The language of social science in everyday life

12 Mar 2018

An ethnographic or ethnomethodological turn in the history of the human sciences has been a Holy Grail at least since Cooter and Pumphrey called for it in 1994, but it has been little realized in practice. This article sketches out some ways to explore the reception, use and/or co-production of scientific knowledge using material generated by mediators such as mass-market paperbacks, radio, TV and especially newspapers. It then presents some preliminary findings, tracing the prevalence and, to a lesser extent, use of selected social-science concepts in the USA and the UK from the 1930s to the 1970s.