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How facts travel: The model systems of sociology

Guggenheim, Michael and Krause, Monika. 2012. How facts travel: The model systems of sociology. Poetics, 40, pp. 101-117. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The discussion in the sociology of science about the role of model systems in biology provides an invitation to reflect on whether and how similar devices operate in sociology. This paper shows that sociology relies on objects of study that receive a disproportionate amount of attention and implicitly come to stand in for a specific class of objects. But, unlike other disciplines, sociology has no agreed language or theory to classify the discipline-specific objects that it studies, which hinders explicit reflection on the use of model systems across sociological subfields. In contrast to other disciplines, which use model systems, physical copies of sociological model systems usually do not travel. Because of this, the relationship between specimen and epistemic object is less standardised in sociology than in other disciplines, which creates problems for the accumulation of knowledge. Sociology also encounters unique problems of access to model systems.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
2012Published

Item ID:

6978

Date Deposited:

24 Jan 2013 10:38

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2018 00:52

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/6978

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