Thursday, August 27, 2015

Positive Sociology Begins with a Change of Perspective

My seven-point Positive Sociology Manifesto. 

1. Positive Sociology begins with a change of perspective

Many sociologists are first introduced to the discipline through C. Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination. From the very first, Mills defines sociology negatively:

Perhaps the most fruitful distinction with which the sociological imagination works is between ‘the personal troubles of milieu’ and ‘the public issues of social structure’. … An issue is a public matter: some value cherished by the public is felt to be threatened. (8)

Consider, therefore, the difference it would make if, instead, we started from the distinction between ‘the personal blessings of the lifeworld’ and ‘the good order of social structure’.

In every sphere, for each application of the hermeneutics of suspicion there is a counterpart application of the hermeneutics of appreciation.

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