Welcome to the Public Sociology @ HSU blog! This is a space by and for graduate students in the Public Sociology program, and for Public Sociologists. It is also a source for additional information about Public Sociology, including the Public Sociology Toolkit. We hope it will also be a space to share tips, resources and opportunities with our learning community.

  • Public Sociology, beginning with and exemplified by the work of the Chicago Women’s School of Sociology (during the 1890-1920 progressive reform era movement), is the application of sociologically grounded research methods to promote community betterment and progress. (Burke Zen)
  • Public Sociology is a sub-discipline of sociology that teaches activist-scholars how to take sociological knowledge, methodologies, and theories out of the academy and put them back into the communities from which they were originally derived. (Janae Teal)
  • I see Public Sociology as the intention of taking the academic theories, skills, networks, and knowledge from the “ivory tower” and applying them to real communities in real time with the goal of being of service to these communities by finding, illuminating, and addressing problems that hinder people’s ability to thrive. (Sarai Lucarelli)
  • Public Sociology is an applied discipline of social research and theory oriented towards resolving community issues and informing public policy. The language of Public Sociology is oriented towards community discourse and is less focused on academic dialogue, while retaining the academic rigor and methodologies of professional sociology. (Paul Yzaguirre)
  • Public Sociology emphasizes in engaging different sectors of the “public”, including academics and extra-academics, with the purpose of creating spaces for dialogue, which transcends academia spaces.  (Stephanie Martínez)
  • Public sociology reaches outside the academic and disciplinary realm of sociology itself. Public sociology works closely with the public to inform, engage, and serve the group(s). The ‘public’ involved in public sociology can be any individual(s) who are not already educated or involved in sociological thought and study; they may be academics and scholars from other disciplines or professions or “laymen” of the population who are not involved in academia and the university realm. (Hanna Menefee)
  • Public sociologists are able to bridge the gap between intellectuals, academics, and the rest of society by using their skills in social theory and research methods to speak to diverse publics on social issues (Clawson 2007:5). An example of a public sociologist is an applied researcher, who can use their skills to evaluate, inform, or create government policies or programs to change the current state of social life for the better (Zevallos 2009). (Nicole Chappelle)
  • Public Sociology allows scholars to bridge gaps between the university and local communities.  Public Sociology allows Sociologists to utilize theories, research methods, and a sociological lens that allows for critical needs assessment of local communities.  Public Sociology bridges the gap between theory and action.  Many Public Sociologists work for various non-profit organizations.  In the community Public Sociology will often collaborate with scholars from other disciplines.  Public Sociology is a way for the university system to utilize the research scholars are doing and apply it in ways that benefit surrounding communities. (Michael Griffey)

Creative Commons License
The Public Sociology Toolkit by Meredith Conover-Williams and Janae Teal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at publicsociologytoolkit.com.

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