Has Sociology Progressed?

Reflections of an Accidental Academic

  • Colin Campbell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Colin Campbell
    Pages 1-15
  3. Colin Campbell
    Pages 17-28
  4. Colin Campbell
    Pages 29-40
  5. Colin Campbell
    Pages 41-53
  6. Colin Campbell
    Pages 55-62
  7. Colin Campbell
    Pages 63-75
  8. Colin Campbell
    Pages 77-88
  9. Colin Campbell
    Pages 89-103
  10. Colin Campbell
    Pages 105-117
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 119-134

About this book


“This book advances a bold assessment and critique of the state of sociology today. Campbell takes the discipline to task for denigrating the value of scholarship by prioritising ever narrower and more specialised research interests and agendas. What is needed instead, he claims, is for sociology to return to its core concerns by building bridges between theory and research findings in the search for explanations. This powerful argument goes against the grain of most current sociological thinking, and deserves close attention from academics across the social sciences.”— Nicholas Gane, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

“Sociology hasn't always been lucky when it comes to the capacity of its practitioners to reflect on his or her life and its achievements. Autobiographies of sociologists often suffer from too much social structure, too much ideological commitment, or an overt reliance on some theoretical guru. Colin Campbell's autobiographical reflections prove that it can be done differently and to great effect for those who haven't given up on the possibility of intergenerational learning."— Andreas Hess, Professor of Sociology, University College Dublin, Ireland

Looking back over the last 60 years of sociology in the UK, this book addresses the question of progress in the discipline. Campbell's critical and autobiographical reflections offer fresh insights into the history of sociology, and engages with the notion of academic reputation, how it is measured, and what it can tell us about scholarly progress. 

Has Sociology Progressed? will be of special interest to all sociologists and would-be sociologists interested in the past, present and future of their discipline, as well as scholars contemplating academic progress and motivation in general. 


The discipline of sociology Autobiography Scholarship Citations Generational change Sociological understanding Fame Immortality Academic motivation Epistemology Academic progress

Authors and affiliations

  • Colin Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-19977-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-19978-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site