9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

«Public sociology» in the past and the present: update of coordinates

This paper is thematically closely connected with the general context of the newest discussion on intellectual project of «public sociology» suggested by well-known American sociologist Michael Burawoy. The genealogy of ideas describing various approaches to definition of public mission and applicability of a sociological science is schematically reconstructed in the paper. There are also examined a solving the designated question in early sociological doctrines (positivism, marxism), the Max Weber's theory «science as a vocation», the Frankfurt school critical theory, structural functionalism, alternative and reflexive sociology, and a number of other sociological paradigms. At the same time debates about a socially and public role of sociology are considered as a specific variation of theoretical and methodological polemic about the valuable bases of social sciences and humanities, a role of value-judgments in researches of social scientists, a correlation of scientific and ideological, objective and subjective, instrumental and critical components in structure of sociological knowledge.