Performative social science (or PSS) is an emerging and growing discipline of specialised human knowledge. At the outset, PSS was essentially considered as part or parcel of the social sciences such as sociology…
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Performative social science (or PSS) is an emerging and growing discipline of specialised human knowledge. At the outset, PSS was essentially considered as part or parcel of the social sciences such as sociology. The domain of PSS, in fact, comes generally from the social sciences. In spite of the origin of PSS, the performative social science is, at certain extent, a departure from the traditional social science (or TSS). As it appears, the theoretical framework, methodology, ethical concern, and evaluative facet inherent in the performative social science are quite divergent to the traditional social science in many and varied respects. This paper discusses the definitions of PSS and TSS. Moreover, this essay follows and answers the queries asked by Yallop, de Vallejo, and Wright concerning performative social science. Finally, it tackles the divergences or differences between performative and traditional social sciences. Of Definition: Performative Social Science Theory Yallop, de Vallejo, and Wright ask two important questions concerning the theoretical framework of performative social science: where is it coming from and where is it going to? The first question inquires the specificity of field discipline in which the performative social science comes from or directly associated to. The signifier “where” signifies a location or cite wherein the topic in question is previously and presently situated. Perhaps this quarry is connected to the current dominant thought pertaining to the discipline-based field of study. That is to say, a particular theory is embedded in a particular body of knowledge possessing a unique and systematic approaches and principles. In the process, PSS as a theory requires a field discipline in order for such theory to be validated or construed. Roberts has historised the emergence of the theory of PSS; he notes that the origin of performative social science comes from the rise of “performance studies” (Roberts). Performance studies are associated to the study of “drama in social relations.” Thence, PSS comes from the interconnectedness or overlapping between two fields of discipline, namely, literature and social science in their “technical” terms. The second question addresses the potentiality of the creation of a distinct body of knowledge in which it involves and revolves around the concept and praxis of PSS. The clause “where to go” entails a futuristic time in which PSS will ultimately or possibly arrived at. Here, the objective of PSS is interrogated. In this note, Roberts warns us that defining or coming up with the discipline or paradigm of PSS is not a matter of simple opposition -- of the new against the old. In fact, Worthen persuasively argues of the futility of forming or reforming the idea of PSS based from oversimplified opposition or argumentation; he contends that such argumentation fails to sufficiently “capture the rich, contradictory, incommensurable ways” the two paradigms that are being engaged or interrogated at. Roberts seems to say that PSS as an emerging “discipline” should be perceived in a distinct manner in which it is far from the common perception of text versus performance. Method Of the methods of PSS, Yallop et al. pose two general questions: what are its methods and how these methods change the doing or performing of the “dominant” research of today? The first question, on the one hand, inquires the many and probably varied methods characterised in PSS. In the PSS paradigm, methods or methodologies are arguably manifold and multifaceted. Madge provides one valuable example of a particular method to be used in the research work with the application of “tools” prominent in performance social science: virtual interviews over the Net (184). Among other qualitative researchers, Gergen and Jones have utilised the tools of the Internet in exploring the terrain of performative social science. In their A Conversation about Performative Social
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