Clarity and Honor: Values in Conflict with Ambition

Thesis Eleven 84 (1):90-102 (2006)
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The criticism is often made of sociology, especially in the US, that it is mired in ethnocentrism, provincialism, needlessly scientistic methods, and a depoliticized quest for the status of a ‘true science’. Though a strong case can be made for such an accusation, it is also true that certain exemplars have succeeded in transcending these crippling shortcomings of practice and imagination. One such scholar is examined in this article with an eye toward not only the scope of the work attempted, but the rhetorical posture that made his notable success possible. It seems to be the case that certain gifted members of the ‘Sixties generation’, through cross-disciplinary education and with cosmopolitan intentions, managed to create a new type of sociology in the US during the 1980s and 1990s which had not existed before. This article explores one such case



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