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The power of pragmatismKnowledge production and social inquiry$
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Jane Wills and Robert Lake

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134943

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134950

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Habits of social inquiry and reconstruction: A Deweyan vision of democracy and social research

Habits of social inquiry and reconstruction: A Deweyan vision of democracy and social research

Chapter:
(p.55) 2 Habits of social inquiry and reconstruction: A Deweyan vision of democracy and social research
Source:
The power of pragmatism
Author(s):

Malcolm P. Cutchin

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526134950.00009

Social scientists have begun to re-evaluate and incorporate some of pragmatist John Dewey’s insights into their work. This chapter explores the role of habit in John Dewey’s understanding of human psychology and culture, opening up connections to his associated ideas of embodiment, imagination, inquiry and community, all of which are central to his concept of democracy. The formation, implementation and modification of habits – whether viewed as individual-level, community-level or cultural-level – are central to the problem of adept democratic activity and social functioning. After explaining Dewey’s meaning of, and emphasis on, habit and its correlates, I suggest how time, culture, place and criticism are important considerations within Dewey’s vision of democracy and inquiry. In the closing section of the chapter, I turn to the more applied side of the matter and sketch out some potential implications of these ideas for doing social research and for social science as part of the university that engages in community life.

Keywords:   John Dewey, habit, social inquiry, democracy, pragmatism, university–community relationships

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