The Promise of Sociology: Global Challenges for National Disciplines
Published Web Locationhttp://burawoy.berkeley.edu/PS/Promise%20of%20Sociology.pdf
Sociology was founded as a positivist and universal science that obscured its national parameters. A first response was to attack false universalism with the particularism of indigenous sociologies, but this effectively reproduced the domination of northern sociologies. A second response has been to recognize and trace the superimposition of national traditions in a hierarchical world. With the movement toward commodification and rationalization of knowledge production, however, national sociologies have been aligned with and merged into the global field of sociology. Opting out of this field leaves one in the wilderness, so the third response is to enter struggle on the terrain of this global field, which in turn requires accountability to publics. To be sure there are limits to these struggles, but they are nonetheless important in keeping sociology alive as a distinct discipline, that is keeping alive the critical standpoint of civil society against the over-extension of the market and its accomplice the regulatory state.