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Forget postmodernism: towards a nonmodern sociology

Kendall, G. and Wickham, G. (1998) Forget postmodernism: towards a nonmodern sociology. In: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) 1998 Conference, 1 - 5 December, Brisbane, Australia

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The structure of this paper is as follows. We begin with a brief discussion of Michel Foucauft’s (1970) account of the centrality of ‘Man’ to the modernist project. We suggest that the emergence of this figure is connected to the practice of interpretation, or hermeneutics. We restate Foucault’s (1972) call for a method, which is non-interpretive and non-anthropological. We then move on to a discussion of Bruno Latour’s (1993) critique of modernism and postmodernism. There are important lessons in his analysis for a sociology, which wishes to develop some of the lines of thought characteristic of postmodernism. We then discuss Latour’s attempt to construct a new type of inquiry that we can call a ‘sociology of criticism’. Latour’s new ‘methodology’ learns from the errors of postmodernism. This sociology of criticism, a nonmodernist sociology, should not be hermeneutic, but relational, or what Dean (1994) calls semiological.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Copyright: © Copyright remains with the authors
Notes: In: M. Alexander, S. Harding, P. Harrison, G. Kendall, Z. Skrbis, Z., and J. Western. (eds) Refashioning Sociology: Responses to a New World Order. Brisbane: QUT Press, 178-84.
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