The future of sociology: extinction, stagnation or evolution?
By Richard Jenkins
One, very likely, first response to this paper’s title might be: ‘Why even bother to ask that question?’ Such a response would be completely understandable, but wrong. There are several reasons why it is appropriate to speculate, in a critical frame of mind, about the future of sociology. In the first place, that we should not take for granted the continuing existence of anything is a sensible ontological precaution. As humans, and despite everything that we know to the contrary, we tend to live our lives as if the world that is presently around us is a more-or-less permanent state of affairs; but nothing is actually permanent. This is the shared lesson of all the academic disciplines: everything changes. Nothing persists in an unchanged state indefinitely. Continue reading