In defence of poststructural ethics in sociological praxis

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The paper addresses the issue of ethics in relation to sociological praxis by
drawing upon the work of Levinas, Derrida, Nancy and others with regard to the
notions of responsibility and singularity. Seen in light of these concepts, it claims
that any given sociological research or text can be considered as a form of
ʻopeningʼ, ʻsharingʼ and ʻtouchʼ. Ethics, in this sense, arises primarily out of this
very experience of being open to irreducible otherness at the dynamic moment of
the encounter with alterity. As such, rather than merely representing a set of
predefined rules and pre- given codes of conducts, ethics becomes that which
transforms the work of sociology itself into an ethical tool or space of hospitality
for accommodating alterity and responding responsibly to the call of the other.
Ethics, in this sense, becomes a way of resisting absolute knowledge, absolute
certainty and the will to reduce the other into a ʻgraspableʼ category.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


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