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SOC232H5 (25)

Lemert 431-444.docx

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Erik Schneiderhan

Reflexive Sociology- Alvin Gouldner (431-444)  Reflexive sociology concerned with what sociologists want to do and with what they actually do in the world  Historical mission of reflexive sociology according to the author would be transform the sociologist, to penetrate deeply into his daily life and work, enriching them with new sensitivities, and to raise the sociologist’s self-awareness to a new historical level  Reflexive sociology is and needs to be a radical sociology; recognize that knowledge of the world cannot be advanced apart from sociologist’s knowledge of himself and his position in social world, or apart from his efforts to change these  One reason we deceive ourselves and lie to others is because we are moral beings  Development of reflexive sociology requires that sociologists stop acting as if they thought of subjects and objects and distinct entities  Nominal objective of any scientific enterprise to extend knowledge of some part of world  Science aims at producing information to enhance power over world- know in order to control  Conception of social science held that its ultimate goal was not neutral “information” about social reality, but rather such knowledge was relevant to men’s own changing interests, hopes and values and would enhance men’s awareness of their place in social world rather than just control it  Inquiring subject and the studied subject are mutually interrelated and mutually constituted o Entire world of social objects seen as constituted by men by shared meanings given and confirmed by them rather than as substances eternally fixed apart from them  Social world is to be known not simply by “discovery” of some external fact not by looking outward but by opening oneself inward  Awareness of the self is seen as an indispensable avenue to awareness of the social world  Program of reflexive sociology implies: o Conduct of researches is only a necessary but not sufficient condition for maturation of sociological enterprise; what is needed is a new praxis that transforms the person of sociologist o Ultimate goal of reflexive sociology is deepening of sociologist’s own awareness, of who and what he is, in specific society at any given time and of how both his social and personal praxis affect his work as a sociologist o Work seeks to deepen sociologist’s self-awareness and his ability to produce valid-reliable bits of information about social world and others
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