Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.571209
Title: Exhuming humanism : towards an alternative valuation of sociology
Author: Morgan, Marcus
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This thesis presents a pragmatic argument for reconceiving sociology humanistically, proposing that such a reconception can help bring to light certain sources of worth left undetected by the narrowly-defined understandings of value through which academic disciplines are currently being assessed within England. In particular, it suggests that sociology is better conceived and defended not as a disinterested reflector of social reality, but rather as a shifter of perspectives; offering different renderings of social life that demand to be judged on the basis of their utility in helping us cope with that life. It therefore suggests a move away from refining technique towards reviving normative debate about what exactly sociology wishes to achieve, and why it wishes to achieve these things. Three related ends are proposed as substitutes for the redundant one of producing ultimate reflections of social reality. Firstly, the production of empirically-grounded yet imaginatively-rendered forms of transformative knowledge – knowledge aimed at instigating subjective dislocations from tacitly accepted perspectives on social life; secondly, the production of ethical representations of society, in particular those aimed towards the end of demonstrating social interdependence and shared precarity; and thirdly, the generation of narratives of social hope that are both grounded in historical understandings of the past and empirical examinations of the present but nonetheless refuse to see the future as reducible to such understandings, insisting on the subject’s capacity to transcend the conditions through which it is shaped. Ultimately, it argues that sociology’s real value can only be disclosed through replacing its image as a discipline aimed towards providing disinterested social enlightenment with a recognition of itself as a practice both dependent upon, and at its best self-consciously aimed towards, human ends and imperatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.571209  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology ; Social Theory
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