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Engaging With The World

Author: Margaret Scotford Archer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415687101
Size: 27.13 MB
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This title reflects the general theme of the 2010 IACR annual conference that was held in Padova, Italy, the aim of which was to provide a fresh view on some cultural and structural changes involving Western societies after the world economic crisis of 2008, from the point of view of Critical Realism. Global society is often regarded as disrupting identities and blurring boundaries, one which entails giving up ideas of structure and fixity. Globalization supposedly introduces a "liquid" era of fluidity where everything is possible, and anything goes. Nevertheless, its current dynamics are developing into a harder reality: wars, economic crisis, the haunting risk of pandemics, the ever worsening food supply crisis, and the environmental challenge. These social facts call for a dramatic shift in the optimistic cosmopolitan mood and the thought that we can build and rebuild ourselves and our world as we please, at least for the most developed countries. The challenges we face produce new forms of social life and individual experience. They also require us to develop new frameworks to analyze emergent contexts, institutional complexes and morphogenetic fields, and new ways to understand human agency and the meaning of emancipation. The book broadly falls into three parts: The first, "Social Ontology and a New Historical Formation", deals with mainly social ontological issues, insofar as they are connected to social scientific and public issues in the emerging society of the XXI century. The second, "Being human and the adventure of agency", is concerned with the way human beings adapts to the "new world" of "our times", and comes up with innovative models of agency and socialization. The third, "The constitutionalization of the new world", explores critical realist perspectives, as compared to system-theoretical ones, on the issue of global order and justice. In all of this, the challenge is to engage with this "new world" in a meaningful way, a task for which a realist mind set is badly needed. Critical realism provides a strong theoretical framework that can meet the challenge, and the book explores its contribution to making sense of, and coming to terms with, this historical formation.

Approaches And Methodologies In The Social Sciences

Author: Donatella Della Porta
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139474596
Size: 63.85 MB
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A revolutionary textbook introducing masters and doctoral students to the major research approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. Written by an outstanding set of scholars, and derived from successful course teaching, this volume will empower students to choose their own approach to research, to justify this approach, and to situate it within the discipline. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and philosophy of social science, and proceeds to issues of methodology and research design essential for producing a good research proposal. It also introduces researchers to the main issues of debate and contention in the methodology of social sciences, identifying commonalities, historic continuities and genuine differences.

Lines Drawn Upon The Water

Author: Karl S. Hele
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
ISBN: 1554580048
Size: 54.60 MB
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Proceedings of a conference held at University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Feb. 11-12, 2005.

Identity And Agency In Cultural Worlds

Author: Dorothy Holland
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674005624
Size: 64.27 MB
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This text addresses the central problem in anthropological theory of the late 1990s - the paradox that humans are both products of social discipline and creators of remarkable improvisation.

Critical Realism Somalia And The Diaspora Community

Author: Abdullahi Haji-Abdi
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317928067
Size: 37.33 MB
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Critical Realism, Somalia and the Diaspora Community equips new researchers with a simplified knowledge of critical realism suitable to the degree of their comprehension. Moreover, it offers a step by step example of research using all levels of critical realism. This book resulted from the endeavour of a researcher, new to critical realism who, however, sought to apply all parts and phases of critical realism to his subject matter. The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 provides an outline of the three phases of critical realism: original/basic critical realism, dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of metaReality. Part 2 presents a case study that applied critical realism as a research-theory framework. The case study explores the formation of the Somali Community Organisations in the UK and develops a retroductive model that outlines their role in engaging the Somali Diaspora Community with the issue of sustainability. Part 3 presents reflections towards the geo-historical study of Somalia and explains the origins of the civil war and the dispersal that resulted in the formation of Somali Diaspora Communities in different parts of the world. This book will be of interest to Critical Realists, researchers on and in Africa, agencies interested in Somali affairs, researchers on diaspora and refugees, Somali Community Co-ordinators and local council authorities in the UK and Europe.

Student Engagement In Europe Society Higher Education And Student Governance

Author: Manja Klemenčič
Publisher: Council of Europe
ISBN: 9287181772
Size: 63.21 MB
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Democratic institutions and laws are essential, but they cannot bring about democracy on their own. They will only function if they build on a culture of democracy, and our societies will not be able to develop and sustain such a culture unless education plays an essential role. Student engagement is crucial: democracy cannot be taught unless it is practised within institutions, among students and in relations between higher education and society in general. This 20th volume of the Council of Europe Higher Education Series demonstrates the importance of student engagement for the development and maintenance of the democratic culture that enables democratic institutions and laws to function in practice. This volume covers three aspects of student engagement that are seldom explored: its role in society through political participation and civic involvement; its place in higher education policy processes and policy-making structures; and how student unions represent the most institutionalised form of student engagement. The authors are accomplished scholars, policy makers, students and student leaders.

Historical Ontology

Author: Ian Hacking
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674016071
Size: 78.20 MB
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With the unusual clarity, distinctive and engaging style, and penetrating insight that have drawn such a wide range of readers to his work, Ian Hacking here offers his reflections on the philosophical uses of history. The focus of this volume, which collects both recent and now-classic essays, is the historical emergence of concepts and objects, through new uses of words and sentences in specific settings, and new patterns or styles of reasoning within those sentences. In its lucid and thoroughgoing look at the historical dimension of concepts, the book is at once a systematic formulation of Hacking's approach and its relation to other types of intellectual history, and a valuable contribution to philosophical understanding. Hacking opens the volume with an extended meditation on the philosophical significance of history. The importance of Michel Foucault--for the development of this theme, and for Hacking's own work in intellectual history--emerges in the following chapters, which place Hacking's classic essays on Foucault within the wider context of general reflections on historical methodology. Against this background, Hacking then develops ideas about how language, styles of reasoning, and "psychological" phenomena figure in the articulation of concepts--and in the very prospect of doing philosophy as historical ontology.

The Archaeology Of Wak As

Author: Tamara L. Bray
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1607323184
Size: 28.41 MB
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In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred. Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors. Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.

Conversations About Reflexivity

Author: Margaret S. Archer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135268606
Size: 25.90 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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" Reflexivity" is defined as the regular exercise of the mental ability, shared by all normal people, to consider themselves in relation to their (social) contexts and vice versa. In addition to this sociological interest, it allows us to hold idle or trivial internal conversations. Focussing fully on this phenomenon, this book discusses the three main questions associated with this subject in detail. Where does the ability to be "reflexive" comes from? What part do our internal reflexive deliberations play in designing the courses of action we take: subordinate to habitual action or not? Is "reflexivity" a homogeneous practice for all people and invariant over history? In addressing these questions, contributors engage critically with the most relevant studies by luminaries such as G.H Mead, C.S. Pierce, Habermas, Luhmann, Beck, Giddens and Bourdieu. Most contributors are leading Pragmatists or Critical Realists, associated with the "Reflexivity Forum" an informal, international and inter-disciplinary group. This combination of reference to influential writers of the past, and the best of modern theory has produced a fascinating book that is essential reading for all students with a serious interest in social theory or critical realism.