The Reflexive Initiative is an authoritative intervention in the practice and tradition of reflexive social theory. It demonstrates the importance of the reflexive imperative, not only in the investigation of everyday life but across a wide range of human sciences and philosophical perspectives. Forty years after the publication of On the Beginning of Social Inquiry, the chapters in this collection range from re-appraisals of earlier essays on topics such as ‘reunions’, ‘rethinking art’ and ‘expats’ to contributions emphasising the opening of radical dialogues with other reflexive traditions and perspectives. These include psychoanalysis, Lacan, Hegel, Rene Girard, Daseinanalysis, dialectical method, critical feminism, and the dialogical tradition.
In this dialogical spirit, the book contributes to the continuing project of analytic theorizing associated with the work of Alan Blum and Peter McHugh, and the recent turn to more ‘existential’ topics and politically engaged forms of reflexive research. It will be of particular use to students working in interpretive traditions of sociology, Critical theory, Postmodern thought and debates associated with reflexivity and dialectics in other disciplines and research programmes.
Table of Contents
Part I: Editors’ Introduction 1. The Origins and Prospects of Analytic Theorizing Part II: History and Contexts of Analytic Theory 2. Dialectic, Indebtedness, Ambivalence and the Pursuit of Analytic Speech: Revisiting ‘On the Beginning of Social Inquiry’ Part III: Topics in Analysis 3. Analysis and Sincerity: Warding Off Relativism 4. Reunions: Standing and Turning Relationships 5. Rethinking Art: A Borderline Case 6. Expats 7. The Complaint: An Analysis Part IV: Dialogical and Dialectical Engagements 8. Dasein/Analysis: Between Ethnomethodological Heresy and the Continental Tradition 9. The Analysis School and Feminism: Intersection, Explanation and a Challenge 10. Collaboration and the Birth of Comedy: From the Symbolic to the Real in the Development of Analysis 11. Resistance in Collective and Collaborative Problem Solving 12. Analytic Desire and Everyday Life: The Practice of Theory in ‘On the Beginning of Social Inquiry’ 13. Dialectic, Reflexivity, and Good Troublesome Company Part V: Origins and Prospects 14. On the Unending Beginning of Social Inquiry References Index
Stanley Raffel is an Honorary Fellow in Sociology at Edinburgh University, UK. He taught social theory at this university for over forty years. He has published numerous articles on contemporary and classic social theory in peer reviewed journals and several books. His latest book is The Method of Metaphor. He was also one of the four authors of On the Beginning of Social Inquiry.
Barry Sandywell is an Honorary Research Fellow in Social Theory in the Department of Sociology in the University of York, UK. As a well-known teacher and social theorist with an academic career extending to four decades he has published major essays and papers in peer-reviewed journals, books and collections devoted to social analysis and cultural theory. His research has focused upon the history of self-reflection in European culture, the foundations of reflexive social theory, the sociology of philosophy, contemporary cultural theory, visual studies, Continental traditions of philosophy and social thought and, more recently, the investigation of discourse formations, narrative and narratological perspectives in the human sciences.