How can we research the not-as-yet? The Research Event is concerned with enabling and nurturing an empirical and analytic sensibility that can address – that is speculate on – the emergent and the prospective in social life.
A distinctive and novel contribution, this book introduces and expands on the notion of the ‘research event’, equipping the researcher with the speculative means to connect with the changing landscape of social scientific research. As such the research event is understood as a fluid, unfolding process that encompasses a multitude of heterogeneous ingredients, ranging from the formulation of research questions, through the vagaries of participant engagement, to the practices of writing and dissemination. The book aims to provide social science researchers with practical and conceptual heuristics for the ‘opening up’ of research practice so that it better engages with, but also better provokes, the possibilities that are entailed in the doing of social research.
Inventively and entertainingly, the book draws on many of the author's own empirical examples to illustrate critically the use and value of these heuristics. As a research event in itself, this book is a speculation on prospective methodologies and an invitation to explore the possibilities of social research. This book will appeal to a broad range of social science researchers, from advanced undergraduates to established scholars. It will be a key reading in advanced BA and MA courses on alternative research methodologies, or a supplementary reading on more traditional courses aiming to include emerging methods.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Research Event
2. Research Questions and the Sub-Topical
3. The Research Event’s Fit: Anecdote, Affect and Attunement
4. Idiot and Parasite: On Productive Disconcertment
5. Speculation: Fabulating and Fabricating the Idiot
6. Inter-Disciplinarity and Practice: We Are All Practitioners…
7. The Event of Analysis: Patterns, Abstraction, Expression
8. Concluding…but not Ending
Mike Michael is a sociologist of science and technology, and a professor in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of Exeter. His research interests include everyday life and technoscience; culture and bioscience; and prospective methodologies. He is author of Actor–Network Theory (2017).