Representing Reality: Discourse, Rhetoric and Social Construction
SAGE, 1996年8月13日 - 264 頁
`This is an admirable book which can be recommended to students with confidence, and is likely also to become an indispensable source of reference for those researching fact construction' - Discourse & Society
How is reality manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, and how, and even what constructionism means, is often unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter offers a fascinating tour of the central themes raised by these questions.
Representing Reality overviews the different traditions in constructionist thought. Points are illustrated throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counselling sessions, accounts of the paranormal, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between programme makers, political arguments and everyday conversations. Ranging across the social and human sciences, this book provides a lucid introduction to several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions, including: the sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, post-structuralism and postmodernism.
The work of Harry Collins and the 'Empirical Relativist Programme' is discussed
in detail, particularly his studies of the social construction and destruction of
replication, along with 'constructionist' and 'interest' theories of scientific
If you can succeed in showing that scientific fact generation deviates from
idealized models, then you expect that fact generation in other realms is likely to
be even further from those models (Collins, 1985). If even white-coated scientists,
... between two competing theories; indeed historical work has suggested that
experiments commonly thought of as crucial are often viewed in this way only
some time after the abandonment of the earlier theory (Collins and Pinch, 1993).
I will start by discussing Harry Collins' work because it raises effectively many of
the fundamental issues in SSK, as well as providing some powerful examples
ofthis position in analytic practice. The Empirical Relativist Programme The
Sometimes the process has happened in reverse; initially ridiculed ideas become
accepted. Collins has focused much of his research on scientific fields in which
there is ongoing controversy. This has two benefits. First, in controversies the ...
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7 Working Up Representations
8 Criticizing Facts