In his classic work on The Sociological Imagination, C.
Wright Mills argued that it ‘enables the possessor to understand the historical scene in terms of its meaning for the
inner life and external career of individuals’ (Mills 1959: 5).
In other words, sociology seeks to explain the experience
and life chances of the individual in terms of the wider historical and institutional context. Sociological accounts of
the nature of democracy and democratization are thus less
concerned with the formal constitution of governmental
Towards an anarchist sociology1
A serious scholar is one who takes the Pope at his word and discounts the words of
rebels. A ranter is one who takes rebels at their word and discounts every word of
the Pope. (Fredy Perlman, 1983: 183)
Objectivism and relativism not only are untenable as philosophies, they are bad
guides for fruitful cultural collaboration. (Paul Feyerabend, 1995: 152)
The ‘politics’ of knowledge has long been a concern of the humanities and social
sciences. The decisions taken about which areas of society are
Golf is a major global industry. It is played by more than 60 million people worldwide, and there are more than 32 000 courses in 140 countries across the globe. Golf is a sport that has traditionally appealed to the wealthy and powerful in particular, though it attracts players and spectators from a wide range of demographics. Golf has also received criticism regarding its impact on the environment, particularly when it comes to the appropriation of land for golf course development and the use of water and pesticides in course management. The golf industry has, over time, responded to these and other concerns by stressing its capacity for recognizing and dealing with environmental problems. Yet there are reasons to be sceptical about the golf industry's environmental leadership – and, indeed, to be sceptical about corporate environmentalism in general. This book looks at the power relationships in and around golf, examining whether the industry has demonstrated such leadership on environmental matters that it should be trusted to make weighty decisions that have implications for public and environmental health. This is the first comprehensive study of the varying responses to golf-related environmental issues. It is based on extensive empirical work, including research into historical materials and interviews with stakeholders in golf such as course superintendents, protesters, and health professionals. The authors examine golf as a sport and as a global industry, drawing on and contributing to literatures pertaining to environmental sociology, global social movements, institutional change, corporate environmentalism and the sociology of sport.
This book brings together a range of sociologists and economists to study the role of demand and consumption in the innovative process. Starting with a broad conceptual overview of ways that the sociological and economics literatures address issues of innovation, demand and consumption, it goes on to offer different approaches to the economics of demand and innovation through an evolutionary framework, before reviewing how consumption fits into evolutionary models of economic development. The book then looks at food consumption as an example of innovation by demand, including an examination of the dynamic nature of socially constituted consumption routines. It includes an analysis of how African Americans use consumption to express collective identity and discusses the involvement of consumers in innovation, focusing on how consumer needs may be incorporated in the design of high-tech products. It also argues for the need to build an economic sociology of demand that goes from micro-individual through to macro-structural features.
In recent years, exhumation campaigns of mass graves resulting from the armed conflict
(1980–2000) between the Maoist guerrillas of PCP-Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) and the
States armed forces have increased in Peru. People in rural Andes, the most marginalised
sectors of national society, which were also particularly affected by the war, are the
main group concerned with exhumations. This article examines the handling, flow and
re-appropriation of exhumed human remains in public space to inform sociopolitical issues
underlying the reparation policies implemented by the State, sometimes with the support of
human rights NGOs. How do the families of victims become involved in this unusual return
of their dead? Have the exhumations become a new repertoire of collective action for
Andean people seeking to access their fundamental rights and for recognition of their
status as citizens? Finally, what do these devices that dignify the dead reveal about the
internal workings of Peruvian society – its structural inequities and racism – which
permeate the social fabric?
Established during the Guatemalan Peace Process, the Oslo Accord contemplates the
question of compensating the victims of internal armed conflict. Not only was this accord
founded on the principles of victims rights, but it also intends to contribute to the
democratic reconstruction of Guatemalan society through a process of recognition of
victims status and memory – intended to have a reconciling function. The article focuses
on the work of two organisations implementing the Oslo Accord and aims to analyse the
discourses and practices of the local actors and their perception of the application of
victims rights. Civil society actors and members of the National Compensation Programme
demonstrate different approaches both in practical work and in representations of what is
right. However, revendication of local cultural values is present in all actors discourse,
revealing their ambiguous position in regard to state government.
The subject of forensic specialist‘s work with human remains in the aftermath of conflict
has remained largely unexplored within the existing literature. Drawing upon
anthropological fieldwork conducted from 2009–10 in three mortuary facilities overseen by
the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH),
this article analyses observations of and interviews with ICMP forensic specialists as a
means of gaining insight into their experiences with the remains of people who went
missing during the 1992–95 war in BiH. The article specifically focuses on how forensic
specialists construct and maintain their professional identities within an emotionally
charged situation. Through analysing forensic specialists encounters with human remains,
it is argued that maintaining a professional identity requires ICMP forensic specialists
to navigate between emotional attachment and engagement according to each situation.
This article will investigate the process of confronting death in cases of the
disappeared of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Based on the exhumation and
identification of the body of a disappeared person, the article will reflect on how the
persons social situation can be reconfigured, causing structural changes within the family
and other groups. This will be followed by a discussion of the reflections generated by
the anthropologist during his or her interview process, as well as an investigation into
the authors own experiences in the field. This intimate relationship between the
anthropologist and death, through the inevitable contact that takes place among the
bodies, causes resonances in the context both of exhumations and of identifications in the
anthropologists wider fieldwork.
The article will present the findings of ethnographic research into the Colombian and
Mexican forensic systems, introducing the first citizen-led exhumation project made
possible through the cooperation of scholars, forensic specialists and interested citizens
in Mexico. The coupling evolution and mutual re-constitution of forensic science will be
explored, including new forms of citizenship and nation building projects – all approached
as lived experience – in two of Latin America‘s most complex contexts: organised crime and
This article will describe the contemporary scientific techniques used to excavate and
identify the dead bodies of disappeared detainees from the Uruguayan dictatorship. It will
highlight the developments that have led to increased success by forensic anthropologists
and archaeologists in uncovering human remains, as well as their effects, both social and
political, on promoting the right to the truth and mechanisms of transitional justice.