publication . Article . 2012

De-signing the object of sociology: toward an ‘idiotic’ methodology

Michael, Mike;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2012 Journal: The Sociological Review, volume 60, pages 166-183 (issn: 0038-0261, eissn: 1467-954X, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Country: United Kingdom
This paper outlines a version of ‘Live Sociology’ that enacts and engages with the openness and processuality of events. This is initially explored through a focus on everyday objects that, in their relationality, ‘misbehave’, potentially challenging standard sociological framings. Drawing on the work of Isabelle Stengers, it is suggested that such objects can be understood as ‘idiotic’ - possessed of an incommensurability that enables social scientists to ‘slow down’ and reflect upon ‘what is busily being done’ (not least by the social scientists themselves). This responsiveness to the idiot object is then contrasted to the proactive idiocy of Speculative Desig...
free text keywords: Sociology and Political Science, Epistemology, Sociology, Energy demand, Social science, Openness to experience, Scientific method, Neighbourhood (mathematics), Idiot, medicine.disease, medicine, Commensurability (philosophy of science), Anthropology
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