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Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge

Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge

Second Edition

288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Discomfort with traditional empirical methods and the quest for cumulative knowledge of human action has become widespread. The recognition of theoretical and methodological inadequacies has sparked a search for a more robust conception of human science. Now, in Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge, Kenneth J. Gergen develops the ground for a view of human science as social construction. Demonstrating that descriptions of human action can neither be based in--nor corrected by--scientific observation, he provides a bold challenge to traditional views, and clears the way for new alternatives in scientific practice. This second edition contains a new introduction showing the place of this work within those movements which have taken place since it was first published nearly a decade ago. Interdisciplinary in its approach, this book will be essential reading for psychologists, sociologists, and others who seek a fresh understanding of our concept of social knowledge.
Traditional Science in a World of Change
The Communal Basis of Social Knowledge
Generative Theory and Degenerative Metatheory
The Turning Point in Life-Span Study
The Historical Context of Transformation

`Gergen has written a magnificent book... It is the fruit of a sustained intellectual quest for a new metaphysics for the social/behavioural sciences' - Clyde Hendrick, Contemporary Psychology

`The book offers an overview of theories of science as a social and cultural process. The thesis that science is but a social and ideological edifice based on little more than misguided attempts by individual scientists to legitimate their moral discourse will already be familiar to sociologists, longstanding critics of "scientism" in social science. But the thoroughness with which it is stated in this book, with a new introduction bringing some of the discussions up to date, should make the reading of it rewarding for philosophically interested students' - Reviewing Sociology

Kenneth Gergen

Kenneth J. Gergen is a Senior Research Professor in Psychology at Swarthmore College, and the President of the Taos Institute. He is internationally known for his contributions to social constructionist theory, technology and cultural change, the self, aging, education, and relational theory and practices. His major writings include, Realities and Relationships: Soundings in Social Construction, The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life, and Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community. His most recent work Beyond the Tyranny of Testing: Relational Evaluation in Education (with Scherto Gill) offers a relational... More About Author