Sociologists and Social Progress: How Defeating Narratives Affect U.S. and Caribbean Sociological Academies (Hardback)O. Alexander Miller (author)
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 240 x 163 x 18 mm
In this provocative and probing book about social science and social progress, Alex Miller raises many of the most fundamental questions facing sociologists in the modern world. As has usually been the case, the greatest insights about and pressures for change in all academic disciplines often come from scholarly analysts on the "margins" of the status hierarchies of those disciplines. Looking at Euro-dominance in academic worlds from the non-European and Caribbean angle, Miller sees clearly and sharply that the U.S. sociological "emperors" in fact have no defensible intellectual clothes. Their thread-bare intellectual cloth is fabricated from old Eurocentric patterns of positivism and "objectivity" still produced in the academic mills of U.S. and other westernized higher education. Miller shows that, while many U.S. sociologists research societal problems, they studiously ignore more critical perspectives on U.S. society-especially deeper critics of these societal problems found in the black American, Caribbean, and white class-critical and racism-critical traditions. His analysis of West Indian academics' views on these matters, and on West Indian social science, is insightful, provocative, and on target. These academics have a foot in both European-American and Caribbean worlds, and their views reveal what it wrong and what is right about both Caribbean and U.S. social science. While, as Miller shows, Western social science has been hegemonic in the Caribbean, as in most areas colonized by Europeans and European Americans, there has long been a counter-hegemonic, counter-framed tradition of thought and action that has challenged that Euro-dominance, indeed to the present day. Miller presses social scientists to move away from the dominant Euro-centric metanarrative of social science to reassert this strong counter-hegemonic tradition seen in Caribbean sociology, music, and personality, a tradition grounded in the counter-framed elements of Africanness rooted ultimately in five centuries of resistance. -- Joe R. Feagin, Texas A&M University
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