Author: Darryl B. Hill , Michael J. Kral
Seriers SUNY series, Alternatives in Psychology
Publisher: SUNY Press (March 27, 2003)
THE SOCIAL AND HUMAN SCIENCES are undergoing a conceptual transformation. While some of this change is taking place in the method and focus of research, at this time most of it is located in the realm of ideas concerning the theory, history, and philosophy of the human condition. There has been a shifting over the last century, and especially during the latter half of the 20th century, from a classical science approach to a more hermeneutic mode of thinking about the study and understanding of people. Rabinow and Sullivan (1979) describe this interpretive turn in the social sciences as refocusing attention onto “the concrete varieties of cultural meaning, in their particularity and complex texture,” where cultural meaning is “intersubjective and irreducibly fundamental to understanding” (p. 5). Modeling themselves after the hard sciences, the social sciences have reached a limit to understanding. By looking across disciplines and into other epistemologies, a rethinking has swept the social sciences. “Re-thinking is the order of the day” (p. xvii), according to Goodman and Fisher (1995), who point out that the overarching problem is one of knowledge: its meaning, values, methods of inquiry, and applications.
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