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Open the social sciences: To whom and for what?, by Michael Burawoy

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This text tries to demonstrate that Portuguese sociology has been built on a set of virtuous relations between four poles of sociological activity: the theoretical problematisation pole, the observational research pole, the reflexivity pole and the professionalisation pole. It is suggested that this specific dynamic was favoured by a series of political-institutional and organisational conditions (the dominance of a critical/applied rationalism in university training, the active role of the Portuguese Sociological Association in the promotion of a creative interaction between academics and field professionals, the political engagement of Portuguese sociologists, the relatively successful opening-up of the labour market to professionally trained sociologists, etc.) The text is, of course, punctuated with comments largely concordant, but sometimes critical on Michael Burawoy's theses about the evolution and specificity of Portuguese sociology and the need to re-invent public sociology and reformulate the scientific agenda of the discipline.
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Keywords: Portuguese sociological association; Portuguese sociology; applied rationalism; public sociology; social intervention; sociological training

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts, University of Porto.

Publication date: 2008-05-17

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  • The Portuguese Journal of Social Science opens a gateway for the international community to engage with a high calibre of academic work in social sciences produced by Portuguese scholarship. Previous to the publication of this journal, this work remained largely inaccessible to an international readership due to issues with language and translation.
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