In the previous chapters we have engaged with the voluminous literature which has emerged around public sociology, suggesting it is an example of a scholastic predisposition towards thinking rather than doing. It should be stressed at the outset that we don’t believe that thinking about public sociology serves no purpose. Even if we did it would be impossible, if not embarrassing, for us to admit that now that we have written an entire book on the topic. Despite this book’s theoretical tone, however, its intention is actually practical. We therefore concur
The range of ways in which sociologists are using social media is constantly expanding, leaving it difficult to make definitive statements about emerging practice. If we look carefully enough we can find examples of any social media platform we can think of being used by sociologists, even if it might be little more than a fleeting experiment or an activity with little reach beyond a limited network. But pointing out that sociologists are among the users of most, if not all, platforms provides us with little help when trying to conceptualize the sociological
For many readers, the phrase ‘sociology and its platforms’ will immediately bring to mind images of blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds through which sociologists engage with audiences beyond the traditional venues of conferences and scholarly journals. However, the thrust of our argument ha s been that we misunderstand such contemporary activity unless we consider it alongside the analogue platforms through which sociology has sought a relationship with a public. A platform in this sense is a position from which to communicate, facilitated by a material
135 SIXTEEN Sociology: from committing to being? Paul Hodkinson Paul Hodkinson is reader in sociology at the University of Surrey. Following completion of his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Birmingham he worked for four years at the University of Northampton prior to moving to Surrey in 2003. His research and writing have focused on subcultural theory, the social significance of social networking sites, theories and understandings of media, ageing youth cultures and experiences of targeted victimisation among alternative music scene
In this ground-breaking book, acclaimed sociologist Ann Oakley undertook one of the first serious sociological studies to examine women’s work in the home. She interviewed 40 urban housewives and analysed their perceptions of housework, their feelings of monotony and fragmentation, the length of their working week, the importance of standards and routines, and their attitudes to different household tasks. Most women, irrespective of social class, were dissatisfied with housework – an important finding which contrasted with prevailing views. Importantly, too, she showed how the neglect of research on domestic work was linked to the inbuilt sexism of sociology.
This classic book challenged the hitherto neglect of housework as a topic worthy of study and paved the way for the sociological study of many more aspects of women’s lives.
Over the course of the last ten years the issue of debt has become a serious problem that threatens to destroy the global socio-economic system and ruin the everyday lives of millions of people. This collection brings together a range of perspectives of key thinkers on debt to provide a sociological analysis focused upon the social, political, economic, and cultural meanings of indebtedness.
The contributors to the book consider both the lived experience of debt and the more abstract processes of financialisation taking place globally. Showing how debt functions on the level of both macro- and microeconomics, the book also provides a more holistic perspective, with accounts that span sociological, cultural, and economic forms of analysis.
23 TWO Why sociology? Mark Featherstone Mark Featherstone is senior lecturer in sociology at Keele University. He has also worked in Canada and Japan. His areas of specialism are social theory, cultural studies and psychoanalysis and he has written widely on utopias, dystopias and globalisation. 24 Sociologists’ Tales Let me open my ‘sociological tale’ by explaining why I think we need sociology today, as this will shed light on my own background in the discipline and my views about what it means to be a sociologist. In our post-modern society where
83 TEN Living sociology Les Back in conversation with Katherine Twamley Les Back is a professor of sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His sociological tale begins in the 1980s when he started a PhD in social anthropology. Since then he has conducted a wide range of empirical work, largely based in Britain, and published books on social theory and research methodology. He has taught undergraduate cultural studies and sociology and between 2009–13 he was dean of Goldsmiths Graduate School. His main areas of interest are the sociology of racism
The idea of public sociology, as introduced by Michael Burawoy, was inspired by the sociological practice in South Africa known as ‘critical engagement’. This volume explores the evolution of critical engagement before and after Burawoy’s visit to South Africa in the 1990s and offers a Southern critique of his model of public sociology.
Involving four generations of researchers from the Global South, the authors provide a multifaceted exploration of the formation of new knowledge through research practices of co-production.
Tracing the historical development of ‘critical engagement’ from a Global South perspective, the book deftly weaves a bridge between the debates on public sociology and decolonial frameworks.