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.
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?
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.
Since the early 1990s, armed actors have invaded territories in the Chocó and Antioquia
departments of Colombia, inhabited by Afro-Colombians and Indians whose collective rights
in these territories had recently been legally recognised. Based on long-term fieldwork
among the Emberá Katío, this article examines social, cosmological and ritual alterations
and re-organisation around violent death. Following a national policy of post-conflict
reparations, public exhumations and identifications of human remains reveal new local
modes of understanding and administration. In particular, suicide, hitherto completely
unknown to the Emberá, broke out in a multitude of cases, mostly among the youth. Local
discourse attributes this phenomenon to the number of stray corpses resulting from the
violence, who are transformed into murderous spirits which shamans can no longer control.
The analysis focusses on the unprecedented articulation of a renewed eschatology, the
intricate effects of an internal political reorganisation and the simultaneous inroad into
their space of new forms of armed insurrectional violence. Thus the article will shed
light on the emergence of a new transitional moral economy of death among the Emberá.
This article describes the powerplay around the recent discovery (summer 2015) of
eighteenth-century Jewish graves in the French city of Lyon. Prior to the French
Revolution, Jews had no right to have their own cemeteries, and the corpses of the
deceased were buried in the basement of the local catholic hospital, the Hôtel- Dieu. In
recent years this centrally located building was completely renovated and converted into a
retail complex selling luxury brands. The discovery and subsequent identification of the
graves – and of some human remains – led to a complex confrontation between various
actors: archaeologists, employed either by the municipality or by the state; religious
authorities (mostly Lyons chief rabbi); the municipality itself; the private construction
companies involved; direct descendants of some of the Jews buried in the hospital‘s
basement; as well as the local media. The question of what to do with the graves took
centre stage, and while exhumations were favoured by both archaeologists and the
representatives of the families, the chief rabbi – supported by the construction companies
– proved reluctant to exhume, for religious reasons. In the first part of his article the
author details the origins of this Jewish funerary place and current knowledge about it.
He then goes on to analyse what was at stake in the long negotiations, arguing that the
memory of the Holocaust played a role in the attitude of many of the parties involved. By
way of conclusion he considers the decision not to exhume the graves and elaborates on the
reasons why this led to some dissatisfaction.