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Shifting PracticesReflections on Technology, Practice, and Innovation$
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Giovan Francesco Lanzara

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034456

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034456.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Prologue: On Negative Capability

Prologue: On Negative Capability

(p.1) Prologue: On Negative Capability
Shifting Practices

Giovan Francesco Lanzara

The MIT Press

The Prologue introduces the main themes of the book and the experiential stance of the author towards the object of inquiry, together with the author’s aims and motivation in writing the book. The book originates from dramatic, but seminal experiences lived by the author. Based on them a research question is posited: What happens in an established social setting when a disruptive event breaks into the normal course of familiar daily life or work routines? Confronting this question requires a great deal of the distinctive quality that poet John Keats has called Negative Capability. Such capability allows the researcher to stay alert and active in the midst of ambiguities and discontinuities that characterize practice settings unsettled by technological innovation and the very practice of doing research. Fleeting moments of disruption can be transformed in generative events and opportunities for understanding and reflection. A discontinuity can be turned into a methodological picklock and an epistemic tool for knowledge building.

Keywords:   Negative Capability, discontinuity, disruption, technological innovation, practice setting, generative events, knowledge building

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