Research about a public sociologist

  • You can choose from one of the international sociologists listed on the website or you may propose another public sociologist:
    – Manuel Castells
    – Nandani Sundar
    – Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito
    – Ramon Flecha and Marta Soler (*NOTE: most of their articles appear in Spanish)
    – Walden Bello
    – Karl Von Holdt
    – Sari Hanafi
    – Michael Wieviorka
    – Frances Fox Piven
  • Conduct library research about your chosen example to understand this public sociologists’ contribution to the discipline of sociology, and his or her efforts to bring these insights into the public domain. Keep a record of the places that you search and the search terms you use – what worked and what did not work (this will be included at the end of your paper). Start your search using the links on the Public Sociology Live web page. From there, continue by looking at what is available in MyLibrary. Select information from both scholarly journals and other reliable sources of information[i]. Investigate the following questions as you conduct library research:
  • Write a 1000-1500 word research report analyzing your case of public sociology, responding to the above questions, and discussing the potential for public sociology to make important contributions for positive social change. Include a description of your search process as an appendix to the paper. Be sure to cite your sources properly, using the ASA format in the text of your report as well as to generate a list of works cited[ii].
  • Describe the public work of this sociologist.
  • What sociological concepts and theories does s/he use to illustrate their work?
  • To whom is this sociologist talking (their public)? Locate any press coverage that enables you to assess how this work was received.



[i] Sources of information can include: (1) materials written by the public sociologists themselves, both in scholarly outlets and the popular media including personal websites or blogs; (2) journal articles citing the work of your public sociologist ; and (3) academic books contained in the WRLC collections.

[ii] See http://www.asanet.org/documents/teaching/pdfs/Quic….