Self-Observation in the Social Sciences
Joshua W. Clegg
Transaction Publishers, Feb 7, 2013 - Social Science - 308 pages
Notwithstanding the mythical demise of "introspection," self-observation has always been an integral aspect of the social sciences. In the century following the "behavioral revolution," psychology has seen a reduction not so much in the frequency as in the rigor with which self-observation is practiced. A great deal of self-observation has been renamed or obscured (as, for example, "self-report"), but this has served only to defer and impoverish important theoretical and technical work. This volume, which contributes to the development of a rigorous theory of self-observation, is organized around three general objectives: to re-animate a discourse on self-observation through a historical analysis of various self-observation traditions; to outline and begin to address some of the unique theoretical challenges of self-observation; and to elaborate some of the technical and practical details necessary for realizing a program of research dedicated to self-observation. In the first section of the book, three historians of psychology trace the evolution of self-observation. In the second, three scholars who are currently working in contemporary traditions of self-observation discuss the basic theoretical and practical challenges involved in conducting self-observation research. In the final two sections of the book, scholars from the phenomenological and narrative traditions trace the history, theory, and practice of self-observation in their respective traditions. Self-Observation in the Social Sciences continues the fine tradition set by Transaction‚ s History and Theory of Psychology series edited by Jaan Valsiner. It is of interest to psychologists and to those who study methodology within the social sciences.
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