Public Sociology: Proceedings of the Anniversary Conference Celebrating Ten Years of Sociology in Aalborg

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What is the role of sociology in society? How can - and should - sociology contribute with insights relevant and useful to the outside world? Is sociology attuned to accommodate the demands of the wider public and of surrounding society? Who benefits from the knowledge produced and provided by sociology? What are the social implications and cultural effects of the knowledge sociology provides and creates? All of these questions, and many others, concern and centre on sociology's relationship to the surrounding society, in short to the ‘public'. All of these questions - and many others - will be addressed in this book.


Sociology, as the self-proclaimed ‘the science of society', finds itself in an exceptional position within the scientific community in that it studies a universe it itself is part and parcel of. This means that sociology and sociologists are inextricably connected and linked to their subject matter and to the objects and subjects studied, to society. ‘Society', however, consists of a large number of different - and often diverging and conflicting - publics, and in the process of finding a public foothold any sociologist must seek to navigate and choose between the Scylla of public irrelevance and introversion and the Charybdis of public relevancy and extroversion. But what does it mean to be a ‘public sociologist' in contemporary society and are there really any other ways of doing sociology? What are the requirements of sociologists in a social world increasingly informed and shaped by the media? Does the choice of public sociology mean the relinquishment of scientific integrity and critical conviction? These questions will also be addressed in this book - together with a host of others related to the topic of public sociology.


The chapters included in this book are all manuscripts presented by our invited keynote speakers at the tenth year anniversary conference of the Sociology Program at Aalborg University. The topic of the conference was Public Sociology. The collection of essays in this book is compiled and edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen (b. 1971), Associate Professor and Director of Studies of the Sociology Program at Aalborg University. He has for several years been involved in writing on and debating the relevance of sociology to the public.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Number of pages187
ISBN (Print)978-87-7307-933-1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Public sociology

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