Spink, M. J. P. (1993).
Qualitative research on social representations: the delightful world of paradoxes.
Papers on Social Representations, 2, p. 48-54.


This paper addresses the difficulties which emerge from the kaleidoscopic nature of social representations and the consequent need for clear definitions of our research objectives. These difficulties are examined taking into account three central paradoxes which research on social representations is faced with: the concomitance of more permanent and very dynamic content; the possibility of facing either content or process aspects and the nature of the group which is taken as the necessary context of production of social representations. The questions posed by these paradoxes form the necessary background for the discussion of an analytical procedure , based on single case studies, developed for use when research interest is centered on the explication of the relationship between subjective theories, sustained social practices and affective investments.