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	The Social Sciences in the Looking Glass

The Social Sciences in the Looking Glass

Studies in the Production of Knowledge

Didier Fassin, George Steinmetz (ed.)
Duke University Press,  [2023],  416 p.

In recent years, social scientists have turned their critical lens on the historical roots and contours of their disciplines, including their politics and practices, epistemologies and methods, institutionalization and professionalization, national development and colonial expansion, globalization and local contestations, and public presence and role in society. The Social Sciences in the Looking Glass offers current social scientific perspectives on this reflexive moment. Examining sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, legal theory, and religious studies, the volume’s contributors outline the present transformations of the social sciences, explore their connections with critical humanities, analyze the challenges of alternate paradigms, and interrogate recent endeavors to move beyond the human. Throughout, the authors, who belong to half a dozen disciplines, trace how the social sciences are thoroughly entangled in the social facts they analyze and are key to helping us understand the conditions of our world.

Contributors: Chitralekha, Jean-Louis Fabiani, Didier Fassin, Johan Heilbron, Miriam Kingsberg Kadia, Kristoffer Kropp, Nicolas Langlitz, John Lardas Modern, Álvaro Morcillo Laiz, Amín Pérez, Carel Smith, George Steinmetz, Peter D. Thomas, Bregje van Eekelen, Agata Zysiak

Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward a Social Science of the Social Sciences / Didier Fassin and George Steinmetz  1

Part One. Disciplines in the Making

1. Concept-Quake: From the History of Science to the Historical Sociology of Social Science / George Steinmetz  21

2. Spaces of Real Possibilities: Counterfactuals and the Impact of Donors on the Social Sciences / Álvaro Maorcillo Laiz  81

3. The Social Life of Concepts: or, How to Study the Idea of Creativity? / Bregje F. Van Eekelen  107

4. Epistemological Crises in Legal Theory: The (Ir)Rationality of Balancing / Carel Smith  129

5. The Reinvention of Sociology: Into the Trenches of Fieldwork at the Time of the Algerian Liberation War / Amín Pérez  147

Part Two. From the National to the Global

6. How Sociology Shaped Postwar Poland and How Stalinization Shaped Sociology / Agata Zysiak  175

7. The Public Anthropology of Violence in India / Chitralekha  195

8. Challenging Objectivity in Japan’s Long 1968 / Miriam Kingsberg Kadia  218

9. How Political Commitment Delineates Social Scientific Knowledge / Kristoffer Kropp  240

10. Making Sense of Globalizing Social Science / Johan Heilbron  262

Part Three. Exploring Borders and Boundaries

11. Critical Humanities and the Unsettling of the Sociological Field: Is There a French Exception? / Jean-Louis Fabiani  287

12. Recovering Subalternity in the Humanities and Social Sciences / Peter D. Thomas  310

13. Thinking about Cognitive Scientists Thinking about Religion / John Lardas Modern  328

14. Cooperative Primates and Competitive Primatologists: Prosociality and Polemics in a Nonhuman Social Science / Nicolas Langlitz  351

15. The Rise and Rise of Posthumanism: Will It Spell the End of the Human Sciences? / Didier Fassin  368



The Social Sciences in the Looking Glass

Studies in the Production of Knowledge

Sorbonne Paris Nord

Bâtiment Recherche Sud
5 cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers cedex

UFR SMBH 74 rue Marcel Cachin, 93017 Bobigny cedex



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