For decades, there has been a science war going on between (social) scientists arguing about things like quantitative versus qualitative research, positivism versus hermeneutics, probabilistic causality versus the impossibility of establishing causality at all. I guess you know.
I guess that my own ontological world has not undergone any fundamental changes during my time as first an undergrad and now a grad student in political science: I believe basically that there is a world out there, but that our understanding of it is socially constructed, and that we however have the possibility of striving towards providing better provisional truths.
And in that quest for truth different types of methods might be useful. I personally have worked with both discourse analysis and large-N survey material, and I find that the results I get from different strategies of conducting research are fulfilling different research objectives, but also contribute to the establishment of the same (provisional) truth.
I have colleagues that make sarcastic remarks about number nerds and other colleagues that work themselves up about the posties. I don't get it. I actually buried postmodernism in an art performance in 2005 (see picture; we buried an empty box), but I still believe that it is possible to learn things from poststructuralist thinkers.
However, I have a hunch that things might change. Several grad students in my own cohort seem to share my beliefs about social science and positioning in a postrelativistic universe. Let's see.
Post a Comment