gospel as an assertion of the honor of the God of Israel.
In this second edition of Steve Fuller's original work Philosophy, Rhetoric, and the End of Knowledge: A New Beginning for Science and Technology Studies, James Collier joins Fuller in developing an updated and accessible version of Fuller's classic volume. The new edition shifts focus slightly to balance the discussions of theory and practice, and the writing style is oriented to advanced students. It addresses the contemporary problems of knowledge to develop the basis for a more publicly accountable science. The resources of social epistemology are deployed to provide a positive agenda of research, teaching, and political action designed to bring out the best in both the ancient discipline of rhetoric and the emerging field of science and technology studies (STS). The authors reclaim and integrate STS and rhetoric to explore the problems of knowledge as a social process--problems of increasing public interest that extend beyond traditional disciplinary resources. In so doing, the differences among disciplines must be questioned (the exercise of STS) and the disciplinary boundaries must be renegotiated (the exercise of rhetoric). This book innovatively integrates a sophisticated theoretical approach to the social processes of creating knowledge with a developing pedagogical apparatus. The thought questions at the end of each chapter, the postscript, and the appendix allow the reader to actively engage the text in order to discuss and apply its theoretical insights. Creating new standards for interdisciplinary scholarship and communication, the authors bring numerous disciplines into conversation in formulating a new kind of rhetoric geared toward greater democratic participation in the knowledge-making process. This volume is intended for students and scholars in rhetoric of science, science studies, philosophy, and communication, and will be of interest in English, sociology, and knowledge management arenas as well.
Author: Charles Alan Taylor
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
"The most interesting entry point to the demarcation problem in science since Popper's seminal formulation."--Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology & Social Policy, Durham University What is science? What isn't science? And who draws the line between them? These are rhetorical concerns, as Charles A. Taylor demonstrates in this ambitious book about the theoretical and cultural underpinnings of scientific practice. By showing how boundaries between "science" and "nonscience" are rhetorically constructed and socially enforced, "Defining Science" reveals the political and philosophical significance of such distinctions. Taylor examines the traditional "demarcation problem," the problem of defining the boundaries of science, as an ongoing rhetorical negotiation involving a full range of historical interests and social actors--from researchers and lab technicians to governmental and industrial patrons, program administrators, political representatives, journalists, and educators. His case studies of the recent debates over creationism and cold fusion clearly demonstrate how the rhetorical dynamics of science operate within different fields. In both cases, presented here with concision and insight, prevailing demarcations--or defining portrayals of science--emerge as far more nuanced than traditional accounts allow. Taylor analyzes traditional approaches to demarcation in science in order to incorporate their insights into his larger rhetorical view. His reformulation of philosophical, historical, and sociological accounts of science clearly illustrates the intellectual value of an interdisciplinary rhetoric of demarcation. Furthermore, Defining Science suggests how we, as a community, can positively influence future constructions of science and society. "This book confronts what is arguably the late twentieth century's definitive problem in a provocative and interesting way. It will be of interest to anyone engaged with the question of knowledge in public life."--Charles Arthur Willard, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, University of Louisville
Professor Michael Billig is one of the most significant living figures in social psychology. His work spans thirty-five years, and has at times challenged conventional social scientific thinking on a range of key topics. Billig has influenced a wide range of fields including intergroup conflict, social attitudes and ideology, rhetoric, racism, nationalism, humour, psychoanalysis, and popular culture, but most significantly, his writing has not only influenced social psychologists, but is widely recognised by linguistics, sociologists, historians and cultural theorists. This book brings together expert accounts of Billig’s ideas on a wide range of issues in a single text. Each of the contributors explains the importance of Billig’s work for a specific area detailing its application to a particular social psychological problematic. In doing so, the authors also demonstrate the relevance of Billig’s work to emerging concerns in twenty-first century social science, including conspiracy accounting, moral exclusion, discursive psychology and European identity. Rhetoric, Ideology and Social Psychology will be key reading for academics and researchers working in sociology, cultural studies, social psychology, communication and media studies and linguistics.
The first-ever thorough exploration and discussion of the rhetorical model of social invention [RSI] (initially conceived by rhetorical theorist William R. Brown) for today's students and scholars.
In Citizen Science in the Digital Age, James Wynn examines the benefits and pitfalls of citizen science--scientific undertakings that make use of public participation and crowd-sourced data collection.