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Public SociologyFifteen Eminent Sociologists Debate Politics and the Profession in the Twenty-first Century$
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Dan Clawson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251373

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251373.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2020

Stalled at the Altar?: Conflict, Hierarchy, and Compartmentalization in Burawoy’s Public Sociology

Stalled at the Altar?: Conflict, Hierarchy, and Compartmentalization in Burawoy’s Public Sociology

Chapter:
(p.79) Stalled at the Altar?: Conflict, Hierarchy, and Compartmentalization in Burawoy’s Public Sociology
Source:
Public Sociology
Author(s):

Sharon Hays

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520251373.003.0004

Writing from the perspective of the United States, this chapter expresses some doubts on seeing public sociology as an already accomplished practice. It notes that Burawoy's public address is a politician's speech designed to build consensus. What is worrying is “the tendency to accept existing hierarchies within the discipline and merely to insert public sociology among them.” This, the chapter argues, would do little to affect the conflicts and inequalities within sociology and would open up the potential for simply compartmentalizing public sociology within the discipline—thereby reproducing its second-class status. Departments and universities would have to encourage a style of teaching that engages with moral and political questions. They would have to acknowledge that public sociology is not an “extracurricular” activity, but as important as teaching, conducting research, and publishing.

Keywords:   United States, inequality, public sociology, political questions, Michael Burawoy

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