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Inside the Whale: Ten Personal Accounts of Social Research

233 pages5 hours


Inside the Whale: Ten Personal Accounts of Social Research reflects on the preoccupations of social research. More specifically, this book challenges the ways in which social research is normally written up, published, and taught. It shows that social research is a social and political activity, rather than a set of techniques to be applied to the world "out there." It thus places greater emphasis on social and political concerns over techniques.

This book consists of 10 chapters and begins by explaining the metaphor of the whale, coined by Henry Miller to denote withdrawal from society and used by George Orwell to imply that the whale is society, and that we should spy out the interior. It then considers the nature of science and sociology as well as the fundamental nature of society. The following chapters explore the issues raised by power, force, and violence; proposed reforms for some housing and banking processes in Australia; social research consultancies in the 1970s; research on women academics; and postgraduate research. Other chapters describe the ethos and the milieux of social research, including a fieldwork on Australian aborigines.

This monograph will be of interest to sociologists, social scientists, and social researchers.

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