Participant Comprehension and Qualitative Observation: A Micro-Sociological Study of Theoretical Physics


I discuss the different outlooks on ‘observation’ that are most commonly found in social science quantitative methodology by analysing the methodological approach that supported my 4-year PhD project on the sociology of theoretical physics. I highlight how my pre-existing immersion into the social world of theoretical physics was the key element in allowing me to describe the sociology of the theoretical ‘thinking science’ subculture in a field where ‘observation’ cannot be carried out in a typical way.

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