Sociology as Public Discourse and Professional Practice: A Critique of Michael Burawoy

Sociological Theory 25 (1):46-66 (2007)
Abstract
In this article I discuss Burawoy's argument for public sociology in the context of the sociologist as both citizen and as social scientist; that is, as simultaneously a member of any 'society' being researched and as researcher claiming validity for the knowledge produced by research. I shall suggest that the relation between citizenship and social science necessarily places a limit on sociological claims to knowledge in terms both of what can be claimed and of the legitimacy of any claims, but that this need not be damaging to sociology as an expert practice producing distinctive and significant forms of knowledge about the social world. Burawoy's claims on behalf of public sociology take their force from the idea of the sociologist as citizen, but they go beyond this limit in a way that would not only undermine the legitimacy of sociology as professional practice, but also, I shall argue, that of public sociology itself. Ultimately, Burawoy argues for a partisan profession that actively promotes human values that he believes to be embodied in the sociological standpoint. In contrast, I shall argue that political neutrality is central to the corporate organization of sociology, not because social inquiry can, or should be, value-neutral, but because corporate political neutrality creates the space for dialogue and is the condition for any sociology to have a voice.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2007.00297.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,658
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
The Sociological Imagination.C. Wright Mills - 1960 - British Journal of Educational Studies 9 (1):75-76.
The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology.Alvin W. Gouldner - 1972 - Science and Society 36 (1):93-95.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Epistemology and the Sociology of Knowledge.Charles Kurzman - 1994 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (3):267-290.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-29

Total downloads

22 ( #227,431 of 2,169,723 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #345,460 of 2,169,723 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums