Liberating methodological thinking in human sciences from grand theories

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Many humanistic and social disciplines are naturally inclined to seek for human-, person-, self- centered focus, and develop a holistic theory of such. Such disciplines continually engage with philosophical, metaphysical and meta-theoretical perspectives. This engagement often leads to a singular focus on the necessity of a “grand unified theory” at the expense of any and all alternative perspectives. Properties of grand theories are discussed on the examples of Giddens and Bourdieu. It is argued that grand theories hamper a more productive focus on concrete phenomena. Robert Merton’s focus on “middle range” theories is revisited and its continuing relevance is highlighted. The level of abstraction characteristic of such theories, as well as the way they engage with the empirical social reality, are discussed. The article concludes by considering the paradoxical reductionism that can be observed in presumably the most anti-reductionist grand theories.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAkademisk kvarter
Vol/bind13
Sider (fra-til)143-154
Antal sider12
ISSN1904-0008
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2016

Fingeraftryk

human sciences
reductionism
social reality
abstraction
human being

Emneord

    Citer dette

    @article{4f6a9ed8d7294c81a646ec5d97abd4d1,
    title = "Liberating methodological thinking in human sciences from grand theories",
    abstract = "Many humanistic and social disciplines are naturally inclined to seek for human-, person-, self- centered focus, and develop a holistic theory of such. Such disciplines continually engage with philosophical, metaphysical and meta-theoretical perspectives. This engagement often leads to a singular focus on the necessity of a “grand unified theory” at the expense of any and all alternative perspectives. Properties of grand theories are discussed on the examples of Giddens and Bourdieu. It is argued that grand theories hamper a more productive focus on concrete phenomena. Robert Merton’s focus on “middle range” theories is revisited and its continuing relevance is highlighted. The level of abstraction characteristic of such theories, as well as the way they engage with the empirical social reality, are discussed. The article concludes by considering the paradoxical reductionism that can be observed in presumably the most anti-reductionist grand theories.",
    keywords = "grand theory, methods, Middle range theory, phenomenology, social psychology",
    author = "Nikita Kharlamov and Baldursson, {Einar Baldvin}",
    note = "Part of Thematic Issue: The Challenges of Arts and Humanities",
    year = "2016",
    month = "10",
    language = "English",
    volume = "13",
    pages = "143--154",
    journal = "Akademisk Kvarter",
    issn = "1904-0008",
    publisher = "Aalborg Universitetsforlag",

    }

    Liberating methodological thinking in human sciences from grand theories. / Kharlamov, Nikita; Baldursson, Einar Baldvin.

    I: Akademisk kvarter, Bind 13, 10.2016, s. 143-154.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Liberating methodological thinking in human sciences from grand theories

    AU - Kharlamov, Nikita

    AU - Baldursson, Einar Baldvin

    N1 - Part of Thematic Issue: The Challenges of Arts and Humanities

    PY - 2016/10

    Y1 - 2016/10

    N2 - Many humanistic and social disciplines are naturally inclined to seek for human-, person-, self- centered focus, and develop a holistic theory of such. Such disciplines continually engage with philosophical, metaphysical and meta-theoretical perspectives. This engagement often leads to a singular focus on the necessity of a “grand unified theory” at the expense of any and all alternative perspectives. Properties of grand theories are discussed on the examples of Giddens and Bourdieu. It is argued that grand theories hamper a more productive focus on concrete phenomena. Robert Merton’s focus on “middle range” theories is revisited and its continuing relevance is highlighted. The level of abstraction characteristic of such theories, as well as the way they engage with the empirical social reality, are discussed. The article concludes by considering the paradoxical reductionism that can be observed in presumably the most anti-reductionist grand theories.

    AB - Many humanistic and social disciplines are naturally inclined to seek for human-, person-, self- centered focus, and develop a holistic theory of such. Such disciplines continually engage with philosophical, metaphysical and meta-theoretical perspectives. This engagement often leads to a singular focus on the necessity of a “grand unified theory” at the expense of any and all alternative perspectives. Properties of grand theories are discussed on the examples of Giddens and Bourdieu. It is argued that grand theories hamper a more productive focus on concrete phenomena. Robert Merton’s focus on “middle range” theories is revisited and its continuing relevance is highlighted. The level of abstraction characteristic of such theories, as well as the way they engage with the empirical social reality, are discussed. The article concludes by considering the paradoxical reductionism that can be observed in presumably the most anti-reductionist grand theories.

    KW - grand theory

    KW - methods

    KW - Middle range theory

    KW - phenomenology

    KW - social psychology

    UR - http://www.akademiskkvarter.hum.aau.dk/

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 13

    SP - 143

    EP - 154

    JO - Akademisk Kvarter

    JF - Akademisk Kvarter

    SN - 1904-0008

    ER -