Call for Papers: “The Measurement of Values” (A Workshop at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, June 7-9, 2012)
The study of values in the social sciences went through a period of substantial conceptual and institutional transformation between the late 1920s and the early 1960s. Values became assigned a central place within the social science curriculum. Previously non-academic aspects of inquiry into this topic entered the academic mainstream, and both public and private research foundations provided funding for collaborative research projects on an unprecedented scale.
The workshop solicits papers that address the question of how the social sciences have approached the study of values by looking at the relation between theoretical concepts, research methods, and empirical data and their development over time. Examples are the emergence and use of concepts such as preferences, attitudes, and (public) opinion, and the organization of large-scale data collection projects that range from central depositories for globally gathered ethnographic data to quantitative survey research. The aim of the workshop is to engage scholars in discussion who look at this development in various scientific disciplines (e.g. economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, and psychology) and different parts of the world (e.g. North and South America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and the developing world, particularly post-colonial countries). The workshop focuses on the formative period for collaborative research projects on values and the consolidation of this research within different social science disciplines throughout the middle of the twentieth century. Scholars working on comparable aspects in neighboring academic fields and time periods that are directly related to this development are invited to submit proposals as well.
Papers may address, but are not limited to questions such as:
- to what extent did large-scale collaborative research projects depart from or continue the work previously done mostly by individual scholars?
- what role did private and public funding play in research on values and to what extent was it driven by political or economic considerations?
- what are the similarities and differences in the way the various social science disciplines approached the topic and drew boundaries between themselves?
- how did the changes in theoretical terminology, research methods, and data collecting relate to each other?
The workshop can include participation of 10 to 15 scholars and will take place from June 7-9, 2012 at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The workshop language is English. Accommodation and travel costs are covered by the Institute. Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to Stefan Bargheer (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 1, 2011.
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