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Human Studies

Human Studies

A Journal for Philosophy and the Social Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Martin Endress

ISSN: 0163-8548 (print version)
ISSN: 1572-851X (electronic version)

Journal no. 10746

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Mirroring 40 years of Human Studies

Martin Endreß / Stefan Nicolae

Introduction to the Virtual Anniversary Issue

Every journal has its story – and so has Human Studies. Forty years have passed since the first issue appeared under the supervision of George Psathas. There have been forty years of intense dedicated work of editors, board members, reviewers, but not least of hundreds of authors and papers published. With every manuscript which finally managed to accomplish its printed version this story has advanced and the inaugural project has forged new paths and innovative stages for the ongoing and vivid dialogue among researches, their views and schools of thought, between disciplines, themes and, more than often, between continents. This anniversary issue recollects some – and by far not all – milestones of Human Studies’ history. The present volume thus is an accolade over time, a bridge between generations in which we tried to mirror past and present for the future.
Composing an issue for the 40th anniversary of Human Studies is as demanding as pleasurable. Often because of the same reasons. Immersed in the multitude of brilliant papers and important authors, one is always overwhelmed by the amount and the quality of the work invested therein. Therefore, to choose between them often appeared to be a far too ambitious task. So we departed from the fresh beginning of the journal, both including a paper from the first issue and drawing on the specific character of Human Studies. Though being at the crossroads of different traditions – as the official journal of the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS) and strongly connected to Ethnomethodology – the journal never let itself be captured by fluctuant fashions, but remain faithful to its strong philosophical and sociological roots. It has always welcomed and hosted both complex phenomenological manuscripts and filigreed ethnomethodological analyses; it encouraged papers on theoretical problems of philosophy and sociology, on methodologies and methods, bold speculative arguments and fascinating empirical studies, classic topics and new directions of research. The present selection tries to render faithfully this well tempered and healthy academic eclecticism.
Academic life erected upon and is sustained by numerous “shoulders of giants”. Human Studies is definitely not an exception. On the contrary, over the years important authors in the field of philosophy and the social sciences honored Human Studies by publishing with this journal. Through independent contributions, special issues, or special sections Human Studies brought together path-breaking approaches, which soon became indispensable references irrespective of their academic affiliation, gender, race, or geography. This issue can only once again testify that relevance is not a question of particular generation but a salient feature of the journal from its first until its latest issue.
This anniversary issue though heavily centered on canonic contributions, was not intended as yet another dull walk along the classics. As the decades unfold, the chronological display of articles from 1978 up to 2017 also invites to an archeological quest to the academic writing. Quoting, taking up an argument, proposing, defending, but also letting slightly signs of irony towards opposite views transpiring in the text – these as well as many others subtleties of the academic writing changed over time and among authors. The following (re)encounters also exhibit marvelous examples in this respect.
The journey of Human Studies, which this issue mirrors, is also the accomplishment of a large number of colleagues who served the journal in these forty years. We would like to thank all of them for their encouragements, advices, and support.

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    Aims and Scope


    Human Studies is an international quarterly journal dedicated primarily to take forward and enlarge the dialogue between philosophy and the human sciences. Therefore the journal addresses theoretical and empirical topics as well as philosophical investigations in different areas of the human sciences. Phenomenological perspectives and hermeneutical orientations, broadly defined, are the primary focus and frame for published papers. The journal benefits from scholars working in a variety of fields and who seek a forum to address these issues, in order to bridge the gap between philosophical and other modes of inquiry in the human sciences.

    Considering this as the main conceptual aim of Human Studies its wide-ranging interdisciplinary coverage includes contributions from sociology, philosophy, psychology, political science, communication studies, social geography, anthropology, history, and qualitative social research (especially ethnomethodology). A particular accent is set upon communication possibilities between these different perspectives. Thus, interdisciplinary approaches using phenomenology as starting point and reference in trying to analyze and explain the social reality are encouraged and welcome. Both established lines of interpretation and contemporary questions can be used either as basis or subject-matter.

    Human Studies is the official journal of the Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (SPHS).

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