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dc.contributor.authorFoshay, Raphael
dc.identifier.other2nd International Conference on the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in Granada, Spain, July 10-13, 2007
dc.descriptionThe paper was well-attended for this conference. I had 15 in the audience, whereas I attended sessions, sadly, in which there were fewer than 5. This particular conference was an experiment on my part. It was a general social sciences conference, purportedly interdisciplinary in focus. In the end it was not interdisciplinary in ways especially pertinent to my work and my own paper’s content. I received several useful comments, and I saw in the course of presentation ways in which the paper could be improved. But I will look for more theoretically oriented conferences in the Social Sciences in the future. I made several interesting contacts in the course of the conference that could bear fruit in further exchange, so the overall experience was a valuable one. I present this same paper again in the Fall to a very different audience in the Humanities, so I will have a chance to improve the argumentation and to compare the two contexts in terms of its potential audience for the published version.en
dc.description.abstractThis paper will explore the need for a distinctive methodological approach to interdisciplinary inquiry in the cultural as distinct from the social sphere. The challenge of multidisciplinary research within a complex nexus of fields requires clarity in methodological choices and assumptions. Such methodological assumptions require viable models of the field of inquiry. On the basis of two models borrowed from Adorno and Benjamin (force field and constellation), I argue for a structural differentiation between the social and cultural domains of inquiry along the lines of the difference between conceptual and figurative modeling. In accordance with the inherently figurative structure of the cultural domain, I address questions regarding the appropriate form of engagement with the cultural text. I use a short text by Kafka, “Before the Law,” as a touchstone, taking issue with one of the more lucid engagements of Derrida with a literary work, in an essay of the same title as Kafka’s short story. An alternative response to Derrida’s, in the light of Kafka’s own commentary on the text, is offered, such that the peculiar continuity is accented between the object and the mode of inquiry appropriate to the cultural text. The general implications for methodology in cultural inquiry are drawn out by way of conclusion.en
dc.description.sponsorshipAcademic & Professional Development Fund (A&PDF)en
dc.subjectdistintictive methodological approachen
dc.subjectsocial & cultural domainsen
dc.titleCultural vs. Social Theoryen

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