At an earlier time, sociologists C. Wright Mills, W. E. Du Bois, and Jane Addams loudly protested injustices and inequities in American society, provided critiques and analyses of systems of oppression, and challenged sociologists to be responsible critics and constructive commentators. These giants of American sociology would have applauded the 2004 meetings of the American Sociological Association. The theme of the meetings, Public Sociology, presided over by President Michael Burawoy, sparked lively debate and continues to be a spur for research and theory, and a focal point of ongoing discussions about what sociology is and should be. This volume advances these discussions and debates, and proposes how they can be further sharpened and developed. Some authors in this volume clarify the distinctive roles that Public Sociologists can play in the discipline, in the classroom, and in larger society. Others provide critical analyses, focusing, for example, on aspects of American society and institutions, global corporate actors, sweatshop practices, international neoliberal organizations, migration policies, and U.S. environmental policies.Others advance new ways of thinking about global interdependencies that include indigenous groups, peasants, as well as societies in industrialized and developing states, and international organizations. Still others propose visions of transformative processes and practices that are progressively affirmative, even activist -- in the spirit of "A Better World is Possible!!" This volume provides an overview of some of the major debates in sociology today and places emphasis on the importance of human rights in the "One (globalized) World" we live in today. Authors engage these debates with spirited enthusiasm and write exceptionally clearly about those topics that may be new to American readers.
Public Sociologies Reader
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