The Refiguration of Spaces and the Refiguration of Epistemic Cultures: The Changing Balance of Involvement and Engagement in Fundamental and Applied Research
Keywords:ross-cultural comparison, refiguration of spaces, figurational sociology, sociology of science, involvement and detachment, epistemic cultures, fundamental sciences, applied sciences, sociology, urban planning
The second FQS thematic issue on "The Refiguration of Spaces and Cross-Cultural Comparison" differs from the first as follows: 1. it covers a wider range of disciplines, 2. authors emphasize more strongly the spatial instead of the temporal aspects of the refiguration of spaces, and 3. focus is placed on researchers' practices of comparison rather than on how to compare different subject matters. These practices of comparison become particularly obvious when comparing "fundamental" sciences such as sociology with applied sciences such as urban planning. In research practice, researchers have to balance what Norbert ELIAS (2007 ) called "involvement" and "detachment." In different disciplines with diverging epistemic cultures, involvement and detachment have been balanced differently. Using the examples of German-language sociology and urban planning, we illustrate this by discussing how fundamental and applied scientists weigh involvement and detachment in research practice and how this relationship of involvement and detachment has been changing in the course the refiguration of spaces. We conclude by reflecting on how differences in the balance between involvement and detachment in different epistemic cultures influence the relationship between practices of cross-cultural comparison and the refiguration of spaces, as well as what question should be asked in future research.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Nina Baur, Ignacio Castillo Ulloa, Stephen Mennell, Angela Million
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