Most social scientists and philosophers claim that sociology and philosophy are disjointed fields of inquiry. Some have wondered how to trace the precise boundary between them. Mario Bunge argues the two fields are so entangled with one another that no demarcation is possible or, indeed, desirable. In fact, sociological research has demonstrably philosophical presuppositions. In turn, some findings of sociology are bound to correct or enrich the philosophical theories that deal with the world, our knowledge of it, or (...) the ways of acting upon it. While Bunge's thesis would hardly have shocked Mill, Marx, Durkheim, or Weber, it is alien to the current sociological mainstream and dominant philosophical schools. Bunge demonstrates that philosophical problematics arise in social science research. A fertile philosophy of social science unearths critical presuppositions, analyzes key concepts, refines effective research strategies, crafts coherent and realistic syntheses, and identifies important new problems. Bunge examines Marx's and Durkheim's thesis that social facts are as objective as physical facts; the so-called Thomas theorem that refutes the behaviorist thesis that social agents react to social stimuli rather than to the way we perceive them; and Merton's thesis on the ethos of basic science which shows that science and morality are intertwined. He then considers selected philosophical problems raised by contemporary social studies. In a concluding chapter, Bunge argues forcefully against tolerance of shabby work in academic social science and philosophy alike. (shrink)
In Sociology of Waiting, Paul Christopher Price investigates how people wait and analyzes what individuals do while waiting. Shining the light on waiting permits a far superior understanding of order, first come-first serve, and how society organizes itself around taking turns. Waiting gets at our ability or inability to pause and consider others.
This book explores Pierre Bourdieu's philosophy and sociology of science, which, though central to his thought, have been largely neglected in critical examinations of his work. Addressing the resultant confusion that surrounds Bourdieu's sociologized philosophy of science, it expounds his epistemology and sociology of science, situating it within the context of Anglo-American post positivist philosophy of science and shedding light on the critique of relativist sociology of science that emerges from his field theory. From a detailed critique (...) of Bourdieu's reflexive sociology and his attempt to enhance the uneasy epistemic status of the social sciences, the author draws on the thought of Jürgen Habermas to suggest critical ethnography as a way of going beyond Bourdieu's critical theory. As such, Bourdieu's Philosophy and Sociology of Science will appeal to sociologists, philosophers and scholars across the social sciences with interests in the work of Bourdieu and the sociology and philosophy of science. (shrink)
"Emphasizes the positive aspects of sports as they affect and are affected by values and culture. Ranges widely in its scope, moving from violence, gender, race, religion and economics, to the role of sports in high school and college life. Includes American and international aspects of sport, and a brief history from antiquity to the present" -- Provided by publisher.
1. The Place of Intellectual Life: The University -- The University as an Institutional Solution to the Problem of Knowledge -- The Alienability of Knowledge in Our So-called Knowledge Society -- The Knowledge Society as Capitalism of the Third Order -- Will the University Survive the Era of Knowledge Management? -- Postmodernism as an Anti-university Movement -- Regaining the University's Critical Edge by Historicizing the Curriculum -- Affirmative Action as a Strategy for Redressing the Balance Between Research and Teaching -- (...) Academics Rediscover Their Soul: The Rebirth of Academic Freedom' -- 2. The Stuff of Intellectual Life: Philosophy -- Epistemology as 'Always Already' Social Epistemology -- From Social Epistemology to the Sociology of Philosophy: The Codification of Professional Prejudices? -- Interlude: Seeds of an Alternative Sociology of Philosophy -- Prolegomena to a Critical Sociology of Twentieth-century Anglophone Philosophy -- Analytic Philosophy's Ambivalence Toward the Empirical Sciences -- Professionalism as Differentiating American and British Philosophy -- Conclusion: Anglophone Philosophy as a Victim of Its Own Success -- 3. The People of Intellectual Life: Intellectuals -- Can Intellectuals Survive if the Academy Is a No-fool Zone? -- How Intellectuals Became an Endangered Species in Our Times: The Trail of Psychologism -- A Genealogy of Anti-intellectualism: From Invisible Hand to Social Contagion -- Re-defining the Intellectual as an Agent of Distributive Justice -- The Critique of Intellectuals in a Time of Pragmatist Captivity -- Pierre Bourdieu: The Academic Sociologist as Public Intellectual -- 4. The Improvisational Nature of Intellectual Life -- Academics Caught Between Plagiarism and Bullshit -- Bullshit: A Disease Whose Cure Is Always Worse -- The Scientific Method as a Search for the (Piled) Higher (and Deeper) Bullshit -- Conclusion: How to Improvize on the World-historic Stage -- Summary of the Argument. (shrink)
This book outlines, for the first time in its history, the program of phenomenological sociology as a science of the natural attitude of groups. The claim is that phenomenological sociology exists as a matter of fact in the long-held, pre-reflective practices of classical and contemporary social thinkers.
