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Theorizing from neglected cases

Krause, Monika (2023) Theorizing from neglected cases. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory. ISSN 1600-910X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/1600910X.2023.2260568


Some cases in the social sciences have been attributed a greater capacity to generate transferrable insights than others. This is evident in the phenomenon now widely diagnosed as Eurocentrism but is not limited to it. When some cases are privileged by convention, others come into view as occasions primarily for ‘application’ of insights derived from other cases or of insights canonized in conversations organized around the label of ‘theory’. This paper seeks to identify opportunities for higher forms of theorizing based on these observations about patterns in existing knowledge-production, focusing particularly on the opportunities that arise for theorizing from a focus on ‘neglected cases’. Cases that have been neglected vis-à-vis specific categories help us to examine and challenge assumptions associated with existing concepts; they help us to reveal the range of properties bundled by existing concepts and allow us to develop a more precise vocabulary for the universe of social phenomena, which is the basis for description, explanation and critique. Based on the distinction between ‘privileged’ cases on the one hand and ‘neglected’ cases on the other hand, the paper also discusses strategies for the reflective use of privileged cases for theorizing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2023 11:57
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 07:27

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