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    STUDIA SOCIOLOGIA - Issue no. 1 / 2010  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:  This paper starts from the observation that the work experience of people and their understandings related to it occupy an important position far beyond the realm of sociological or anthropological research interests. For this reason, I find it crucial to evaluate the quality of research primarily in relation to its having met the challenge of the political implications. The rich domain of methodological concerns emerged in close connection with the idea of maximizing the extra value added by the scientific accounts in comparison to mere opinions or speculations; in this sense, methodology should be strictly instrumental to a goal that is higher than itself. However, the methodological realm has gained a considerable degree of autonomy in relation to both epistemological preoccupations and those related to more encompassing definitions of the quality of research. It is in this semi-autonomy of the methodological realm that I find both one of the biggest threats and a great resource for social scientists. Anchoring my discussion in the substantive topic of the realm of work, I describe a mechanism by which both survey methodology and in-depth anthropological research may end up displacing political implications from the concerns over quality. I continue by arguing in favour of a reflexive and responsible use of methods and devote some space for describing both the potentials and the perils of utilising Sequence Analysis.

Keywords: work ethic, managerial careers, flexibility, sequence analysis
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