This book examines a range of critical concepts that are central to a shift in the social sciences toward "pragmatic inquiry," reflecting a twenty-first century concern with particular problems and themes rather than grand theory.
Taking a transnational and transdisciplinary approach, the collection demonstrates a shared commitment to using analytical concepts for empirical exploration and a general orientation to research that favors an attention to objects, techniques, and practices. The chapters draw from broad-based and far-reaching social theory in order to analyze new, specific challenges, from grasping the everyday workings of markets, courtrooms, and clinics, to inscribing the transformations of practice within research disciplines themselves. Each contributor takes a key concept and then explores its genealogies and its circulations across scholarly communities, as well as its proven payoffs for the social sciences and, often, critical reflections on its present and future uses.
This carefully crafted volume will significantly expand and improve the analytical repertoires or toolkits available to social scientists, including scholars in sociology or anthropology and those working in science and technology studies, public health, and related fields.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Editors
Part 1. Institutions
1. Fields Tim Bartley
2. Ecologies of Institutions Daniel Cefaï
Part 2. Complex Objects
3. Dispositif Nicolas Dodier and Janine Barbot
4. Assemblage Anthony Stavrianakis
5. Market Device Olav Velthuis
6. Complexity Talia Dan-Cohen
Part 3. Framing Stances
7. Justification John Bowen
8. Narrative James Wertsch and Nutsa Batiashvili
9. Qualification Giselinde Kuipers and Thomas Franssen
Part 4. Practices
10. Demonstrating Claude Rosental
11. Caring Annemarie Mol and Anita Hardon
12. Making Home Paolo Boccagni and Jan Willem Duyvendak
13. Making Sense of Reality Together: Interdisciplinary "Ways of Seeing" Michèle Lamont
John R. Bowen is Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.
Nicolas Dodier is a Sociologist, Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and Researcher at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research, France.
Jan Willem Duyvendak is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Anita Hardon is Professor in Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she also leads the interdisciplinary research priority area Global Health.