check out rodney benson’s challenge to ‘new descriptivism’

Recent Critique of Latour: Know Your Enemy!


In case you missed it, Rodney Benson has an excellent piece here, delivered as a response on a panel at the Qualitative Political Communication preconference. It’s well worth the read, in part because the case he makes deserves to be considered and incorporated in many areas of sociology well beyond communication research. It’s also refreshing to see substantive, synthetic, and critical points raised in a panel response — #ASA14 discussants, read, consider, and emulate!

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7 thoughts on “check out rodney benson’s challenge to ‘new descriptivism’

    • No doubt; however, this is the form of discussion in Sociology-proper right now … it was, apparently, oddly appealing at a recent sociology conference.


      • well when predicting/engineering behaviors of groups of people via statistics by and large failed to pan out sociology seems to be without a role to play that is distinct from social-psychology, anthropology, economics, or philosophy, so I guess this is what happens in that void.


      • I actually wish it/they had been taken more to heart by the ‘social’ sciences, part of why I appreciate Rabinow. Unfortunately “grand” narrative are still the order of the day in critical-theories, we have not yet returned to the rough ground where actual decisions are being made up as folks go.


      • for me there is a kind of built in pragmatism whereby the limits of our grasp/understanding put us in the position of judging our knowledge/research/choices in relation to our subsequent goals/engineering/efforts. We cannot capture everything at work or even necessarily come to understand what are the most vital/active aspects at work in any event/assembly. John Caputo started to work on an ethics after Foucault of not-knowing (NOT the mythical negative-capability) the risky business of making (and owning up to choices) that not only will have unforeseen consequences but also will not be based on “sound” data/mastery/etc but that task has fallen fallow.


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