PoS seminar 25.4.22 with Monika Krause

At the next Perspectives on Science seminar on Monday 28.3., Monika Krause (LSE) will give a presentation titled “Model Cases: On Canonical Research Objects and Sites”. The seminar takes place in Zoom from 14:15 to 15:45.

Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT – Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.

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Model Cases: On Canonical Research Objects and Sites

Drawing on a comparison between the use of model systems in biology and practices in the social sciences, I distinguish between the material research object (what researchers study) and the epistemic research object (what researchers are trying to understand) to ask how social scientists chose the former. The selection of research objects is influenced by a range of ideological but also by mundane factors. Eurocentrism and historicist ideas about development over time, convenience, schemas in the general population and schemas particular to specific scholarly communities all sponsor some objects over others. Some research objects, which I call ‘model cases’, are studied repeatedly and shape our understanding of more general ideas in disproportionate ways. I discuss how an analysis of such patterns in collective knowledge production matter with a view to a discussion about collective, as well as individual methodology.

Author bio:

Monika Krause is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

She is the author of Model Cases: Canonical Research Objects in the Social Sciences. (University of Chicago Press 2021), “On Sociological Reflexivity”, Sociological Theory (2021) and “Comparative Research: Beyond linear-causal explanation”, in: Joe Deville, Michael Guggenheim and Zusanna Hrldckova (ed). Practising Comparison. Logics. Relations, Collaborations (Mattering Press 2016).