Monday, 14 January 2013

 Luker provides a useful historical, social and political framework with which to view the field of social science research. She discusses how canonical or quantitative research changed gender in sociology, and went from being something women did and was therefore unscientific to research conducted by men, and posits that the gender shift took place after the second world war with the rise of “governmentality”. She also puts forward that the utility and expense associated with the study of human behavior contributed to the creation of an elitist professional culture around this field of work. The skill and monies required to conduct such research resulted in only a few 'gatekeepers' in the trade. As social researchers, or students aspiring to this path, Luker reminds us to remain cognisant of the fact that "we are like fish studying water, and our very fishiness shapes how we think about it." (p. 31)

1 comment:

  1. Nice recap, Mandi. I wonder, though, if Luker was describing the rise of governmentality in general, or simply a specific historical instance (among many) that serves as an example of how governmentality might develop in the wake of new technologies. Something to ponder, I suppose!