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    Metaphor in the social sciences: creative methodologies and some elements for an epistemological reconstruction

    Soreanu, Raluca (2010) Metaphor in the social sciences: creative methodologies and some elements for an epistemological reconstruction. Studia Sociologica 55 (1), pp. 239-256. ISSN 1224-8703.

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    Metaphor is often reduced to decorative expression in the social sciences. While sociologists rely heavily on metaphor to anchor theory, they fail to acknowledge its use and they treat it as disconnected from the activity of social critique. The essay discusses the capacity of metaphor to put localities in a state of emergence and to reveal hierarchy. A vignette about feminist knowledge production shows how metaphors can be used in sociology without totalising ambitions, even in the realm of methodology, which is often reserved to aspirations of precision. This exposition allows for a critique of positivism, which is not seen as a mere “idea” grounding methodologies; instead, I regard it as a regime of resonance emerging in a time of war, for the efficient organisation of war machines, through an association between the state, the military, and some continental logical positivist ideas. I elaborate on the impoverished emotional modalities of positivism, and on its distinctive stylistics, which shows a preference for metonymy among metaphors. Finally, I reflect on some elements for an epistemological reconstruction.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): etaphor, creativity, epistemology, positivism, feminist theory
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 May 2013 09:49
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:04


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