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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, 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

Speaking to Publics

Speaking to Publics

(p.116) (p.117) Speaking to Publics
Public Sociology

William Julius Wilson

University of California Press

This chapter is sympathetic to Burawoy's position. It argues that it is not just the findings of sociological research that contribute to public discourse on issues such as persistent poverty, urban planning, and criminal justice. Even more important are sociological frameworks, concepts such as labeling and concentration effects, which have become staples of public discussion and policy processes. The key to extending the range of sociological influence is lucid writing. The chapter also explicitly takes on the claim that public sociology will undermine professional sociology. Rather than challenging the legitimacy of professional sociology, public sociology will enhance that legitimacy. The chapter limits its comments to what Burawoy has called “traditional” public sociology, the sociology of op-ed pages and books written for a mixture of lay and professional audiences.

Keywords:   Michael Burawoy, sociological research, public discussion, sociological influence, professional sociology

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