Review Essay: Science as Craft


  • Stephan Lorenz Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena



labor, social theory, research workshop, pragmatism, cultural history of craftsmanship, cultural materialism, quality, environmental crisis, conduct of life


On the basis of culturally historical reconstructions, Richard SENNETT outlines in "The Craftsman" an alternative idea to the flexibility of new capitalism, which he criticized in his former writings. Here he examines criteria and conditions of good work based on the model of craft, although his understanding of work is broad and ultimately embraces the conduct of life in general. The essay sets SENNETT's vantage point for this alternative concept as an "intimate connection between hand and head" (p.9) before defining the essential varieties and characteristics of craftsmanship and discussing these in the context of good research work (their conditions in general and the practice of research workshops in particular). SENNETT's thinking proves inspiring, though some questions remain that are assembled at the end of the essay, regarding differentiations in craftsmanship, his understanding of "labor," the societal success of alternative practices, and the relationship between process and result/usefulness. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1002183


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Author Biography

Stephan Lorenz, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Stephan LORENZ, Dr. phil., Soziologe M.A., forscht im eigenen DFG-Projekt und lehrt am Institut für Soziologie in Jena. Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Prozeduralität, Überfluss, Konsum, Ausgrenzung, Nachhaltigkeit, Umwelt, Gesellschaftstheorie und Kultursoziologie

How to Cite

Lorenz, S. (2010). Review Essay: Science as Craft. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2).