9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN20 Qualitative Methods

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Analysing Qualitative Data Building II, C2.01

Ethnographically stirred phenomenologies for counter-attacking analytical disregards of common technical objects and environments

In 'Everyday Life in the Modern World' [1969] Henri Lefebvre told us that if the scientist insists on classifying the residue as something with no interest, he embarks in a ridiculous pedantry while closing up the scope. Such critical view was not new at the time, nor did it remain without replicas until now. Nevertheless, its words stay amid those which better depicted a particular aspect of the meager liaisons between our major social studies and the small bits and pieces of our social realms. The notion that there are things so marginal that could never act as legitimate epistemological entries to our social realities. A misconception by which huge fractions of our worlds become heuristically valueless.

This presentation will argue about the prospects of ethnographically approaching some of these residues, within phenomenologically stirred trails directed at exposing their analytical potential. In addition, it will do so by primarily pushing some of our common material environments and objects into the core of this argument. As overlooked major constitutors and denizens of the same worlds where we spend wide portions of our lives, they are worthy of such consignation. Moreover, as technological sceneries and artifacts constantly disregarded with reference to their technical modes of existence, they deserve a position even more crucial in assembling these ethnographical phenomenologies.

However, the current proposal is also grounded on premises stating that when not subdued under larger things, most of our ordinary technological constructs are generally misfiled and confined under symmetrical or flat laboratorial analysis of their essences, rough interactionist views of their construction, or yet instrumental and neutralized ideas about their use and consumption. This presentation upholds methodological ways aimed at surpassing limited macroscopies through submersions on common realms. But it equally follows conceptual trails closer to our ordinary worlds with the essentialist intention of exceeding constrained microscopic paths. Its lines are sewed with everyday life appraisals ranging from Lefebvre to Merleau-Ponty, Berger, deCerteau or Maffesoli, as well as with critical reviews of technology by Simondon, Ellul, Winner, Ihde, Feenberg or Verbeek, and new archaeologies or materiologies by authors like Buchli, Tilley or Miller.