I am still mulling over the tremendous amount of material and discussion of this week. Last Monday’s class on the history of social science research methods and theory started the week off with a substantial chunk of Things To Think About (TTTA for short!).
In considering the historical and ongoing social influences on methods and approaches, I found in Said’s term “orientalism” a useful crystallization of some key issues. The definitions we have to think about in doing research, of subject, information, classification, knowledge, knowledge preservation, etc etc -- all these terms and many other tools of the scholarly professions are linked to culture, power, our relations to power, unconscious belief systems -- as Stephen Jay Gould so chillingly explored in The Mismeasure of Man, a book that was very illuminating for me on those often invisible assumptions and positions.
So I am still thinking along the lines of examining our own influences and conditioning and how they affect our observations and interpretations, as a preliminary to being able to choose useful research approaches and/or questions.
I am reading the other blogs with interest, but they present a lot of information that I can’t assess or process at the moment!