“The crisis of representation” in the social sciences in the middle of 1980-90s: critics of the process of cognition and sociological narratives

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Transliteration of original Title: 
«Krizis reprezentatsii» v sotsial'nykh naukakh na rubezhe 1980-90kh gg.: kritika protsessa poznaniya i sotsiologicheskikh narrativov
Nikolai Rudenko
Sociological Institute, Russian Academy of Science; European University at Saint Petersburg
Issue number: 
No.1 (Vol.51)

“The Crisis of representation” – a discussion that was hold from the middle of 1980 to the middle of 1990s in social sciences, when the legitimation of the big social theories was questioned as well as the deconstruction of scientific texts and the process of knowing, based on positivistic principles, were done. In this article the author offers the analysis of intellectual context of the development of social sciences (sociology and anthropology) in the crisis. The latter are analyzed in three aspects. Firstly, the crisis concerned the process of knowing, based on principle of the unity of methods and concepts: some authors argued the influential role of language in the construction of reality. Other authors referred to implicit moral and political dimensions while the third provided deconstruction of the scholar figure and the notion of reality. In a similar vein, the crisis was articulated in the critics of scientific texts where implicit meanings and rhetorical devices were found. To the author’s view, the need of reconstruction of the crisis of representation can be explained by the want of more reflexive approach to the practices of social sciences today.

the crises of representation, social sciences, scientific process of knowing, scientific text, poststructuralist, postmodernism, critical theory

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