Knowledge for Whom?: Public Sociology in the Making, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Knowledge for Whom?

Public Sociology in the Making, 1st Edition

By Christian Fleck

Edited by Andreas Hess


340 pages

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Hardback: 9781409434580
pub: 2013-12-28
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This ground-breaking volume is a follow-up to Intellectuals and Their Publics. In contrast to the earlier book, which was mainly concerned with the activity of intellectuals and how it relates to the public, this volume analyses what happens when sociology and sociologists engage with or serve various publics. More specifically, this problem will be studied from the following three angles: How does one become a public sociologist and prominent intellectual in the first place? (Part I) How complex and complicated are the stories of institutions and professional associations when they take on a public role or tackle a major social or political problem? (Part II) How can one investigate the relationship between individual sociologists and intellectuals and their various publics? (Part III) This book will be of interest to academics and students working in the fields of the sociology of knowledge and ideas, the history of social sciences, intellectual history, cultural sociology, and cultural studies.


’What’s the point of sociology? Sociology has long been the most self-questioning of disciplines. Recently, such self-interrogation has involved discussion about what kinds of audiences sociology reaches and should be reaching. This book constitutes a vast leap forward in the public sociology� debates, enriching them with historical depth, philosophical sophistication, and a truly global vision. An exceptionally attention-grabbing contribution.’ David Inglis, University of Exeter, UK ’Hess and Fleck continue their important effort to return the debate over public sociology to where it belongs - the sociology of knowledge. This new collection is filled with probing contributions of striking interest.’ Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University, USA ’The strength of the Fleck and Hess volume lies … mainly in its critical intellectual engagement with the scholarly and conflict-ridden richness of sociological history itself … an impressive contribution to the history of sociology and social science more generally’. International Sociology

About the Author/Editor

Christian Fleck is Professor of Sociology at the University of Graz in Austria. Andreas Hess is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University College Dublin in Ireland.

About the Series

Public Intellectuals and the Sociology of Knowledge

Public Intellectuals and the Sociology of Knowledge
The sociology of knowledge has a long and distinctive history. Its function has always been that of attempting to bridge the aspirations of the discursive and institutional founding fathers of sociology with that of modern attempts to define the discipline through the study of the emergence, role and social function of ideas. However, since Mannheim first outlined his program in the 1920s, the sociology of knowledge has undergone many changes. The field has become extremely differentiated and some of its best practitioners now sail under different flags and discuss their work under different headings. This new series charts the progress that has been made in recent times - despite the different labels. Be it intellectual history Cambridge-style, the new sociology of ideas which is now gaining strength in North America, or the more European cultural analysis which is associated with the name of Bourdieu, this series aims at being inclusive while simultaneously striving for sociological insight and excellence. All too often modern attempts in the sociology of knowledge, broadly conceived, have only looked at form while they downplayed or disregarded content, substance of argument or meaning. This series will help to rectify this.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General