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Original scientific paper

Social Science as a Kind of Writing

Rafe McGregor ; Edge Hill University, Lancashire, UK *
Reece Burns ; Edge Hill University, Lancashire, UK

* Corresponding author.

Full text: english pdf 131 Kb

page 97-112

downloads: 73



The purpose of this paper is twofold: to argue for the value of (1) social science as part of the intellectual activity of writing (rather than righting) and (2) the practice of fiction to that intellectual activity. Writing is a mode of representation that eludes our complete and objective knowledge and always remains partial and temporary. While righting, in contrast, is concerned with the absolute truth and the revelation of the right answer. This paper argues that writing is a more productive, creative, and necessary way of engaging with reality than righting, and that it can offer insights and perspectives for both theory and praxis. Drawing on Stephen King’s view on writing fi ction, this paper will also argue that fiction constitutes a kind of writing and employs a particular form of truth that is conceived as a relation between representation and reality. The paper will conclude by suggesting the need for criminologists— and social scientists more generally—to adopt the perspective of writing to gain a better understanding of the phenomena with which they are concerned.


Writing; philosophy; fiction; truth; criminology.

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