This comprehensive collection of classical sociological theory is a definitive guide to the roots of sociology from its undisciplined beginnings to its current guideposts and reference points in contemporary sociological debate. A definitive guide to the roots of sociology through a collection of key writings from the founders of the discipline Explores influential works of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Mead, Simmel, Freud, Du Bois, Adorno, Marcuse, Parsons, and Merton Editorial introductions lend historical and intellectual perspective to the substantial readings (...) Includes a new section with new readings on the immediate "pre-history" of sociological theory, including the Enlightenment and de Tocqueville Individual reading selections are updated throughout. (shrink)
In this article, we address an existing lacuna in the sociology of the senses, by employing sociological phenomenology to illuminate the under-researched sense of temperature, as lived by a social group for whom water temperature is particularly salient: competitive pool swimmers. The research contributes to a developing ‘sensory sociology’ that highlights the importance of the socio-cultural framing of the senses and ‘sensory work’, but where there remains a dearth of sociological exploration into senses extending beyond the ‘classic five’ (...) sensorium. Drawing on data from a three-year ethnographic study of competitive swimmers in the UK, our analysis explores the rich sensuousities of swimming, and highlights the role of temperature as fundamentally affecting the affordances offered by the aquatic environment. The article contributes original theoretical perspectives to the sociology of the senses and of sport in addressing the ways in which social actors in the aquatic environment interact, both intersubjectively and intercorporeally, as thermal beings. (shrink)
This collection of ten original essays was first published in 1977. It engages the 'crisis in sociology' at the most fundamental level of thought and experience. Existential sociology is defined as the study and understanding of all forms of human existence. Without seeking to erect a pristine philosophical sanctuary of its own, Existential Sociology examines and criticizes the underlying philosophical assumptions of previous theories of social science, while elaborating its own approach to human understanding. The contributors are (...) concerned with constructing practical as well as theoretical truths about social life - how we feel, think and act. In contrast to most other sociologies, the emphasis is on the independence and dominance of human feelings over the evaluative and cognitive features of social actions. Students and teachers of sociology and people in related fields interested in the connection between social science and their own subjects will find Existential Sociology useful and absorbing. (shrink)
What is phenomenological sociology? Why is it significant? This innovative and thought-provoking book argues that phenomenology was the most significant, wide-ranging and influential philosophy to emerge in the twentieth century. The social character of phenomenology is explored in its relation to the concern in twentieth century sociology with questions of modern experience. Phenomenology and sociology come together as 'ethnographies of the present'. As such, they break free of the self-imposed limitations of each to establish a new, critical (...) understanding of contemporary life. By reading phenomenology sociologically and sociology phenomenologically, this book reconstructs a phenomenological sociology of modern experience. Erudite and assured, this book opens up a series of new questions for contemporary social theory that theorists and students of theory can ill-afford to ignore. The text contains a treasure trove of insights and propositions that will stimulate debate and research in both sociology and philosophy. (shrink)
Sociological Theory in the Classical Era is an innovative text/reader for courses in classical theory. It introduces students to important original works by sociology's key classical theorists, and also provides a thorough framework for understanding these challenging readings. For each theorist, the editors supply a biographical sketch, discuss intellectual influences and core ideas, and offer contemporary applications of those ideas. In addition to the seven major theorists covered, the book also connects their work to "Significant Others"--writers and thinkers who (...) may have derived much of their own perspectives from Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Gilman, Simmel, Du Bois, and Mead. (shrink)
This meticulous collection of contemporary sociological theory is the definitive guide to current perspectives and approaches in the field, examining current key topics in the field such as such as symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, structuralism, network theory, critical theory, feminist theory, and the debates over modernity and postmodernity. Includes the work of major figures including Foucault, Giddens, Bourdieu, Bauman, and Habermas Organized thematically, with editorial introductions to put the readings into theoretical perspective New selected readings bring the book up to date.
One of the world's leading sociologists presents for the first time his comprehensive view of the aims and tools of modern sociology. The book will provoke debate about cogent and controversial theories of the way we understand modern industrial society.
