The American Sociologist

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 42–53 | Cite as

Public Sociology and the Democratization of Technology: Drawing on User -led Research to Achieve Mutual Education

  • Benjamin KellyEmail author
  • Khosrow Farahbakhsh


In an effort to further advance public sociology and its relationship with technology, this paper looks at a democratic model of collaboration within the technological sciences. We draw on the concept of user- led research to demonstrate how sociologists, scientists and various stakeholders within the public sphere can achieve reciprocal, meaningful and sustained knowledge translation. Furthermore, we argue that by acknowledging participants’ technological needs and reducing unnecessary complexity, the user -led method advances Burawoy’s “dialogue as mutual education” within public sociology.


Public sociology Mode 2 science Mutual education Democratization of technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada
  2. 2.University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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