Article Information

WRITING QUALITATIVELY — MISSION (IM)POSSIBLE? DISCUSSION AND CONSENSUS 

Citation: Kak (ne)vozmozhen «kachestvennyy» tekst sotsiologicheskogo issledovaniya: diskussiya i konsensus [Writing qualitatively — mission (im)possible? Discussion and consensus] (2020). Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 23(1): 223–232. (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2020.23.1.8

Abstract. In contemporary science, under the pressing infl uence of publication race and “publish-or-perish” culture, writing and publishing scientific texts is becoming one of the most important and closely monitored academic activities. Despite interpretative and linguistic turns in social sciences, a growing concern about how scholars produce reality through their texts did not lead to the dramatic change in the conventional practices of academic writing so far. Particularly, it is a source of trouble for scientists engaged in qualitative research, as its epistemological foundations regularly come into conflict with positivist conventions of scientific texts. Contextual, situated and reflexive knowledge is lost in impersonal narratives, sustaining the image of an independent research subject and an objective scientific result. Emotion- and value-laden writing is substituted by the marked neutrality, analysis of the position and involvement of the author are replaced by the “gaze from nowhere”, difficulties and disruptions are silenced to create a smooth and well-structured story. As a result, turbulent research experience is transformed into a clear and accurate report. In these conditions, how is it possible to put into practice the principles of qualitative writing? How to preserve its polyphonic, dialogical and reflexive character? This paper offers the suggestions and contemplations expressed by the participants of the round table “Qualitative interviews and the production of scientific texts: academic conventions and research practice”, which took place on the 7th of December 2019 at the conference “Anxious society and sensitive sociology” in Saint-Petersburg.