“I insisted earlier that researchers must learn to question, not accept blindly, what the people whose world they are studying think and believe. Now I have to say that at the same time they should pay attention to just that. After all, people know a lot about the world they live and work in. They have to know a lot to make their way through its complexities. They have to adjust to all its contradictions and conflicts, all the problems it throws their way. If they didn’t know enough to do that, they wouldn’t have lasted there this long. So they know, plenty.”
Howard Becker, 1998, Tricks of the Trade: How to Think about Your Research While You’re Doing It, University of Chicago Press.
“What judgments can we make about available forms for living, when we recognize the limits of all logoi to answer in a general and stable way questions of significance? This, we think, is the contemporary problematization of bios.”
Paul Rabinow and Anthony Stavrianakis, 2014, Designs on the Contemporary: Anthropological Tests, University of Chicago Press.
“The historian must not only narrate a conflict, but use it as the motor of her reflection, the source of her own narrative”.
Arlette Farge, 2013, The Allure of the Archives, Yale University Press.
“The seriousness of philosophy does not consist in giving men laws and telling them what the ideal city is in which they must live, but in constantly reminding them (those at least who wish to listen, since philosophy’s reality comes only from it being listened to), that the reality of philosophy is to be found in its practices, which are the practices of self on self and, at the same time, those practices of knowledge by which all the modes of knowledge, through which one rises and descends and which one rubs against each other, finally bring one face to face with the reality of Being itself.”
Michel Foucault, 2010, The Government of Self and Others. Lectures at the Collège de France 1982-1983, Picador.
“Tocqueville is sometimes guilty of one of the most frustrating defects in a writer, that of not being clear enough to be wrong.”
Jon Elster, 2009, Alexis de Tocqueville: The First Social Scientist, Cambridge University Press.
“Kant, of course, warns against treating people as a means without also treating them as an end, which is not the same as excluding using people altogether. But using people has nevertheless acquired an entirely negative connotation (“I feel so used!”).
Barbara Johnson, 2012, Persons and Things, Harvard University Press.
“Subjectivity without psychology. There must be ways of getting at the inner life of human subjects, and of gay men in particular, without delving into the peculiar constitution of the individual. The study of social practices, aesthetic practices, styles, tastes, feelings – analyzed so as to disclose their internal structures, formal logic, cultural operation, meaning and distribution – could provide an alternative and fresh approach to human subjectivity.”
David Halperin, 2012, How to be Gay, Harvard University Press.
“What matters is not whether a theoretical approach is old or new (or what “school” it belongs to) but whether it is productive for the question at hand.”
Robert Sampson, 2012, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighbourhood Effect, University of Chicago Press.
“It should be quite clear, then, that there are no criteria to be laid down in general for distinguishing the real from the not real. How this is to be done must depend on what it is with respect to which the problem arises in particular cases.”
J.L. Austin, 1962, Sense and Sensibilia, Oxford University Press.
“What you’re responsive to, ultimately, are universal edicts that govern obligations toward those with whom you have some particular relation.”
Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2005, The Ethics of Identity, Princeton University Press.