Research Conducted in Terms of Retroductive Processes: Rethinking the Theorization of Racism
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In this chapter I examine possibilities for investigating the structuring of modes of social organization with the help of retroductive processes of inquiry. I suggest that an appeal to (some version of) retroductive logic – as a form of logical inference – can provide a justification for proffering social-structural analyses of the kinds outlined in Chapter 2, Sections 2.3.5 and 2.3.6, and as pointed to through my discussions in other chapters too. (See in particular, Chapter 5, Section 5.2.3; Chapter 6, Section 6.1.2; and Chapter 7, Sections 7.3.3 and 7.6.2.) I point to various opportunities for forwarding what Marks calls “convincing theorizing” (2008, p. 49) in which analyses of, inter alia, racism are developed at the level of social structure. Before I address the question of how such research can be justified (or in my terms, accounted for), I start off by showing how retroductive logic has been conceived by Peirce (whose suggested definition hereof I cited briefly in Chapter 7, Section 188.8.131.52).