Publication 2752

Gergen K. J. & Gergen M. M. (1991) Toward reflexive methodologies. In: Steier F. (ed.) Research and reflexivity. Sage Publications, London: 76–95. Fulltext at
Excerpt: Are we to dismantle the scientific apparatus, declaring all attempts at ‘objective’, ‘authoritative’ knowledge to be fatuous? Are we to conclude that because we are each locked into our subjectivities we cannot even be certain that there is a ‘world out there’, or that we are truly communicating with other persons? Is there nothing left but to reflect on our own subjectivities, and then to reflect upon the reflection in an infinitude of self-reflexive iterations? These are all dolorous conclusions, indeed, and one would scarcely wish to pursue lines of thought for which these are the inevitable consequences. However, the consequences of obliterating the subject-object dichotomy largely depend on how we understand or interpret the problem. It is our view that if a social constructionist view is taken toward the issues, none of the above conclusions need follow. On the contrary, new vistas of research are opened for exploration.

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