New Materialism? A View from Sociology of Knowledge

  • Reiner KellerEmail author


New materialism and related turns confront social research with serious criticisms for neglecting the role of things and materiality in its research. It proposes a new ontology and epistemology for such research linked to the promise of a better understanding of the worldly given and its processes. This paper acknowledges the need for some correction or complexification of social analysis and sociological research, but it rejects the harshness of the critique as well as its basic arguments. Against this it recalls the conception of objects and materiality established in interpretative sociology of knowledge and argues for a material sensitive sociological research in such a perspective, with a particular attention to discourse studies. Therefore it first presents core critical arguments against new materialism and related turns in sociology. In a second step it argues how questions of materiality can (and have been) dealt with in the sociology of knowledge. A third step will consider how materiality comes into play in sociology of knowledge-based discourse studies.


Deleuze Schütz Foucault Phenomenology Experience Discourse Knowledge Interpretation Meaning Action Object 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität AugsburgAugsburgGermany

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