ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Interrogating Method in Interdisciplinary Times

Knowing the Social World: Perspectives and Possibilities edited by N Jayaram, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2017; pp xvii + 434, price not indicated.


Discussions on method in the social sciences are invigorating exercises, as they demand both the rigour of stocktaking as well as the creativity necessary to look ahead. The edited volume, Knowing the Social World: Perspectives and Possibilities, under consideration, based on the proceedings of a conference on method organised at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, presents us with one such opportunity.

The volume comprises 20 essays divided into four sections and an introductory chapter establishing the links between the diverse themes. The organisation primarily follows the model of distinguishing between the “canonical” and the “non-canonical” orientations in the social sciences, and groups together papers that represent or explore new possibilities within this ambit. The last two sections extend the exploration of the non-canonical orientation into questions pertaining to data, the field, and the fieldworker. The volume presents a diversity of thematic, methodological as well as reflexive concerns that are central to the current discussions in the social sciences. While focused largely on South Asia, it also accommodates a few experiences from outside.

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Updated On : 11th Oct, 2019
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