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How not to become a museum piece

The British Journal of Sociology
Volume 56 No 3 September 2005
pages 335-343


In this essay I want to address two question marks which arose during my reading of Michael Burawoy's inspiring piece. First, sharing his spirit of recreating the sociological enlightenment by differentiating between different types of public sociologies, I do not share his optimism that sociology can easily become an integral part of public discourse and practice. Second, I don't think that mainstream sociology is really prepared for this adventure. My argument points in the opposite direction: all the different forms of public and non-public sociology are in danger of becoming museum pieces. Thus, sociology not only needs a public voice, it also needs to be reinvented first - in order to have a public voice at all!

Keywords: None

Ulrich Beck
Institute of Sociology, Ludwig-Maximilians Universitate