Reflexivity—the critical examination of how we see the world—is integral to good research practice. From this state-of-the-art, accessible tour of its history and contemporary relevance, readers will learn of its importance to social research and to society generally. The text introduces a host of influential thinkers and their key ideas on reflexivity, and incorporates examples from a range of disciplines and research settings. Drawing on the authors’ extensive experience of real research settings, this book: • Pinpoints the importance of reflexivity in social research • Demonstrates its relevance to everyday life • Firmly locates the concept in the history of ideas • Explores key questions about the bases of knowledge and understanding • Presents key thinkers, concepts and issues in easy-to-understand learning boxes The result is a book that provides students and researchers in the social sciences with the knowledge and understanding necessary not only to examine the role of reflexivity in contemporary life, but to apply it in their own research practice.

Reflexivity Realised

Reflexivity Realised

We could say that the excess produced by the extimate cause of subjectivity is both the obstacle to our knowing our meaning as social beings and the necessary ingredient of the social field within which we obtain the only meaning that we will ever have, however uncertain.

(Molly Anne Rothenburg 2010: 10)


Our investigations have been far-ranging and indicative of a journey seeking to understand the place and role of reflexivity in social research. We have toured through ideas about the relationships between thought and action; rationalism, empiricism and romanticism; thinking, Being and Doing; language and the constitution of the social world; the multiple selves that we inhabit and exhibit; theoretical, practical and critical reason; power, politics and prejudice; science and ...

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