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Social Sciences: A Dying Fire

Kléber Ghimire
Yokohama City University, Japan

Product Details
03 Jun 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
252 pages - 152 x 229mm
What are some of the most distinctive features of the crisis characterising the social sciences learning today? Can a crisis of this deep-rooted and extremely wide-ranging nature be delimitated to a few specific areas? Can the social sciences diverse dilemmas be reduced to the feature of crisis alone?

This book argues that the social sciences are in a deep state of crisis. Kléber Ghimire analyzes how some of the basic problems began from the very inception: uncritical use of empiricism and experimentation methods emulating the natural sciences, internal fragmentation of knowledge along narrow disciplinary lines, and near-exclusive emphasis on the experience of industrial societies. As these difficulties persist, more recent evolutions have brought additional troubles. With a focus on Europe, North America and Asia, Kléber Ghimire examines the effects of university reforms that give prominence to expertise-oriented research, economic rationality and occupational skill development, leading to a widespread neglect of the social and human studies.

The book ends with a call to reflect upon opening a new horizon for these fields of learning, especially by inventing a new era of social sciences pedagogy, leaving natural sciences for humanities and recognizing the value of culture as a crucial reservoir of social knowledge.
Chapter 1. Introducing the Key Elements of Crisis 
Chapter 2. Efforts to Reflect on Factors Intrinsic to Crisis 
Chapter 3. Structural as well as More Contemporary Problems Facing the Social Sciences in Europe and North America 
Chapter 4. Asia as a Centre of New Impulsion in Social Sciences’ Renovations? 
Chapter 5. A New Context of Marginalization of Social and Human Studies 
Chapter 6. Concluding Discussions
Kléber Ghimire is Professor at the International College of Arts, Yokohama City University, Japan. He was previously Professeur associé and Head of the department of social sciences at Université Stendhal, France. He has held teaching and research positions in Switzerland, Canada, Turkey and Japan. His recent past books include Future Courses of Human Societies: Critical Reflections from the Natural and Social Sciences (Routledge) and Entre culture et réalité matérielle (Editions Panthéon).
"The social sciences are caught in an internecine web of internal debates, making the enterprise largely irrelevant to the vast majority of human life. This fact is brilliantly captured in A Dying Fire, in which Professor Kléber Ghimire insightfully describes the causes and consequences of the social sciences' collective navel-gazing. Yet he does so not as a radical, eclectic project, but as an attempt to generate critical thinking essential to ensure continued relevance of these fields of study. De-centering Europe and North America is a vital step towards re-centering the value of the social sciences." - Matthew F. Filner, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Association President, Metropolitan State University, Minnesota, USA.

"This book digs deep in the history of social sciences and critically assesses their present uncertain positions. Its' especially important contributions – and cannot be found easily elsewhere – are the reflections and analysis of the social sciences in Asian universities". - Vesselin Popovski, Professor of Law and Vice Dean, O.P. Jindal Global University, Haryana, India.

"This is a highly original interdisciplinary critique of social sciences. The book is most interesting and important for academics, students or anyone who want to rethink about the current nature of social sciences’ learning." - Xiaoyuan Shang, Professor of Social Policy, Beijing Normal University, China.

"This book persuasively explains why the social sciences should move beyond the narrow ideas of scientism, empiricism and professionalism towards a broader concept of learning and comprehensive thinking, and further conveys astoundingly deep knowledge about the commonalities and differences in the notion of learnedness and educational traditions of Western and Asian societies." - Jin-Wook Shin, Professor of Sociology, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea.

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