Postmodernism and Social Research (Understanding Social Research)

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9780335206322: Postmodernism and Social Research (Understanding Social Research)

* What is postmodernism?
* How can it be used to develop social research?
* How can we do social research in more creative ways?

This book integrates philosophical and theoretical ideas with fieldwork and supports the development of research methods with a sharper interpretive and self-critical edge. It provides an overview of postmodern themes, evaluates the possibilities and dangers of postmodernist thinking and develops ideas on how a selective, sceptical incorporation of postmodernism can make social research more conscious about problems and pitfalls, and more creative in working with empirical material (so called 'data'). A reflexive orientation runs throughout the book, which addresses themes such as how to understand the individual in research, how to deal with the knowledge/power connection, how to relate to language and how to unpack rather than take for granted socially dominant categories in research work. One chapter addresses the research interview in the light of postmodernist concerns about the naivity of assuming that the interviewee is simply an informant, a truth-teller authentically expressing his or her experiences and meaning. Other chapters address issues of voice, interpretation, writing and reflexivity. The book includes a range of empirical illustrations of how postmodernist ideas can inspire social research, and in all it represents an essential text for students and researchers alike.

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About the Author:

Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Lund, Sweden. He has earlier held positions in Montreal, Turku, Linkoping, Stockholm and Gothenburg. He was Arthur Andersen distinguished visiting scholar at Cambridge University, Spring 2000. Research interests include critical theory, gender, power, knowledge-intensive work and organizations, organizational culture and symbolism, qualitative method and philosophy of science. Recent books include Corporate Culture and Organizational Symbolism (1992, with P. O. Berg), Cultural Perspectives on Organizations (1993), Gender, Managers, and Organizations (1994, with Yvonne Billing), Management of Knowledge-Intensive Companies (1995), Making Sense of Management: A Critical Introduction (1996, with Hugh Willmott), Communication, Power and Organization (1996), Understanding Gender and Organization (1997, with Yvonne Billing), Doing Critical Management Research (2000, with Stan Deetz), Reflexive Methodology (2000, with Kaj Skoldberg) and Understanding Organizational Culture (2002).

Review:

"Mats Alversson's book stands in a solid tradition of well written, intelligent but pragmatic interpretations of continental European philosophy.

This sensible, readable account of an elusive and demanding philosophy could be well recommended to anyone seeking a pain-free approach to postmodernism that doesn't compromise the intellectual integrity of its subject matter" - Nick Joint (Library Journal 2003-07-07)

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Mats Alvesson
Published by Open University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0335206328 ISBN 13: 9780335206322
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Mats Alvesson
Published by Open University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0335206328 ISBN 13: 9780335206322
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