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What makes for a successful sociology? A response to “Against a descriptive turn”

Savage, Mike ORCID: 0000-0003-4563-9564 (2019) What makes for a successful sociology? A response to “Against a descriptive turn”. British Journal of Sociology, 71 (1). 19 - 27. ISSN 0007-1315

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-4446.12713


This paper responds to Nick Gane's “Against a descriptive turn”. I argue that descriptive research strategies are more open and inclusive than those which purport to be causal where explanatory adequacy is assessed by expert insiders. I also show how open descriptive strategies can assist a wider explanatory purpose when these are conceived in non-positivist ways. I argue that epochalist sociology lacks an adequate temporal ontology because it collapses descriptive specificity back into overarching epoch descriptions. Finally, I argue that if the entire range of publications associated with the Great British Class Survey are considered, that it has demonstrated a productive way of recognising the significance of class which has facilitated major research advances in its wake.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2020 16:30
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 23:30

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