Schools of Thought
Twenty-Five Years of Interpretive Social Science
Edited by Joan W. Scott & Debra Keates
Schools of Thought brings together a cast of prominent scholars to assess, with unprecedented breadth and vigor, the intellectual revolution over the past quarter century in the social sciences. This collection of twenty essays stems from a 1997 conference that celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Institute for Advanced Study's School of Social Science. The authors, who represent a wide range of disciplines, are all associated with the School's emphasis on interpretive social science, which rejects models from the hard sciences and opts instead for a humanistic approach to social inquiry.
Following a preface by Clifford Geertz, whose profound insights have helped shape the School from the outset, the essays are arranged in four sections. The first offers personal reflections on disciplinary changes; the second features essays advocating changes in focus or methodology; the third presents field overviews and institutional history; while the fourth addresses the link between political philosophy and world governance. Two recurring themes are the uses (and pitfalls) of interdisciplinary studies and the relation between scholarship and social change. This book will be rewarding for anyone interested in how changing trends in scholarship shape the understanding of our social worlds.
The contributors include David Apter, Kaushik Basu, Judith Butler, Nicholas Dirks, Jean Elshtain, Peter Galison, Wolf Lepenies, Jane Mansbridge, Andrew Pickering, Mary Poovey, Istvan Rev, Renato Rosaldo, Michael Rustin, Joan W. Scott, William H. Sewell, Jr., Quentin Skinner, Charles Taylor, Anna Tsing, Michael Walzer, and Gavin Wright.
Joan W. Scott is Harold Lindner Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Her most recent book is Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man. Debra Keates directs publications for the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. She is coeditor of Transitions, Environments, Translations: Feminisms in International Politics.