Certain results of observational cosmology cast critical doubt on the foundations of standard cosmology but leave most cosmologists untroubled. Alternative cosmological models that differ from the Big Bang have been published and defended by heterodox scientists; however, most cosmologists do not heed these. This may be because standard theory is correct and all other ideas and criticisms are incorrect, but it is also to a great extent due to sociological phenomena such as the "snowball effect" or "groupthink". We might wonder (...) whether cosmology, the study of the Universe as a whole, is a science like other branches of physics or just a dominant ideology. (shrink)
This pioneering new book suggests how different traditions of sociological thought can contribute to an understanding of the theory and practice of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives provides a sociological treatment of a wide range of substantive issues but without losing sight of key theoretical questions. It considers some varied cases of public intervention, including welfare, caring, mental health provisions, pensions, justice and free speech, alongside the rights issues they raise. Similarly, it examines the question of rights from the point of (...) view of distinctive population groups, such as prisoners and victims, women, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and lesbians and gays. It also contains two specifically theoretical chapters, which provide a critical overview of the existing approaches to the construction and implementation of rights. Rights: Sociological Perspectives offers a diverse and detailed exploration of the contribution sociological thought can make to this increasingly important aspect of social life and will be an invaluable aid to students. (shrink)
Concept and theory formation in the social sciences, by A. Schutz.--Is it a science? by S. Morgenbesser.--Knowledge and interest, by J. Habermas.--Sociological explanation, by T. Burns.--Methodological individualism reconsidered, by S. Lukes.--The problem of rationality in the social world, by A. Schutz.--Concepts and society, by E. Gellner.--Symbols in Ndembu ritual, by V. Turner.--Telstar and the Aborigines or La pensée sauvage, by E. Leach.--Groote Eylandt totemism and Le totémisme aujourd'hui, by P. Worsley.--Bibliography (p. 225-228).
Georg Simmel developed a "form" method for the newly revived field of sociology, drawing on the subjectivity/objectivity dialectic. While his book's organization differs from that of contemporary texts, his method remains implicit in the field to this day.
Postmodernism is frequently described as dealing a death-blow to sociology. This book, however, argues that it is a mistake to conceive postmodernism in terms of a fatal attack upon what sociologists do. The contributors locate the identity of sociology `after' postmodernism as a contested site which opens up the possibility of re-imagining the enterprise of sociology. They show how this re-imagination might be conducted and trace some of the key potential consequences.
Black Feminist Sociology offers new writings by established and emerging scholars working in a Black feminist tradition. The book centers Black feminist sociology within the sociology canon and widens is to feature Black feminist sociologists both outside the U.S. and the academy. Inspired by a BFS lens, the essays are critical, personal, political and oriented toward social justice. Key themes include the origins of Black feminist sociology, expositions of BFS orientations to research that extend disciplinary norms, (...) and contradictions of the pleasures and costs of such an approach both academically and personally. Authors explore their own sociological legacy of intellectual development to raise critical questions of intellectual thought and self-reflexivity. The book highlights the dynamism of BFS so future generations of scholars can expand upon and beyond the book's key themes. (shrink)
Current sociological theories appear to have lost their general persuasiveness in part because, unlike the theories of the ‘classical era’, they fail to maintain an integrated stance toward society, and the practical role that sociology plays in society. The authors explore various facets of this failure and possibilities for reconstructing sociological theories as integrated wholes capable of conveying a moral and political immediacy. They discuss the evolution of several concepts (for example, the social, structure, and self) and address the (...) significant disputes (for example, structuralism versus humanism, and individual versus society) that have dominated twentieth-century sociological thought. Their ideas and analyses are directed towards an audience of students and theorists who are coming to terms with the project of sociological theory, and its relationship with moral discourses and political practice. The authors of these essays are sociological theorists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. They are all established, but not ‘establishment’ authors. The book contains no orthodoxies, and no answers. However, the essays do contribute to identifying the range of issues that will constitute the agenda for the next generation of sociological theorists. (shrink)
A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality offers an historical sociological analysis of ideas about expressions of sexual desire, combining both primary and secondary historical and theoretical material with original research and popular imagery in the contemporary context. While some reference is made to the sexual ideology of Classical Antiquity and of early Christianity, the major focus of the book is on the development of ideas about sex and sexuality in the context of modernity. It questions the widespread assumption that (...) the anxieties and fears associated with old sexual mores have been overcome in the late twentieth century context, and asks whether the discourses of Queer sexual politics have successfully fractured the binary categories of heterosexuality and homosexuality. A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality will be of interest to students in the fields of sociology, sexual history, gender studies and cultural studies. (shrink)
The focus on this volume is on logic and how the logic of foundational hierarchies may be applied to clarify the relationship between sociological theory and empirical research. The author articulates a logical calculus as a method for theory construction.
