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Am I a methodologist? (Asking for a friend)

Leeper, Thomas J. (2018) Am I a methodologist? (Asking for a friend). PS - Political Science and Politics. ISSN 1049-0965

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1049096518000549


The early part of an academic career frequently entails processes of social identification: am I an Americanist, a comparativist, a theorist, or an international relations-ist (is that a word?); a positivist, a constructivist, or something else; a “quant” or a “qual”; a pluralist, a Perestroikan, an experimentalist; a teacher, researcher, pundit, “alt-ac”, data scientist, or what? Who am I and what am I an expert in? Outside pressures like job applications, conference attendance, funding applications, and teaching responsibilities all drive each of us to answer these questions, in essence to decide who we are as academics and how we want to be seen by our peers. Academic “branding” as part of the process of professional development can thus partially be understood as an exercise in self-categorization, or the act of choosing a role or identity (Turner et al., 1987). One identity that an academic might adopt—and one which carries a variety of connotations—is “methodologist.” In what follows, I discuss “methodologist” as an academic role and the functions thereof, the diversity of those functions, and finally the challenges of wrestling with “methodologist” as an identity and how one might come to decide if they should adopt it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 American Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 13:59
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2024 00:03

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