Thursday, March 05, 2009


A quick Google search tells me I may be in a position to coin a term. If metatheory is "theory about theory" or "theory beyond theory" then inframethodology is the study of "the method beneath the method". The term would cover the workaday practices of research, i.e., the sort of thing we talk about in our monthly "craft of research" seminars.

One might also think of it as "the practice of the practice" of research, but "metapractice" is a bit too cute, isn't it? Also, while metatheory is in some sense "beyond", i.e., more abstract, than the various discipline-specific theories, "infra" emphasizes that we are talking about methods that lie under our more discipline-specific methodologies, something more concrete.

Anyway, if anyone knows of someone who has beat me to this word, let me know, and I'll give them props.

[Update: Here's a PDF of a 2008 paper by Norbert Pachler and others that uses the term.]


Jonathan said...

I like it! I'm going to steal that for my class today (with credit given of course.)

Thomas said...

Good to hear. We need a movement under this banner ... at least in business studies.