Sociology as “Just an Academic Pursuit”

  • Colin Campbell


Sociology has long been regarded as in crisis, with sociologists repeatedly agonizing over its status, nature and role. One of the main disputes has been over whether being a sociologist means that one is should aim to change social life rather than merely explain it. However, the role of academic is specifically to interpret the world, not to change it. Unfortunately, all too often sociologists have ignored their duty in this regard and engaged in either ideological advocacy or moralizing, thereby preventing the discipline from making progress. Although this has been a feature of UK sociology for 50 years, a disturbing recent trend has been for some sociologists to claim that re-dressing grievances justify rejecting the very idea of impartial scientific inquiry.


Discipline in crisis Academic trumps sociologist Adding to knowledge as higher purpose Ideological advocacy Grievance studies 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK

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