Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Positive Sociology and a Proportionate View of Inequality


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.

1 comment:

Dennis Evans said...

None of us is like another. None of us have the same gifts, or the same opportunities in the same degree. Your position makes sense as the original reference point.