Ideology and the Social Sciences

By Graham C. Kinloch; Raj P. Mohan | Go to book overview
breaks in biographical continuity, to their changing intellectual perspectives, shifting both of them away from the traditional and scientific toward more critical, activist orientations. Clearly, personal biographies may be constrained by professional and academic environments or subject to significant "breaks in continuity."The chapters underline a number of factors and needs crucial to making the social sciences more relevant to contemporary social issues:
1. more scientific consensus within academic diversity
2. greater avoidance of "spontaneous sociology" and related "ideological traps"
3. higher awareness of the "positivist bias" and "discontinuous change"
4. greater sensitivity to the emerging "uncertainties and complexities" of the social sciences' role in modern society
5. the need to move the social sciences significantly beyond "mere cultural texts" to relate them adequately to "popular discourse"
6. more focus on the issue of growing inequality in modern society greater awareness of the problematic effects of the modern media on scholarship
7. the crucial need to make scientific knowledge more "socially and democratically situated"
8. the need to free autobiography in sociology from professional ideology, opening it to the "existential mediations through which social determinants mold scientific production"
9. greater sensitivity to the interactive relationship between dominant intellectual paradigms and student reactions in the graduate training experience
10. awareness of the need for heterogeneous rather than narrow societal experiences in graduate and career-related education

In general, the analyses highlight the need for the social sciences to become increasingly diverse, self-aware, relevant, focused, democratic, existentially sensitive, and heterogeneous if they expect to overcome the limitations imposed by their traditional professional ideologies and make effective contributions to constructive social change in the forthcoming century. We are most grateful to the authors for making these insights possible.


REFERENCE

Kinloch G. C. 1981. Ideology and Contemporary Sociological Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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