Tag: public sociology

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 the big issues of 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: eric.lybeck@manchester.ac.uk Keynote speakers: Andrew Abbott, University of Chicago Vivienne Baumfield, University […]

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 as an ethnographer and writer, […]

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. From pg 247: Furthermore, there […]

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 knowledge production by celebrity intellectuals […]

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 society” (Benjamin 2016)* Anthropology has […]

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 consideration of recent papers from […]

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 exclusively on Le Play House […]

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 the ‘universal intellectual’” as Bourdieu […]

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, and activists from across disciplinary […]

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 public sociology is driven by […]

What can sociology learn from its archive? In asking this question, I mean archive in the broadest sense, far beyond the formal outputs of the discipline. I spent much of yesterday in the Foundations of British Sociology archive at Keele University, gifted to the university by the Institute of Sociology when it dissolved in 1955. This […]