A Sociology for the 21st Century? An Enquiry into Public Sociology Reading Zygmunt Bauman

Martin Aidnik

Abstract


Michael Burawoy´s ´public sociology´ presents a vision of engaged and political sociology as one of its legitimate branches. The article will consider public sociology in light of Zygmunt Bauman's social thought; one of the most acclaimed sociologists whose writings transcend academic readership. It will identify similarities and differences concerning their understanding of contemporary society and sociology's tasks, and its shortcomings, which will sediment public sociology´s cause. The article will discuss the identity of a public sociologist through Bauman's concept of a postmodern ´interpreter´, which will be seen as illuminating for both political and sociological reasons. The main aim of the essay is to interpret public sociology from the point of view of Bauman's writings on post/liquid modernity social formation, and thereby increase its awareness of the ways in which contemporary societies call for sociological engagement. It will be argued that greater concern with ethics will make public sociology more coherent.


Keywords


Bauman, Burawoy, public sociology, civil society, ethics

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