The Social Misconstruction of Reality: Validity and Verification in the Scholarly Community
In this provocative book Richard F. Hamilton examines the social determinants of knowledge, focusing on three well-accepted but erroneous social theories and looking closely at the ways social misconstructions originate and thrive.
Hamilton finds that despite critiques by historians, some scholars continue to believe Max Weber's claim that a strong linkage between Protestantism and worldly success led to the rise of the capitalist West. Similarly, many academics still argue the discredited view that the German lower middle class voted overwhelmingly for the Nazis. Foucalt's flawed interpretation of the "birth of prison" and other disciplinary concepts in modern society finds wide acceptance in many academic circles, despite a lack of serious empirical support. In each of these three cases, the author assesses the logic and empirical accuracy of the accepted theory and alternative theories, and he investigates the social processes giving rise to misconstructions.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
A solid book on academic misjudgement. The author examines the evidence behind three famous theses (including Weber and Foucault) and finds that they are based more on guesswork than on research. He then draws interesting general conclusions on how and why famous theories sometimes undeservedly rise above all criticism in social and historical inquiry. All social scientists and social philosophers should read this book.
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Social Misconstruction Validity and Verification
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