"If the standpoint of economics is the market and its expansion, and the standpoint of political science is the state and the guarantee of political stability, then the standpoint of sociology is civil society and the defense of the social.
In times of market tyranny and state despotism, sociologyand in particular its public facedefends the interests of humanity."Michael Burawoy, past president of the American Sociological Association
"Sociologists shouldindeed mustspeak forcefully on important issues whenever they have something to say, but they should do so as individuals and not collectively as a profession."Douglas Massey, past president of the American Sociological Association
"If we aren't doing public sociology, we're just talking to each other. To claim to study society and to say that you needn't bother to make your work relevant or accessible to social memberswell, that seems to me just plain insane."Sharon Hays, Streisand Professor of Contemporary Gender Studies, University of Southern California
"Once we acknowledge the sharp divisions in our society, we have to decide which publics we want to work with. I propose . . . that we strive to address the public and political problems of people at the lower end of the many hierarchies that define our society."Frances Fox Piven, president of the American Sociological Association
"We must tend to our job of getting enough truth of the kind that can bear on the future, which is what is relevant to public discourse.... we should not be distracted much by contributing to public discourse, and what we do along that line is not likely to be much use to the public."Arthur Stinchcombe, formerly John Evans Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University