Das Wissenschaftliche ist privat und politisch : Menschliches und Zwischenmenschliches hinter „objektiven“ Daten

Unangepasst, unbequem oder gar aufrührerisch sein, das ist für die Autorin keine Frage des biografischen oder akademischen Alters. Es ist eine professionelle Haltung, die zumindest in meinem Fach – der Soziologie – eigentlich (wieder) zum Standard oder auch zum Markenzeichen avancieren sollte: mit Methode das gesellschaftlich Selbstverständliche zu hinterfragen. Nicht dem etablierten Wissen hinterherrennen, sondern mittels Forschung eigene, neue und kritische Perspektiven auf die soziale Welt entwickeln – auch wenn sie naturgemäß nicht sofort verstanden und als relevant befunden werden können.

This article presents an understand-ing of “young and wild” science, which is the topic of this issue - with particular reference to the author’s discipline, sociology. It unfolds a vision of reflexive sociological prac-tice that does not seek to control or eliminate the human, the social and the political element in the produc-tion of scientific results. Instead it aims to include its own social conditions of production as a valu-able and enlightening resource. The social construction of any appar-ently objective data is discussed while it is also stressed that this is not simply meant to be a plea for a normative science such as feminist and postcolonial theories. Following the methodological legacy of Pierre Bourdieu, it is argued that objectiv-ism and subjectivism are intercon-nected by social relations which need to be uncovered and theorized. The method offered by Bourdieu is the double break with apparently self-evident knowledge, common sense and one’s own preunderstandings. In line with this, the author argues for the reflection of one’s own participa-tion in the interactive production of scientific data within structures of inequality and power relations. The benefit of this approach is the production of new perspectives that others can trace and witness, even while these perspectives are still incomplete and may continue to be corrected. While it is acknowledged that normativity is always consti-tutive for research, it is not about reproducing the normativity that is often inherent in the discovery of a research topic. The vision includes a more reflected, contextualized and sociologically developed nor-mativity by having one’s assump-tions reflected by various divergent assumptions. The author draws on examples from her current and recent research and includes a survey report from the beginning of her studies about 20 years ago (when she was also biographically young and wild).

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