"Пациент отказался от госпитализации", или в защиту социологии
The present study demonstrates that the path of the “organic public sociology” (proposed by Michael Burowoy in his famous call of the 2004) as the dominating mode of sociological practice in the national context can be menacing with the serious pitfalls manifested in broad historical perspective. We reveal the four pitfalls basing on the analysis of the Russian experience through the last 150 years. First, the over-politicization and ideological biasness of sociological activities; second, the “personal sacrifice” of sociologist as a romanticized practice, potentially harmful for the discipline; third, the difficulties of the professional sociology institutionalization; fourth, the deprivation of the policy sociology development. Analyzing the history of Russian sociology in the context of the current international discussions, we give particular reference to the idea of the “Scientized Environment Supporting Actorhood” elaborated by John Meyer. We suggest the mode of communication between sociology and society, which, in our view, could be helpful for improving their interactions in various local, national and global contexts in the XXIst century. This mode escapes the political emphasis and ideological claims but rather concentrates on the more fundamental ethical issues. It also tries to overcome the limitations of the contemporary professional mainstream (instead of idealizing it). Finally, it presents itself to the publics in the understandable way, while remaining properly scientifically validated (however, avoiding the exaggerated accent on the statistical procedures and fitishization of the natural science’ principles (“numerology” and “quantofrenia”)). The public activities of the prominent sociologist Pitirim Sorokin in the American period of his career are a good example of this approach to the interactions with society.
This ground-breaking volume is a follow-up to Intellectuals and Their Publics. In contrast to the earlier book, which was mainly concerned with the activity of intellectuals and how it relates to the public, this volume analyses what happens when sociology and sociologists engage with or serve various publics. More specifically, this problem will be studied from the following three angles: - How does one become a public sociologist and prominent intellectual in the first place? (Part I) - How complex and complicated are the stories of institutions and professional associations when they take on a public role or tackle a major social or political problem? (Part II) - How can one investigate the relationship between individual sociologists and intellectuals and their various publics? (Part III) This book will be of interest to academics and students working in the fields of the sociology of knowledge and ideas, the history of social sciences, intellectual history, cultural sociology, and cultural studies. © Christian Fleck and Andreas Hess 2014. All rights reserved.
The aim of this article is to highlight key features of the Russian sociological tradition and to demonstrate its relevance for certain ongoing international debates. In the current literature the image of “Russian sociology” remains fragmentary and incomplete. Different stages in the history of Russian sociology are usually considered as mutually antagonistic. We challenge this view by arguing that the Russian sociological tradition can be seen as a continuing trajectory of social thought development, lasting from the XIXth century until present days and unified by a set of underlying historically determined common features: publicism (an orientation to non-academic audiences and a desire to promote changes in the real world); moral and ethical concern (a clear expression of value orientations; the particular importance of ethical and moral issues); problem orientation (a focus on urgent social concerns with “problem” dominating over “method” in sociological research). We demonstrate the importance of these features for a better understanding of the perspectives and contributions of Russian sociologists to current international debates.
This article discusses perspectives for the formation of a truly ‘global sociology’, implying active, open, mutually beneficial and equal interaction between sociologists from different locations, countries and cultures, in their joint efforts to comprehend, explain and improve the social world. The study is based on the conceptual scheme proposed by Burawoy, highlighting four different disciplinary practices: ‘professional sociology’, ‘policy sociology’, ‘critical sociology’ and ‘public sociology’. The formation of a ‘global sociology’ demands harmonious development and mutual enrichment between all the four ‘sociologies’, however, each of them has its own path in the global arena. The literature analysis demonstrates serious limitations in the global progression of ‘professional sociology’, while ‘policy sociology’ and ‘critical sociology’ also experience major difficulties. ‘Public sociology’, largely inspired by Burawoy, seems to be especially promising globally due to its key advantages: orientation towards non-academic audiences and a focus on the most acute social problems. However, currently this disciplinary practice has several fundamental constraints: marginality, radicalism, ideological bias and inherent conflict-orientation towards other ‘sociologies’. Drawing on John Meyer’s theory of ‘Scientized Environment Supporting Actorhood’, the article proposes the project of the new ‘Global Solidarity Sociology’, which utilizes the advantages of Michael Burawoy’s project while overcoming its principal limitations.
The article presents the experience of constructing of the social problems by students and teacher within the sociological course. Last years the course “Sociology of Social Problems” includes optional actionist part with a claims-making concerning some situations. The article describes actions made by the participants of the course with the aim to include in the city agenda such problems as the destroying of one of the famous historical buildings in Kazan (Karl Fuchs House), the inaccessibility of urban space for disabled people and the imposing of the music and ads on the pedestrians. The influence of such constructionist projects and their alleged significance for the students are discussed. In conclusion some questions concerning the transition from traditional teaching of sociology towards the teaching connected with the sociological intervention are formulated.