Tag: andrew sayer

A few years ago I did an interview with Andrew Sayer about his book Why Things Matter To People. It’s one of my favourite books but the podcast got lost twice amidst transitions from one computer to another, as well as forgotten about for a long period of time midway through my PhD. I’m pleased […]

I was recently intrigued to encounter Nietzsche’s evolutionary account of consciousness and find how completely I agreed with it. I would use different language but the point is pretty much the same: a faculty slowly emerges from our biological nature which, as we attain awareness of it, comes to be seen as constituting our essence (partly because, as […]

Underlying this book is a simple proposition: things matter to people. As well as the thought and interaction which have been traditional objects of the human sciences, we also evaluate – our relation to the world is one of concern. Andrew Sayer’s book is concerned with drawing out the theoretical and methodological implications for social science of recognising this irreducible dimension […]

The problem for social scientists is that our jargon, like that of the natural scientists, is heavily biased towards nouns and noun phrases. Our big words are nearly always nouns, such as “re-ethnification”, “mediatisation”, “deindividuation” and all the other “isations” and “ifications” that dominate so much empirical and theoretical writing. […] The preference for nouns is […]

Faced with theoretical or philosophical positions that seem untenable, it is tempting to counter them by reversing or inverting them, for example, responding to empiricism’s belief in the rooting of knowledge in empirical observation by claiming knowledge to be independent of observation and observation to be wholly dependent on discourses. This strategy retains the problematic […]

What cultural resources play a role in the lives of participants? How do they enable and constrain the commitments, projects and modus vivendi of participants? This constraint and enablement is mediated through internal conversation. Which cultural resources under which circumstances lead to personal morphogenesis? How do the former and the latter relate in leading to this outcome? Which cultural resources under which circumstances lead to personal morphostasis? How do […]