Sociology after the Crisis

Sociology after the Crisis

Sociology after the Crisis

Sociology after the Crisis


"The crisis-riddled world needs a renewed sociology perhaps even more than it requires economic or political advice. Charles Lemert sees sociology as first and foremost a special type of practical, moral wisdom. Sociology is the way in which individuals try to understand the inner secrets of social life against the embracing structures of the modern world. All professional sociologists build, or ought to build, from this fundamental attempt to take the measure of one's self in a structured world. Lemert's appreciative insights span the historical development of sociology from the days of Durkheim and Weber, through those of Merton and Parsons, to today's sociology influenced by Dorothy Smith, Bourdieu, Giddens, and many more. With uncommon ease the author speaks of writers like these in relation to Gloria Anzaldua, Cornel West, and others who represent the current wave of practical sociologies. Sociology After the Crisis invites sociologists, social scientists, and all those concerned with today's world to take up once again their responsibilities as public intellectuals and to begin by recognizing that sociology is most powerful when rooted in the practical work of daily life." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Whatever you have heard, or have come to think, sociology is of vital importance to all individuals desiring to come to some workable terms with their world.

Sociology After the Crisis is a book for those who care about sociology, or those who are at least intrigued by it. I am well aware that even such generous qualifications as these limit the population of likely readers. But not so much as some might suppose. All authors entertain more or less conscious fantasies about the ideal readership of their books. Mine, I will admit, are immodest. I would hope that the book might be read not just by professional sociologists and students of sociology but also by an even larger number of persons who are working seriously to come to terms with the primary circumstances of their daily lives.

Those circumstances have changed in recent years. Today, many no longer think it possible to speak of daily life as though it were gently surrounded by the nurturing cocoon of a "world." With rare exception, most individuals live in several different worlds. in these worlds they come up against still more, and different, worlds inhabited by others in whose values and behaviors they recognize little that is familiar and much that is alien, sometimes frightening. To those who view themselves and their local manners as normal and mainstream, this is a disturbing, even infuriating, condition--one that signals the end of customary and cherished ways. the worlds of daily life are, at the least, less stable, and often less hospitable, than once they were.

That most people live in a social environment of this sort is, I believe, a matter of historical reality. It is nothing less than the salient social, political, cultural, and moral reality that has suddenly darkened the bright hopes of Western civilization. Clouds of its coming were faintly, and ironically, visible already at the moment of the West's greatest promise in the two decades following World War ii. Just when the United States led a triumphal redevelopment of Western economic and social principles, then also began the first movements of resistance against the colonial world system of the European and American powers. Beginning in 1947 with Gandhi's successes in India against the British, people in other colonized regions in Asia, Africa, the . . .

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