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Social Science in Question

Social Science in Question
Towards a Postdisciplinary Framework

October 1998 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How do social scientists study the social world? Is social scientific practice in transformation? Can social science learn from its own past?

This major text takes the reader on an intellectual journey starting with the story of modern science and the impact that this has had on social scientific practice, and going on to outline and critically review the major approaches to social scientific

inquiry, ranging from positivism to postmodernism. Throughout, readers are encouraged to think carefully about what it means to: study the social world in a scientific way; make connections between what they do and the everyday lives of the people they study; and look beyond their discipline and think in a postdisciplinary way.

Social Science in Question is the Course Text for The Open University's Postgraduate Foundation Module (D820 The Challenge of the Social Sciences).

Social Science as a Situated Practice
The Story of Science
The Emergence of the Social Sciences
Imagination and Complexity in the Social Sciences
Paradigms, Conventions and Relativism
Language, Discourse and Culture
Rethinking Representation in the Social Sciences

Situated Knowledges
Rethinking Knowledge and Reality


Smith succeeds in making accessible what can be difficult and abstract material. The book is richly illustrated with diagrams, key readings, photographs, images and exercises which all enable the reader to stop and engage with the material just presented.

SOCIAL SCIENCES, Nottingham Trent University
May 24, 2013

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