Support oriented social science

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This chapter investigates the role of social research in a society developing through ‘improvisation’ and ‘crafting communities’; it examines two concrete cases of knowledge production in cooperation with practice. Knowledge gives direction to the process of crafting and improvising but is simultaneously a product of that very process. A researcher who is engaged in social improvement will be a participant and an observer at the same time. Social science has always played this role in the tradition of action research, a tradition that goes back to the 1940s, when Kurt Lewin was seeking a more productive and supportive form of research. In an improvising society this manifestation of pragmatism becomes radicalized because researchers are no longer unproblematically granted a monopoly on knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerging Governance
Subtitle of host publicationCrafting Communities in an Improvising Society
EditorsWillem Trommel, Hans Boutellier
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherEleven International Publishing
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9789462747876
ISBN (Print)9789462367968
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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