Rom Harré, Positioning Theory and the Social Sciences: A Personal and Sympathetic Portrait

  • Patrick BaertEmail author
Part of the Theory and History in the Human and Social Sciences book series (THHSS)


Starting with his own personal experiences as Rom Harré’s PhD student in the late 1980s, Patrick Baert presents Harré as a remarkably versatile and broad intellectual, who has been able to work and contribute significantly in a variety of fields. This chapter shows how Rom Harré’s breadth has enabled him to innovate in various disciplines by relying on metaphors derived from analogies with other disciplines—a methodological strategy that is perfectly compatible with some of the main tenets of his realist philosophy. Baert argues that this strategy has been particularly fruitful in the social sciences. Baert then shows the link between Harré’s positioning theory and his own use of the theory in the fields of intellectual history and the sociology of intellectuals.


Multidisciplinary Oxford Realism Positioning theory Social theory Sociology Sociology of intellectuals Intellectual history 


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© Crown 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cambridge UniversityCambridgeUK

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