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this way, counter-hegemonic sociology that communicates with Northern sociology on an equal basis can truly be upgraded to non-hegemonic global sociology. The inclusion of an analysis of the ‘critically engaged sociology’ in Turkey in a volume covering topics from South African academic and political experience already exemplifies how sociology across the South should be understood and applied. What I attempt to do in this chapter is to add a new dimension to Burawoy’s typology in order to explain the difference between the concepts ‘critical engagement’ and

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This chapter problematizes the notion of public sociology by comparing two examples of research undertaken during the apartheid period. It raises questions over the role of sociologists in situations of large-scale suffering and exploitation. Should they take sides, and if they do, on what grounds can such choices be justified? It is argued that one takes sides on the basis of certain value commitments. But when sociologists go beyond the relative comfort of the classroom and engage with organizations outside the university, they dirty their hands. This is the dilemma that lies at the heart of a ‘critically engaged sociology’: how to square the circle between practical engagement with outside organizations and a commitment by the sociologist to scholarship. The chapter concludes by suggesting a response to this dilemma in the form of ‘critical engagement’.

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Much of the literature on the political engagements of sociologists has been framed by Michael Burawoy’s concept of ‘public sociology’. The aim of this chapter is to develop a critique of this concept, drawing from the writings and practices of a group of sociologists at the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) in Johannesburg, South Africa, and replace it with the concept of ‘critically engaged sociology’ – ‘critical engagement’ for short – which emerges through interaction between sociologists and movements in the struggle for change and captures more

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practice on a global scale. Yet, in South Africa, the practice he named ‘public sociology’ had been conceptualized as ‘critically engaged sociology’, or ‘critical engagement’ for short, and had significantly different emphases from those that characterize sociology as formulated by Burawoy (2004 , 2005a , 2005b ). This volume returns to what we may call the birthplace of public sociology in order to explore the trajectory of critical engagement before and after Burawoy’s visit, comparing this to the trajectory of public sociology which was forged in the very

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multinational corporations. In a situation of such severe food injustice, research on food cannot be detached or ‘neutral’. It must, if it is to be relevant and ethical, actually contribute towards social change. This chapter argues that participatory action research (PAR), as both a normative commitment and an approach to inquiry, is a means by which research can contribute to food justice. Going beyond both ‘public sociology’ and ‘critically engaged sociology’ in its attempts to empower research participants and respond to their needs, PAR seeks to effect change not only

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A Perspective from the Global South

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.

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with their personal contexts. In this regard, moreover, it is suggested that Mills sometimes appears to be proceeding as though direct association with people caught up in the immediate problems of milieu would diminish his critical effectiveness and contaminate his thoughts. While arguing for a critically engaged sociology, he takes the position of a critical outsider operating above the many practical difficulties, moral confusions and inherent messiness of everyday life. It is further argued that his sociological imagination lacks political imagination

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Promoting Social Justice in a World Falling Apart

What would it take to make society better? For the majority, conditions are getting worse and this will continue unless strong action is taken. This book offers a wide range of expert contributors outlining what might help to make better societies and which mechanisms, interventions and evidence are needed when we think about a better society.

The book looks at what is needed to prevent the proliferation of harm and the gradual collapse of civil society. It argues that social scientists need to cast aside their commitment to the established order and its ideological support systems, look ahead at the likely outcomes of various interventions and move to the forefront of informed political debate.

Providing practical steps and policy programmes, this is ideal for academics and students across a wide range of social science fields and those interested in social inequality.

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