Theodor Adorno is a widely-studied figure, but most often with regard to his work on cultural theory, philosophy and aesthetics. The Sociology of Theodor Adorno provides the first thorough English-language account of Adorno's sociological thinking. Matthias Benzer reads Adorno's sociology through six major themes: the problem of conceptualising capitalist society; empirical research; theoretical analysis; social critique; the sociological text; and the question of the non-social. Benzer explains the methodological and theoretical ideas informing Adorno's reflections on sociology and (...) illustrates Adorno's approach to examining social life, including astrology, sexual taboos and racial prejudice. Benzer clarifies Adorno's sociology in relation to his work in other disciplines and the inspiration his sociology took from social thinkers such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Kracauer and Benjamin. The book raises critical questions about the viability of Adorno's sociological mode of procedure and its potential contributions and challenges to current debates in social science. (shrink)
What is Sociology? presents in concise and provocative form the major ideas of a seminal thinker whose work--spanning more than four decades--is only now gaining the recognition here it has long had in Germany and France. Unlike other post-war sociologists, Norbert Elias has always held the concept of historical development among his central concerns; his dynamic theories of the evolution of modern man have remedied the historical and epistemological shortcomings of structualism and ethno-methodology. What is Sociology? refines the (...) arguments that were first found in Elias' massive work on the civilizing process, in which he formulated his major assertions about the interdependence of the making of modern man and modern society. It is Elias' contention that changes in personality structure--embodied in phenomena ranging from table manners and hygiene habits to rites of punishment and courtly love--inevitably reflect and mould patterns of control generated by new political and social instututions. Elias' rejection of a dichotomy between individual and society, and his use of psychoanalysis, political theory, and social history, help restore a fullness of resource to sociology. (shrink)
In this volume, first published in 1983, Professor Rogers examines the usefulness of a phenomenological approach to sociology. Her broad purpose is to demonstrate the theoretical and methodological advantages phenomenological sociology holds. Thus she offers a selective, introductory exposition of phenomenology, highlighting its relevance for social scientists and undercutting the notion of phenomenology as a non-scientific, subjective, or esoteric method of study.
Providing a theory of moral practice for a contemporary sociological audience, Owen Abbott shows that morality is a relational practice achieved by people in their everyday lives. He moves beyond old dualisms—society versus the individual, social structure versus agency, body versus mind—to offer a sociologically rigorous and coherent theory of the relational constitution of the self and moral practice, which is both shared and yet enacted from an individualized perspective. In so doing, The Self, Relational Sociology, and Morality in (...) Practice not only offers an urgently needed account of moral practice and its integral role in the emergence of the self, but also examines morality itself within and through social relations and practices. Abbott’s conclusions will be of interest to social scientists and philosophers of morality, those working with pragmatic and interactionist approaches, and those involved with relational sociology and social theory. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this wide-ranging interview Professor Douglas V. Porpora discusses a number of issues. First, how he became a Critical Realist through his early work on the concept of structure. Second, drawing on his Reconstructing Sociology, his take on the current state of American sociology. This leads to discussion of the broader range of his work as part of Margaret Archer’s various Centre for Social Ontology projects, and on moral-macro reasoning and the concept of truth in political discourse.
The political and sociological project -- Knowledge and epistemology -- Agency -- Social structure -- Time, space, and historical sociology -- Modernity -- Rationality and reflexivity -- Politics and the third way -- An alternative sociology.
