The first book of its kind, Sociology and the New Materialism explores the many and varied applications of “new materialism,” a key emerging trend in 21st century thought, to the practice of doing sociology. Offering a clear exposition of new materialist theory and using sociological examples throughout to enable the reader to develop a materialist sociological understanding, the book: • Outlines the fundamental precepts of new materialism • Explores how materialism provides new perspectives on the range of sociological topic areas • Explains how materialist approaches can be used to research sociological issues and also to engage with social issues. Sociology and the New Materialism is a clear and authoritative one-stop guide for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in sociology, cultural studies, social policy and related disciplines.
Chapter 9: Research Designs, Methods and the Research Assemblage
Research Designs, Methods and the Research Assemblage
Throughout this book we have used various examples to illustrate the different sociological topics we have explored, from social mobility to environmental change to health technology. Some have been based upon specific pieces of empirical research, and we have applied our toolkit of materialist concepts to offer new interpretations of the data, often drawing different conclusions from those of the original studies. However, until now we have resisted setting out explicitly a ‘materialist’ approach to social research. We now turn to this task, to address the methodological challenges facing those who wish to apply materialist ontology to social inquiry. Arguably, part of the added sociological value of the new materialism depends ...