Research Methodology

How Does the History of Social Science Influence its Present? | Three views on the legacies that shape today's social science research

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We make social science but not out of conditions of our own choosing. While social institutions are a large part of the content of the social worlds that we investigate, our means of investigation are also affected by those very institutions. As social scientists we are thus always at risk of using some concept or idea or theory or instrument that may be ‘doing work’ that we might not first recognize. In other words, we may be unknowing carriers of political forces, intellectual pathologies, or be doing the bidding of some social forces we have inherited from the past. This article summarizes the discussion of how historical legacies that shape scientific research in ISSR's final panel on its 2019 seminar series on Social Science & Social Location.

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