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Why do platforms matter for public sociology?

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.

New Book: The Public and their Platforms

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.

Collectivising 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 […]

Call for Papers: Academics, Professionals and Publics: Changes in the Ecologies of Knowledge Work

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: Keynote speakers: Andrew Abbott, University […]

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 […]

CFP: Imagining Radical Futures, Princeton Oct. 5th

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 […]

When sociologists meet organised politics

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 […]