Journal article Open Access
The present article provides an example of what a normative methodological assessment based on the detailed examination of sociological work can contribute in terms of addressing problems in the social sciences. Specifically, the article scrutinises research featured in a highly esteemed general sociology journal and focuses on ways in which the reported research is embedded within a network of connections both to other academic work as well to the social world at large. The case is made that typical connection-making practices actually constitute gestures toward implied or token connections rather than well-supported and carefully articulated ones, thus resulting in studies which, although presented as if they were part of a continuous expanse of land, are in fact insular. The actual insularity of sociological research is not only detrimental to the research itself, but is also largely responsible for perpetuating disciplinary dysfunction and incoherence. It can be combated with the cultivation of sensibilities relating to interpretation and argumentation.