what should sociology’s image be?
Previously, I have argued that sociology has an image problem. Too much social problems, not enough science. But that still leaves the question open: what, specifically, should our public image be? A few suggestions:
- Openly embrace positivism/science as our motivation and professional model.
- The use of science to study social problems, not the science of social problems.
- The holistic social science that employs different types of data for a rich picture of human life.
- “The crossroads of the academy:” We legitimately can speak to fields ranging from the biomedical sciences to the most interpretive of the humanities.
- Offer a few, simple to understand tools for those in the policy world that are focused on either policy evaluation or measuring social well being (i.e., go beyond “social studies of policy”).
Of course, we already do a lot of this in our research, we just don’t tell the public about it. In other words, sociology should be the queen of the social sciences, not the museum of social dysfunction.