Being a Sociologist and Becoming a Whiteheadian: Toward a Concrescent Methodology

Halewood, M. and Michael, Mike. 2008. Being a Sociologist and Becoming a Whiteheadian: Toward a Concrescent Methodology. Theory, Culture & Society, 25(4), pp. 31-56. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

This article is an attempt to operationalize A.N. Whitehead's ontological approach within sociology. Whitehead offers lessons and clues to a way of re-envisioning `sociological practice' so that it captures something of the nature of a `social' that is at once real and constructed, material and cultural, and processual and actual. In the course of the article, the terms `operationalize' and `sociology' will themselves be transformed, not least because the range of objects and relations of study will far outstrip those common to sociology; further, the term `operationalize' would seem to retain the notion of a stable sociologist-subject translating precepts into methods. So, the article will follow Whitehead's shift in emphasis toward an understanding of much more relational, heterogeneous and emergent entities — which in turn will require new methodological approaches. In staking out these claims, we follow in an intellectual lineage in which Whitehead's presence has been profound but generally oblique. For it is clear that, while Whitehead has informed various writing, little attempt has been made to draw out, more or less systematically, some of the general methodological tactics that would allow us to practise a Whiteheadian sociology.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


methodology, ontology, practice

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Jan 2010 17:00

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 11:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)