Vladimir Shlapentokh

Сентябрь 1, 2009

Sociological observation:the contempt in American society for sociology

Filed under: Uncategorized — shlapentokh @ 7:53 пп

Recently, during a meeting of the American Sociological Association, some of its members suddenly had a strike of serendipity (it could have happened already in the 70s): American society and its ruling elite ignore sociologists, their studies and advice. Jerry Jacobs, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, lamented along with the others, «there is a lack of legitimized and organized social science at the highest levels of policy formation.” Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, described watching the news in December, as the economy was in a free fall and Barack Obama, as president-elect, was naming people to key positions in his administration. From the social sciences, he said, it was “the same old cast of characters,” referring to the economists. Obama’s election had brought “a sense of possibility,” but “as a sociologist I was pissed off,” he said.(see http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/08/13/sociology).

American sociology, with its almost absolute dominant interests in minority issues , with each unfettered and conspicuous ideological engagement which is always the impediment to serious studies, with its fear to discuss or even mention the crucial problems if they challenge the ideology of political correctness — got exactly what it deserves:the indifference of society and the government. This kind of sociology is mostly irrelevant to the main concern of society. Compare the main concerns of Americans which Gallup monitors regularly, with the leading subjects of debates at the meetings of sociologists, and it will became clear how far is American sociology is from the worries of the majority. Where,for instance, are the sociologists on TV discussing passionately the health reform? Here, the old and trivial wisdom which says, «You get what you pay for,» rings true. Sociologists, with their often ludicrous activism got exactly what they paid for, the indifference of society.

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