The Live Art of Sociology  book cover
1st Edition

The Live Art of Sociology

ISBN 9780367873783
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
232 Pages

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Book Description

The Live Art of Sociology attends to the importance of ‘the live’ in contemporary social and political life. Taking existing work in live sociology as a starting point, this book considers some of its aspirations through unique empirical investigations. Queer and feminist theory and methods are also employed in exploring the challenges of researching live experiences and temporalities. With case study examples ranging from the work of live body artists to experiments in curating sociological research, Lambert successfully demonstrates the diverse ways in which art can provide the aesthetic and affective conditions for social and political disruption.

By emphasising the political importance of how people, knowledges, materials, emotions and senses are configured and reconfigured, The Live Art of Sociology asserts a creative and vital role for sociology in not only representing but also generating social realities and political possibilities. Putting aesthetics at the heart of contemporary sociology and making a strong case for a renewed sociological aesthetics, this volume will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers and academics interested in fields such as Sociology, Cultural Studies, Art and Visual Culture, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Leisure Studies. It will also be of interest to creative practitioners.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: political aesthetics, cultural studies, queer and reparative theory and method

  2. Politics and praxis of live art

  3. Live sociology: generative and uncertain methodologies in action

  4. Fierce pedagogies: producing dissensual knowledges and subjects

  5. Bodies and embodied encounters in live practice

  6. The im/possibilities of live time

  7. Conclusions: towards a hopeful art

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Cath Lambert is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK.


This is a wonderful, lucid and scholarly exploration of the new opportunities for the conduct of an artful sociology that is vital and publicly engaged. The way Lambert links live sociology with debates about performativity and the queering of live sociology is brilliant and really pushes this cluster of methodological practices and ideas into new and exciting directions.

Les Back, Professor, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths University of London, UK

Cath Lambert has given us a treasure trove in The Live Art of Sociology, brimming as it is with intellectual resources and real-world examples that breathe fresh life into sociological aesthetics. By encouraging us to recognise and stay with the discomfort that comes from uncertainty and not-knowing, this beautifully written and generative work opens sociological thinking and methodology to the affective, haptic and other sensual registers of the social world. With queer feminist politics at its beating heart, The Live Art of Sociology is the book so many of us have been waiting for. An animated, insightful, witty and ethically provocative companion.

Yasmin Gunaratnam, Reader, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths University of London, UK

Lambert offers us something both generative and representative "…an ethics of beholding and accounting for what we see, hear, feel and understand from our research encounters." ...This is a very personal, theoretical and methodological route to live…Lambert here shows us how [live art sociology] engages, challenges, entertains and, most of all, imagines.

Dr Ron Iphofen, Independent Research Consultant, British Sociological Association