By John Law
John legislations argues that tools do not simply describe social realities yet also are interested in growing them. the results of this argument are hugely major. if so, tools are continually political, and it increases the query of what sorts of social realities we wish to create.
Most present tools search for readability and precision. it's always acknowledged that merely bad study produces messy findings, and the concept that issues on the planet should 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 obscure and ephemeral. If equipment need to know and support to form the area, 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 resources for After method : mess in social science research
This means that method extends far beyond the limits that we usually imagine for it. Going beyond laboratory benches, reagents and experimental animals, or questionnaires, interview design protocols, and statistical or qualitative data-analysis packages it extends Scientiﬁc practices 41 into tacit knowledge, computer software, language skills, management capacities, transport and communication systems, salary scales, ﬂows of ﬁnance, the priorities of funding bodies, and overtly political and economic agendas.
It is no longer the long sequence of actions, events and negotiations in which appropriate inscription devices are brought together and arrayed. Least of all is it the uses made of the special skills of particular technicians or programmers. It is not arguments, debates, discussions or controversies that produce reality. It is not the work that lies behind those debates and discussions. Rather it is reality that settles any disagreements. It is reality that produces statements. The thing and the statement correspond for the simple reason that they come from the same source.
We have also seen that it is important to routinise statements by turning them into taken-for-granted assumptions, instruments, or skills. The more the hinterland is standardised and (at least in certain respects) the more it is concealed, the better. But this means that as the modalities disappear, so too do almost all of the processes in which statements and realities are produced. The largest part of the work that has gone into their production is deleted. In the end, the inscription devices themselves disappear, though those that are most novel are likely to retain a foothold in the ‘methods section’ of scientiﬁc papers.