If the use of social science assumptions and beliefs is what helped set fields of professional practice on the quest for recognition in the academy, what does the recent outpouring of publications on the limits of science reveal about sociocultural research prospects at the dawn of the 21st century? The last few years alone have witnessed the publication of special journal issues on the "scientific wars" of the nineties, year long professional association debates on "the known and unknown," and new books and online data sources proclaiming "the end of social science." Cumulatively, research and commentary on the limits of science offer pessimistic and optimistic arguments about advances in understanding intractable sociocultural problems that center on understanding extraordinary complexity. We come down on the optimistic side, encouraged by possibilities for using heuristic tools to identify propositions and ideologies presented across a variety of interpretive texts written to accomplish the function of expressing interpretations on the known and unknown in sociocultural research.


qualitative research

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