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Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge
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Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge

Second Edition


December 1993 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Critical resistance to traditional empirical methods and the quest for foundational knowledge of human action is widespread. Recognition of theoretical and methodological inadequacies has sparked a search for a more robust conception of human science.

This fascinating and carefully reasoned book develops the argument for human science as social construction. Demonstrating that descriptions of human action can neither be derived from nor corrected by scientific observation, Gergen provides a bold interdisciplinary challenge to traditional views, thus clearing the way for significant alterations in scientific practice. In the preface to the Second Edition, Gergen describes the major movements taking place since the First Edition was published over a decade ago.

 
Traditional Science in a World of Change
 
The Communal Basis of Social Knowledge
 
Generative Theory and Degenerative Metatheory
 
The Turning Point in Life-Span Study
 
The Historical Context of Transformation

`Gergen has written a magnificent book... It is the fruit of a sustained intellectual quest for a new metaphysics for the social/behavioural sciences' - Clyde Hendrick, Contemporary Psychology

`The book offers an overview of theories of science as a social and cultural process. The thesis that science is but a social and ideological edifice based on little more than misguided attempts by individual scientists to legitimate their moral discourse will already be familiar to sociologists, longstanding critics of "scientism" in social science. But the thoroughness with which it is stated in this book, with a new introduction bringing some of the discussions up to date, should make the reading of it rewarding for philosophically interested students' - Reviewing Sociology

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