Transformations of Western Sociology: Mainstream and Public Agenda

Transformations of Western Sociology:
Mainstream and Public Agenda

Danilova E.N.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Head of the Center of the Studies in Theory and History of Sociology, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russi

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Danilova E.N. Transformations of Western Sociology: Mainstream and Public Agenda. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2024. No 2. P. 13-23


The article examines several mutually constitutive turns over the past half century in contemporary sociology and in academic debate regarding social inequalities: the constructivist turn and the struggle against essentialism, the concept and theories of identity, identity politics, the “death of class”, the new left agenda and the new oppressed. In critical way, I discuss the link between the current left mainstream in sociology, and the replacement of class politics with non-class, so-called identity politics. The turn was discursively formed in connection with the ideological agenda in the western societies and politics. The role of academic activism in strengthening this connection is quite decisive. Ultimately, it leads to a discussing the ‘old’ question – whether the conceptualizations that represent the sociological mainstream today have crucial and universal significance due to their objective historical or everyday connotations of a certain time, or whether they serve as intellectual guides in the current agenda and ideological narratives that mediate the perception of reality.

social inequalities; constructivist turn; essentialism; concept of identity; identity politics; “the death of class”; new left agenda; activism-scholarship


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