Contemplative Social Research: Caring for Self, Being, and Lifeworld
Edited by Valerie M. Bentz, PhD and Vincenzo M.B. Giorgino, PhD

No single discipline can deal with such vitally important issues as climate change, growing social inequalities, or the social impact of new digital technologies. Consequently, the book argues that only a contemplative vision that pushes the boundaries between disciplines and cultures can extend and broaden the social and human sciences.

Part One focuses on conceptualizations of knowing and being.

  • First, Zachary Walsh broadens mindfulness practice beyond various cultural, religious, and disciplinary perspectives.
  • Valerie Bentz addresses the essentially contemplative nature of phenomenological inquiry, which is a way of being, as well as a way of knowing.
  • Doug Porpora’s “critical realism” reclaims the spiritual realm as necessary to ground moral and ethical action.
  • Donald McCown recaps the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), structured as nonhierarchical groups of friends.
  • Xavier Renteria-Uriarte views contemplation as the basis for all knowledge systems throughout human history.
  • And Vincenzo Giorgino argues in favor of a balanced point of encounter between contemplative knowledge and social sciences.

Part Two presents applications of contemplative research and practice.

  • Krzysztof Konecki maintains that consistent meditative practices enhance the ability of social scientists to see beyond the concepts and categories that may constrain their research.
  • Annabelle Nelson shows that contemplative psychology, along with advancements in knowledge of the brain, allow for a fundamental transformation of the mind.
  • Luann Fortune describes her experience using the somatic and meditative practice of labyrinth-walking as a tool for opening up her interpretation of data about her participants’ experiences.
  • David Casacuberta demonstrates that the current software design for smartphones and computers—now pervasive ways of connecting—developed from a hierarchical and power-based mode of connectivity.
  • And finally, Christopher Mare takes contemplative practice deeper into neuroscience and broader into environmental design.

About the Editors
Valerie Malhotra Bentz, Ph.D. is a professor at Fielding Graduate University and director of the Somatics, Phenomenology, and Communicative Leadership (SPCL) concentration, and previously served as associate dean for research. She previously taught at Texas Woman’s University, was editor of Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (1994-1998), and served as president, board member, and co-chair of several professional associations.

Vincenzo M.B. Giorgino, Ph.D., is Professor of Economic Sociology in the Department of Economic and Social Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Turin, Italy. His research interests include analysis of co-production and self-production as forms of relational work in the economic field; and practices of health and well-being at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

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Published December 13, 2016
ISBN-10: 1541119142
ISBN-13: 978-1541119147