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The importance of relational thinking in the practice of psycho-social research: ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics

Hollway, Wendy (2008). The importance of relational thinking in the practice of psycho-social research: ontology, epistemology, methodology and ethics. In: Clarke, Simon; Hoggett, Paul and Hahn, Herbert eds. Object relations and social relations: The implications of the relational turn in psychoanalysis. Exploring Psyco-Social Studies. London, UK: Karnac, pp. 137–162.

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Abstract

The object relations and relational psychoanalytic traditions can have a profound effect on the practices of social science research and, in the UK, this is taking place largely in the tradition that has come to be called ‘psycho-social’. My own research practice has been moving in this direction for some time and it has become evident to me that the use of psychoanalytic concepts that derive from the object relations and relational traditions have radical effects on every aspect of research. By every aspect, I refer first to the substantive analysis of phenomena that have social and psychological aspects (which surely includes most phenomena of interest to social science). I also refer to the trio of principles informing research that I refer to in the title of this chapter as ontology (how the person as subject of research is theorised), epistemology (how the status of the knowledge generation process is understood) and methodology (how these together inform how the researcher goes about finding out). Not in the title, but also implicated, is the subject of research ethics. After an outline of the project that I use as an illustration, subsequent sections of this chapter deal with ontology, epistemology, methodology and research ethics.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Copyright Holders: 2008 The Author
ISBN: 1-85575-563-7, 978-1-85575-563-5
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Psychology in the Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 15404
Depositing User: Wendy Hollway
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2009 11:57
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2011 15:12
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/15404
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