Drifting Apart? The Institutional Dynamics Awaiting Public Sociology in Canada

Scott Davies

Abstract


Michael Burawoy offers an innovative call to re-integrate our discipline. Using Canada as an example, I argue that his proposal underestimates the extent of institutional separatism among branches of sociology. Influenced by anti-positivist currents in the humanities over the past two decades, critical sociologists are disconnecting from mainstream empirical research. Simultaneously, the mainstream is moving in a very different direction as it responds to developments in other social sciences, and largely ignores the humanities. I hypothesize that this institutional drift is limiting the possibility of mutual correction between various branches of sociology, a process that is central to Burawoy’s proposal. Possible scenarios for the future of public sociology in Canada are discussed in light of this hypothesis

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