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THE POLITICS OF THE PROPER NAME: DILEMMAS OF REPRESENTATION IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

This paper contributes to the debate surrounding the representation of study subjects in Social Sciences, looking specifically at how this relates to the politics of the proper name and, thus, of anonymity vs identification or naming. We discuss the theoretical roots of this practice, as well as its implications for the reformulation of the scientific method, for study subjects, and the politics of representation. The contribution is based on two empirical studies conducted by the authors in which these matters required specific attention. The discussion clarifies existing divergences, the utility and/or use of naming in democratization processes in research and, in particular, the need to engage in a form of reflection linked to a more radical dialogue between breakdowns in understanding, critical autobiographies and emerging ethnographic approaches.

Proper naming politics; Ethical dilemmas; Identity/alterity; Qualitative methodologies, Subjectivity


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