Sociology requires a robust theory of how local circumstances create social order. When we analyze social structures not recognizing that they depend on groups with collective pasts and futures that are spatially situated and that are based on personal relations, we avoid a core sociological dimension: the importance of local context in constituting social worlds. Too often this has been the sociological stance, both in micro-sociological studies that examine interaction as untethered from local traditions and in research that treats (...) culture as autonomous from action and choice. Building on theories of action, group dynamics, and micro-cultures, I argue that a sociology of the local solves critical theoretical problems. The local is a stage on which social order gets produced and a lens for understanding how particular forms of action are selected. Treating ethnographic studies as readings of ongoing cultures, I examine how the continuing and referential features of group life (spatial arenas, relations, shared pasts) generate action and argue that local practices provide the basis for cultural extension, influencing societal expectations through the linkages among groups. (shrink)
Sociology of Science: A Critical Canadian Introduction provides an overview of how sociology approaches science and, to a lesser extent, technology. It examines how science developed as a set of theories about both what we know and how we know. The book provides a succinct critical examination of the current state of science studies with a particular emphasis on research conducted by Canadian scholars. Hird illustrates that science studies offers useful perspectives on current and ongoing sociological debates, such (...) as the strengths and limitations of social constructionism, as well as popular public debates, such as the ethics of stem-cell research. Using examples from throughout history and with a focus on the Canadian context, the book provides students with an examination of influential science studies concepts, theories, and debates and situates these theories and debates within contemporary field of sociology. (shrink)
In this introductory paper I sketch the tradition, several early aspects of which are discussed in the following essays and reviews. I introduce the main figures whose work initiated and maintained the sociological orientation in Hungarian philosophy thereby tracing its evolution. I suggest that its sociological outlook, if taken to be a characteristic tendency that gives Hungarian philosophy its distinctive flavour, provides us with the framework of a possible narrative about the history of Hungarian philosophy in the broader context of (...) Central European philosophy. This narrative, in turn, suggests a way of integrating the latter into the history of Western philosophy rather than restricting its scope to a handful of canonical works only. (shrink)
From the temporal perspective, this article examines shifts in the productionof sociological knowledge. It identifies two kinds of rhythms of sociology: 1) that of sociological standpoints and techniques of investigation and 2) that of contemporary academic life and culture. The article begins by discussing some of the existing research strategies designed to "chase"high-speed society. Some, predominantly methodological, currents are explored and contrasted with the "slow" instruments of sociological analysis composed of different, yet complementary, modes of inquiry. Against this background, (...) the article stresses that it is through the tension between fast and slow modes of inquiry that sociology reproduces itself. The subsequent part explores the subjective temporal experience in contemporary academia. It is argued that increasing administration and auditing of intellectual work significantly coshapes sociological knowledge production not only by requiring academics to work faster due to an increasing volume of tasks, but also by normalizing time-pressure.The article concludes by considering the problem as to whether the increasing pace of contemporary academic life has detrimental consequences for the more organic reproductive rhythms of sociology. (shrink)
This unusually innovative book treats reflexivity, not as a philosophical conundrum, but as a practical issue that arises in the course of scholarly research and argument. In order to demonstrate the concrete and consequential nature of reflexivity, Malcolm Ashmore concentrates on an area in which reflexive "problems" are acute: the sociology of scientific knowledge. At the forefront of recent radical changes in our understanding of science, this increasingly influential mode of analysis specializes in rigorous deconstructions of the research practices (...) and textual products of the scientific enterprise. Through a series of detailed examinations of the practices and products of the sociology of scientific knowledge, Ashmore turns its own claims and findings back onto itself and opens up a whole new era of exploration beyond the common fear of reflexive self-destruction. (shrink)
Postmodernism and poststructuralism challenge fundamental positions in social theory. This book sets out some of the components of a postmodern social theory of health and healing, deriving from theorists including Derrida, Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Cixous and Kristeva. Nicholas J. Fox observes that the knowledge of the medical profession about the body, illness and health supplies the basis for medical dominance. The body of the patient is inscribed by discourses of professional `care,' an interaction which subjectifies the patient. Fox explores (...) the character of this power - and how it may be, and is, resisted. The book illustrates with detailed examples how the organization of health care and the caring relationship itself are sites for this contestation of power. Elements of feminist theory, and Derridean concepts of diffrance and intertextuality, supply the framework for the politics and ethics of the postmodern position on health. Deleuze and Guattari's radical challenge to psychoanalysis and familial repetitions within the healer/patient contact allows a re-reading of central ideas in medical sociology. While focusing upon the possibilities of postmodern social theory, the book demands a reappraisal of issues of structure, identity and knowledge in modernist medical sociology. Modernist sociology, Fox suggests, has been complicit in the creation of `the patient,' and of 'health' and 'illness.' Written with an emphasis on accessibility, this book explores the practical consequences of postmodern theory as well as familiarizing the reader with the concepts of postmodernism. (shrink)
This topical collection of eleven commissioned essays by well-established contributors from sociology, religious studies and theology, is one of the first treatments of the relationship between postmodernity and religion from a sociological perspective. The essays cover a diversity of interests, but treat postmodernity in terms of its implications for the self, the New Age and theology, particularly Catholicism and Judaism. Two of the essays are original appraisals of two important French writers on religion: Jean-Luc Marion and Daniele Hervieu-Leger.