Identities and Social Change in Britain Since 1940

Un libro in lingua di Mike Savage edito da Oxford University Press, 2010

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`In this provocative book Mike Savage puts social science at the heart of Britain's postwar social history. He shows how the language of social science conditions how we have come to think about ourselves---about our class and gender identities, about what it means to be `modern', even what it means to be an individual. A bold and stimulating argument that will open new horizons.' Peter Mandler, Professor of Modern Cultural History at the University of Cambridge

`This is a quite remarkable book, tracing out how the idioms of social science moved from being the preserve of elites asserting jurisdiction over the `social' to a normal part of the repertoire of everyday life. Using a battery of social science methods to provide the clues to social differentiation and the landscapes of Britain as the crime scene, Savage shows how social science researchers enacted their own detective story and in so doing produced the lineaments of a modern, rational, post-imperial nation, an imaginative geometry which is only now beginning to fall away.' Nigel Thrift, Vice Chancellor, University of Warwick

`An exciting, stimulating book. Identities and Social Change in Britain is at once a history of British social science, an inquiry into what is known by different research methods, an exploration of how social science informs public knowledge, and an original look at how Britain's national portrait was crafted and recrafted through the dramatic transformations of the mid-20th century. It should engage theorists, empirical researchers, and especially those who think the best social science always combines both of these with a high level of reflexivity.' Craig Calhoun, Professor of Sociology at New York University and President of the Social Science Research Council

Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940 examines how, between 1940 and 1970, British society was marked by the imprint of the academic social sciences in profound ways which have an enduring legacy on how we see ourselves. It focuses on how interview methods and sample surveys eclipsed literature and the community study as a means of understanding ordinary life. This book is the first to draw extensively on archived qualitative social science data from the 1930s to the 1960s, which it uses to offer a unique, personal, and challenging account of post-war social change in Britain. It also uses this data to conduct a new kind of historical sociology of the social sciences, one that emphasizes the discontinuities in knowledge forms and which stresses how disciplines and institutions competed with each other for reputation. Its emphasis on how social scientific forms of knowing eclipsed those from the arts and humanities during this period offers a radical re-thinking of the role of expertise today which will provoke social scientists, scholars in the humanities, and the general reader alike.

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