This chapter introduces the themes and controversies of “public sociology,” focusing on Michael Burawoy. The 2004 meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) was among the most successful in the organization's hundred-year history. The centerpiece of the meetings was Michael Burawoy's presidential address. In that address, published in the American Sociological Review, Burawoy issued an impassioned call for a revitalization of sociology in a turn to a “public sociology,” distinguished by its use of reflexive knowledge and its appeal beyond the university. Public sociology, in Burawoy's rendition, is a sociology that engages with diverse publics, reaching beyond the university, to enter into an ongoing dialogue with these publics about fundamental values.
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