I got to take part in a panel at the American Sociological Association meeting on “Towards a Positive Sociology”. I told the story of how I have been developing my “Happy Society” class. I offer a seven-point “Positive Sociology Manifesto”, which I will share with Gruntled Center readers hereafter.
One issue that I have been wrestling with is that sociology as a rule is overwhelmingly concerned with unearthing inequality, which we often assume is a bad thing as such. I think this view of inequality, and its presumed moral meaning, often cuts our investigations short, and makes sociology less useful to society.
I have therefore been wrestling with this proposition:
Negative sociology takes equality as a natural state, which is distorted by social practices. Positive sociology takes inequality as a natural state, which is balanced by social practices.