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Interpretation and Social Knowledge
Author: Isaac Ariail Reed

ISBN: 9780226706740
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 17 August 2011
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.3
For the past fifty years anxiety over the problem of naturalism has driven debates in social theory. One side pursues the idea of social science as another kind of natural science, while the other radically rejects the possibility of objective and explanatory knowledge. All of the various developments in social scientific theory since then have reflected this dichotomy between naturalism and postmodernism. Interpretation and Social Knowledge suggests a third way, reframing this debate and offering a synthetic vision that sets out a new understanding of sociological interpretation.   Analyzing the work of writers such as Theda Skocpol, Clifford Geertz, Leela Gandhi, Roy Bhaskar, Foucault, and Habermas, Isaac Ariail Reed delineates three epistemic modes of social research: realism, normativism, and interpretivism. Reed argues that the latter mode provides a way forward for an antinaturalist sociology that overcomes the opposition between interpretation and explanation and uses theory to build concrete, historically specific causal explanations of social phenomena. Both an examination of and theoretical meditation on how social inves...

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