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‘Committing’ or ‘maintaining’ sociology? Angry Sociologist speaks out

Published in Theory, Uncategorized by Mark Murphy on June 1, 2013

(c) Sociology at Work

Yesterday, a blog post came to my attention on Twitter. Written by ‘Angry Sociologist’, the post argues that sociology, rather than being the progressive force of popular and professional imagination, is instead a self-serving discipline pursuing its own set of interests under the guise of ‘talking truth to power’ (I paraphrase but I think that’s fairly accurate). As an indication of the content, here’s a quote from the text:    

Sociology maintains its cyclical qualities; each year a new group of (non-)thinkers are recruited to the various competing degrees offered up and down the country and will likely develop to become nothing more than the puppets of the future that will help to provide the various competing degrees up and down the country maintaining the myth of sociology.

This understandably received some responses, and I’ve compiled some of them below. It’s an important discussion and still continuing – if you’re interested read the original post What does sociology do? and feel free to get involved. You may even be able to tweet from this page – will check this, Mark      



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About the author /


Mark Murphy is a Reader in Education and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He previously worked as an academic at King’s College, London, University of Chester, University of Stirling, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Dublin and Northern Illinois University. Mark is an active researcher in the fields of education and public policy. His research interests include educational sociology, critical theory, accountability in higher education, and public sector reform.


  1. Avatar
    Dave Talbot

    I didn’t bother to finish the original article. It’s clearly written by someone who didn’t like their particular course or got passed over for a job. More importantly this is someone who has some unconvincing notions of what a sociologist would say if asked what they do. Does anyone know a sociologist who would actually say ‘I advance theory’? I’ve never met one, and I do know a lot of sociologists. Then he says that they ‘coerce’ you to ‘think objectively’. Now that’s just uniformed, since the first thing taught in any sociology course in the past decade that I have encountered (which is several in two countries) is that there is no objectivity.

    Sorry, but I just can’t take this unreferenced rant seriously at all.

    • Avatar
      Dave Talbot

      I notice I presumed a gender for the author above, without any evidence to do so. Bad me, apologies for that.

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