- Title Pages
- One The sociologist as voyeur
- Two Why sociology?
- Three Sociology as a science/technology of freedom
- Four Why sociology matters
- Five Passion, curiosity and integrity
- Six Sociology as democratic knowledge
- Seven Pushing at the boundaries of the discipline
- Eight Growing up as a sociologist in rural Shropshire
- Nine On the right-of-way
- Ten Living sociology
- Eleven Sociology for some, someone’s sociology…
- Twelve Imagining social science
- Thirteen From accidental to ambitious sociology
- Fourteen Sociographer by design? Boundary crossings and interdisciplinarity
- Fifteen ‘I am a sociologist’; but what exactly is a sociologist and how do you become one?
- Sixteen Sociology
- Seventeen Drift, opportunity and commitment
- Eighteen A passion for empirical sociology
- Nineteen Me, myself and sociology
- Twenty Turning to the psychosocial
- Twenty-One A long haul
- Twenty-Two Putting sociology to work in the NHS
- Twenty-Three Clinging to the precipice
- Twenty-Four The pursuit of a sociological career overseas and the navigation of an outsider perspective
- Twenty-Five Tales from the field
- Twenty-Six What sociology means to me
- Twenty-Seven Social science which engages with the real world
- Twenty-Eight A sporting chance? Notes on an ongoing career in the sociology of sport
- Twenty-Nine Sociology: involvement and detachment
- Thirty A career spent orbiting sociology
- Thirty-One Researching children’s lives
- Thirty-Two Following my star
- Thirty-Three ‘The epoch of belief…the epoch of incredulity’
- Recommended readings
- Resources for readers
- (p.23) Two Why sociology?
- Sociologists' Tales
- Policy Press
This chapter opens with the question of the value of sociology in an individualised society where the question of social relations has been largely foreclosed by an ideological hegemony which suggests that there is no such thing as society. Against this situation, which has transformed sociology into a kind of spectral discipline, my suggestion is that sociology is important for enabling people to place themselves in the world and think about their human environment. For this reason my vision of sociology is of a concrete discipline which enables the sociologist to understand the experience of the self, which lives, eats, starves, loves, and suffers, in terms of wider social relations which condition these personal states of being. Thus this chapter presents sociology as a democratic, personal, aesthetic, imaginative, and empathetic discipline that enables the sociologist to create accounts of the world that make sense for both self and others.
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