• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

C. Wright Mills' classic The Sociological Imagination has inspired generations of students to study Sociology. However, the book is nearly half a century old. What would a book address, aiming to attract and inform students in the 21st century? This is the task that Steve Fuller sets himself in this major new invitation to study Sociology. The book: " critically examines the history of the social sciences to discover what the key contributions of Sociology have been and how relevant they remain " demonstrates how biological and sociological themes have been intertwined from the beginning of both disciplines, from the 19th century to the present day " covers virtually all of sociology's classic theorists and themes " provides a glossary of key thinkers and concepts. This book sets the agenda for imagining Sociology in the 21st century and will attract students and professionals alike.

Interlude: Today's Orwellian Turn in Social Science
Interlude: Today's orwellian turn in social science
Our Brave New Semantic Universe

A good way to demonstrate the distance we need to travel to recover the sociological sensibility whose signs of life I have been seeking is to focus on a couple of words that have subtly but significantly shifted their meanings in the sociological corpus: – mobility and innovation – and the corresponding downgrading of institution and upgrading of community as supporting concepts. These shifts have been largely facilitated by the ‘new production of knowledge’ in which social science research is increasingly engulfed (Gibbons et al., 1994; Nowotny et al., 2000). It is basically contract-based, client-driven research, in which the university is only one of several sponsors, or ‘partners’ ...

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