Gárdos, J. (2023) “Questions and Explanations in Sociology: A Science Studies Field Study”, Science & Technology Studies. https://sciencetechnologystudies.journal.fi/article/view/111856 doi: 10.23987/sts.111856. Q1, Impact factor (2021): 3.105
This is a study of an action research project conducted in one of the biggest university departments for sociology in a Central Eastern European capital during the first half of the 2000s. The paper shows that researchers’ images of society have a strong impact on social scientific methodology, scientific explanations and narratives. I offer an example of how realist approaches to science and technology studies can be used in a field study and discuss the benefits and limitations of such an endeavor, which I define as an interpretive and explanatory social scientific work. The analysis shows ways in which latent knowledge structures influenced the wording of a questionnaire used in the research, the types of data that were gathered, and how the data were interpreted. These knowledge structures include notions concerning local policy discussions, different social policy traditions, and images of a Roma minority struggling with the effects of structural poverty and prejudices.