It can seem obvious that there’s some relationship between social media and public sociology. These are platforms which offer free, instantaneous and immediate access to seemingly vast audiences around the world. They hold out the promise of engaging immediately, outside of traditional structures and without relying on the intermediaries who have tended to be involved when academics interact with the non-academic world.
I’m so excited the book I’ve been working on with Lambros Fatsis over the last few years is coming out in June. It’s the result of a long conversation we’ve had about our mutual frustrations concerning ‘public sociology’ which led us to rethink what it means to be public scholars once digital platforms are ubiquitous and the public sphere has been decimated by COVID-19.
I’m currently editing The Public and Their Platforms, a book I’ve co-written with Lambros Fatsis about the prospects for public sociology once digital platforms are ubiquitous. At the risk of sounding conceited, it’s a long and multifaceted argument which didn’t become entirely clear to us until we had completed the […]
Your ‘daily dose of Sociological Imagination’: reflections on social media and public sociology by Mark Carrigan and Milena Kremakova This website’s raison d’etre was initially nebulous, tentative and ambitious all at the same time: we wanted to create a new online space for public sociology. We hoped to establish something that […]
My notes on Burawoy, M. (2002). Public sociologies and the grass roots, speech to SWS Wrightsville Beach, February 7, 2002. In this short text Burawoy takes issue with the mythology of decline which intellectuals are spreading about their own existence, as well as the associated belief that “a public sociology that dealt with […]
So you want to be a publicly engaged academic? It’s an exciting time for doing public social science but to make it work you have to avoid the trap of the impact machine and the social media machine. Don’t get caught in their tendrils! This board game charts your progress towards your ambition, […]
Social Media, Global Social Theory and Sociological Activism: An Interview with Gurminder K. Bhambra
We’ll be releasing this through The Sociological Review in the near future but I thought I’d give it a pre-screening here. It was originally intended to the first in a series of digital public sociology interviews, inviting sociologists to reflect on their digital projects and offer insights to others. The […]
Kicking myself I can’t make the date for this conference organised by Eric Lybeck: Call for Papers (LINK) Academics, Professionals and Publics: Changes in the Ecologies of Knowledge Work 4 April 2019 University of Manchester, UK Organiser: Eric Lybeck, Manchester Institute of Education Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Keynote speakers: Andrew Abbott, University […]
My notes on Skeggs, B. (2019). The forces that shape us: The entangled vine of gender, race and class. The Sociological Review, 67(1), 28-35. How do we make sense of the influence of Antony Giddens? The first page of his Google Scholar profile shows 149,243 citations with many more to be expected if […]
Against spontaneous sociology: Michael Burawoy’s attempt to rescue Bourdieu from Matthew Desmond and what it means for public sociology
My notes on Burawoy, M. (2017). On Desmond: the limits of spontaneous sociology. Theory and Society, 46(4), 261-284. The work of Matthew Desmond has won enormous acclaim in recent years, with Evicted being a book I recommend to anyone keen to understand the relevance of contemporary sociology. While recognising his talents […]
There’s a fascinating and honest account in Daniel Drezner’s The Ideas Industry, reflecting on his own growing celebrity and the lethal challenges which have come with it. This is something I’ve often wondered about, particularly in relation to how widely one reads and the circle of people one engages with. […]
What is it like to be an celebrity intellectual? I thought this was an admirably honest answer by Yuval Noah Harari to the question of how fame has changed his life. It seems obvious he would be far from alone in this experience, suggesting we could reflect on it as symptomatic of […]
An interesting CfP I’m saving for my future reference *Imagining Radical Futures: Anthropological Potentialities?* Princeton Anthropology Graduate Conference October 5th, 2018 Princeton University *“The facts, alone, will not save us. Social change requires novel fictions that reimagine and rework* *all that is taken for granted about the current structure of […]
What does it mean to claim a historical figure as a (proto)sociologist? What does it mean to claim people were ‘doing sociology’ under any rubric? Keneth MacDonald began this conference on the history of sociology in Britain by directing these questions towards Adam Ferguson and Adam Smith, kicking off with […]
So pleased with this new series I edited with Can Yalcinkaya: https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/in-defense-of-flatness-9610983ce6eb https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/living-on-the-edge-the-value-of-graphic-social-science-38e84a204b1f https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/why-i-chose-to-develop-my-doctoral-thesis-into-a-graphic-book-tottenhams-trojan-horse-6387db952d7 https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/graphic-social-science-now-requires-institutional-embrace-a2db7fb32678 https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/on-the-richness-of-using-a-comic-poster-in-a-workshop-setting-f5f9f0e973c6 https://medium.com/@GraphicSocSci/i-see-the-world-through-pain-goggles-and-you-refuse-my-visual-voice-305b8bd310fd
I’m once again editing a section on sociological micro-fiction for Ashleigh Watson’s wonderful So Fi zine. See here for full details about how to submit. There’s lots of inspiration to be found in the last issue, collecting a wonderful selection of sociological fiction of 100 words or less.
Not for the first time when reading John Scott and Ray Bromley’s Envisioning Sociology, I was struck by the parallels between the strengths and weaknesses of the early ‘sociological movement’ and tendencies we can see within activist sociology today. From loc 4419: Until the 1920s, Branford and Geddes relied almost […]
One of my pet hates is the legacy of the ‘intellectual’, with its connotations of heroic figures speaking truth to power. This is recognised even by those who seek to retain the notion, as was the case with Foucault’s project “to break with the totalizing ambition of what he called […]
After Social Media: Alternatives, New Beginnings, and Socialized Media ***Call for Proposals*** Editors: Fenwick McKelvey, Sean Lawson, and Robert W. Gehl The editors seeks 500 word abstracts for proposed articles for a special issue of Social Media + Society on “alternative social media.” The editors welcome proposals from scholars, practitioners, […]
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading about the foundations of British sociology and the motivations of its main figures. One of the most striking things about their work was how explicitly committed it was to a moral vision and sociology’s role in realising that vision. Whereas contemporary […]