Sociology and Its Publics: Reframing Engagement and Revitalizing the Field: 2016 Midwest Sociological Society Presidential Address

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This article outlines how sociologists can and do engage a range of general, nonacademic public audiences, organizations, and interests. It begins with a discussion and critique of the notion of public sociology that emerged from Michael Burawoy’s 2004 American Sociological Association (ASA) presidency and draws upon recent commentaries and classical theories to formulate a more pluralist vision of sociology’s publics. The article concludes by arguing that embracing a multidimensional vision of the relationships between sociology and its publics not only provides a foundation for better public engagement, but also can help renew and revitalize of sociology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Midwest Sociological Society.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Sociology
  • engagement
  • public sociology
  • public sphere
  • social media

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