Sociology Back to the Publics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
232 Downloads (Pure)


This article is a reading of the `new sociology' that is mainly identified with the works of C. Wright Mills and Alvin Gouldner. Its main argument is that during the past 40 years the new sociology gave back a public face to sociology. This distinguishes it from the `old sociology' that had not been able to free itself from `private' social values. It is argued that Mills' power elite and Gouldner's coming crisis theses provided the foundation for a common enterprise among many `new sociologists' to develop a critical and public sociology that would seek to shape what Mills called the `democratic society of publics'.`New sociologists' share a critique of modern societies, namely, that though most modern societies have formal democracies, a substantial democratic social structure of publics is often lacking, due to the erosion of the public sphere by private values.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)799-812
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-57943
  • METIS-244281

Cite this