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The Technology of Intellectual Work

In 1988 Pierre Bourdieu chaired a commission reviewing the curriculum at the behest of the minister of national education. The scope of the review was broad, encompassing a revision of subjects taught in order to strengthen the coherence and unity of the curriculum as a whole. In order to inform […]

The Avoidance of the Intellectual

Wonderful quote by Edward Said featured on Corey Robin’s blog: Nothing in my view is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position which you know to be the right one, but which you decide […]

Public Sociology and Sociological Writing

One of my favourite passages by C Wright Mills concerns the tendency of academics to “slip so readily into unintelligibility”. An “elaborate vocabulary” and “involved manner of speaking and writing” become props for a professional self-image which defines itself, in part, through the inaccessibility of the work being produced: In […]

An early review of the Sociological Imagination (“Imagine a burly cowpuncher on the long, slow ride from the Panhandle of Texas to Columbia University”)

Imagine a burly cowpuncher on the long, slow ride from the Panhandle of Texas to Columbia University, carrying in his saddle-bag some books which he reads with absorption while his horse trots along. Imagine that among the books are some novels of Kafka, Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, and […]

Les Back on Sociology’s Promise

Les Back’s talk ‘sociology’s promise’ from the C Wright Mills session I organised at the BSA conference in Leeds. Will go up on Sociological Imagination once I’ve finished editing the session and gathering the related material I want to post up with it. There are two books Les mentions in […]

#UKRiots and Sociological Imagination

So with London in flames for the third night in a row and, for the first time, disturbances spreading outside of the capital, the British population are asking the natural question – what the fuck is going on? The most frequent, as well as understandable, response to this question has […]