, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 156–166

The Structural Transformation of Sociology

Symposium: The Changing Shape of Higher Education Since the 1960s

DOI: 10.1007/s12115-013-9634-4

Cite this article as:
Deflem, M. Soc (2013) 50: 156. doi:10.1007/s12115-013-9634-4


The advent of public sociology over the past decade represents the end of a string of crisis moments in sociology. Since the 1950s and, especially, the 1960s, sociology was argued to be in a crisis because the discipline was thought to be conservative and contributing to sustain the status quo. As a result, the 1970s witnessed a radicalization of sociology, but the 1980s saw a general decline of sociology. Upon a resurgence during the 1990s, the crisis advocates have come back with a vengeance in the form of a renewed commitment to a heavily politicized sociology under the heading of public sociology, a perspective that is now thoroughly institutionalized and widely embraced. In sociology, the effects of the 1960s thus began to be felt in earnest some 40 years late.


Sociology Public sociology Sociological profession Radical sociology Higher education 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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