287.6 The contested terrains of public sociology

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 1:20 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Jay ARENA , SASW, college of staten island, New York, NY
In this article I argue professional and policy sociology are antagonistic, rather than compatible with the theory and practice of a critical, organic, public sociology in defense of human rights and social justice. Employing an auto-ethnographical methodology that draws upon my graduate school experience and relationship with New Orleans public housing movement in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I show how practicing public sociology in various terrains required unmasking and opposing the apolitical pretences of professional sociology and the agenda-setting of neoliberal government and corporate patrons of policy sociology. The current global economic crisis and assault on university budgets is strengthening the policy and professional sociology tendencies of the discipline. If public sociology is to have a future, its practitioners must immerse themselves as integral components of a working class, counter-hegemonic challenge to global neoliberal capitalism, rather than play support roles for various foundation and NGO funded and directed single issue campaigns.