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For the past six decades, Berkeley’s Sociology Department has consistently been ranked among the world’s top sociology departments. Our graduate program is ranked #1 in the latest U.S. News and World Report, and our undergrad degree is currently the best in the US according to College Factual and features on Grad Reports’ Best College List 2020.
Prof. Einstein served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand…
Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor MovementThis concise overview of the labor movement in the United States focuses on why American workers have failed to develop the powerful unions that exist in other industrialized countries. Packed with valuable analysis and information, Hard Work explores historical perspectives, examines social and political policies, and brings us inside today's unions, providing an excellent introduction to labor in America. Hard Work begins with a comparison of the very different conditions that prevail for labor in the United States and in Europe. What emerges is a p...
Departmental Colloquium Series
Mathieu Desan “Realist and Historicist Modes of Critique in Critical Sociology”
Monday, April 24, 2023 - 2:00 pm - April 24, 2023 - 3:30 pm
Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building
Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology is often described as a “critical sociology,” but there are two distinct modes of critique present in his work. At times he engages in what I call the realist mode of critique, which is premised on the idea that our naïve experience of the social world dissimulates real relations of domination, which critique then reveals. At other times, Bourdieu engages in what I call the historicist mode of critique, which denaturalizes the doxic experience of the social order by demonstrating its arbitrary character. Whereas realist critique claims the social world really is other than it appears, historicist critique suggests that it could be otherwise. Though these two modes of critique co-exist with some tension in Bourdieu’s work, I argue that this tension is not unique to Bourdieu, but rather something that has structured interpretive debates in other critical social scientific traditions, such as the Polanyian and Marxist literatures. This suggests a general ambiguity in what it means to do critical social science.