Public Sociology without Professional Sociologists: In Search of a New Utopia

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Yana Krupets

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Abstract

Among the many questions it raises, Michael Burawoy’s article confronted me with the problem of the disciplinary regime and with public sociology as a disciplinary project. Given the present state of the social sciences, should we try to adhere to a logic of fundamental disciplinary distinctions and build borders between disciplines? Or does “publicness” on the contrary take us into a new shared space where science is not anxious about losing its expert status or its claim to expert knowledge? These questions concern our relations with other disciplines (such as economics, political science, anthropology, and history) and other fields (art, mass media), as well as those with “the public,” our community, or civil society. Let me dwell on the latter set of relationships in some detail and examine them in the context of Burawoy’s model of the four kinds of sociological labor.

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