Journal Dialectical Anthropology Publisher Springer Netherlands ISSN 0304-4092 (Print) 1573-0786 (Online) Issue Volume 30, Numbers 3-4 / December, 2006 DOI 10.1007/s10624-007-9007-8 Pages 227-271 Subject Collection Humanities, Social Sciences and Law SpringerLink Date Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Creative Social Research: Rethinking Theories and Methods and the Calling of an Ontological Epistemology of Participation
Ananta Kumar Giri
Madras Institute of Development Studies, 79 Second Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Chennai, 600020, India Published online: 5 June 2007 Abstract
Modern social research, as we know it now, emerged as a part of rise of modern social sciences in the context of transition to modernity. As an enterprise of modernity social research reflected some of the foundational assumptions of modernity. For example, the project of sociology was closely tied to the project of nation-state, embodying in its epistemology methodological nationalism. Social research also proceeded within the bounded logic of disciplines. But all these assumptions of modernity as well as their social manifestations have been subjected to fundamental criticisms and interrogations in the last decades. Both anti-systematic socio-cultural movements and critical discursive movements and new movements of ideas have challenged the modernist paradigms of pathology and normality as well as distinction between ontology and epistemology.
In the background of critiques of modernity, social movements and processes of transformations the present essay submits some proposals for a creative and critical social research. It explores ways of moving beyond mere denunciations and critiques and embodying transformational theories and methods which would facilitate creative and critical research. The essay also calls for a new vocation of social research by pleading for a simultaneous engagement in activism and creative understanding, fieldwork and philosophical reflections, ontological self-cultivation and epistemic labour of learning.
Keywords creative social research - multivalued logic - ontological sociality - ontological epistemology of participation
Ananta Kumar Giri originally from Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India is currently a Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Institute of Sociology, Albert Ludwig Univesitat, Freiburg, Germany. The present essay builds upon author’s introduction to