Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Public SociologyFifteen Eminent Sociologists Debate Politics and the Profession in the Twenty-first Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dan Clawson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251373

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251373.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

For Humanist Sociology

For Humanist Sociology

(p.195) For Humanist Sociology
Public Sociology

Andrew Abbott

University of California Press

This chapter argues that instrumental and reflexive knowledge should be deployed together. It holds that the exclusion of reflexivity from any sociology would constitute a disastrous error. Sociology is inevitably value-laden, not only because people are all embedded within particular standpoints, but because the social process is itself a process of values: not so much in the knower as in the known. All categories of analysis are shaped by values, and to pretend otherwise is to create bad sociology. The chapter argues that sociological research must always be both instrumental and reflexive. In contrast to a distinctive public sociology, Abbott calls for a consistently humanist sociology which requires one to consider and modify categories and analyses continuously in order to take a moral stance as sociologists.

Keywords:   instrumental knowledge, reflexive knowledge, social process, sociological research, public sociology, humanist sociology

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.