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Methods texts in social and cultural research have not kept pace with the increasing importance of interdisciplinary work, changing conceptions of the empirical, and the need to communicate with diverse users and audiences.This volume proposes a set of new approaches for the empirical investigation of the contemporary world. Building on the increasing importance of methodologies that cut across disciplines, authors explain the utility for social and cultural research of 'devices' including the list, the pattern, the event and the anecdote.The collection as a whole stresses the open-endedness of the social world, as well as the ways in which each device requires the user to reflect critically on the value and status of contemporary ways of making knowledge. The chapters employ a range of genres and styles of writing to explore devices as hinges between theory and practice, ontology and epistemology.