Monthly Archives: February 2015

popular culture

“[T]he practice of the sociological imagination demands alertness to the lives of men and women. Here the generality of the account of the epoch has to be connected with a fine-grained particularizing awareness of the lives of men and women. One way of achieving this awareness is to consume popular cultural products, since they are popular precisely because they deal with, or compensate for, the experiences of daily life.” (from Introduction by M. H. Jacobsen & K. Tester in Zygmunt Bauman, What Use is Sociology? pp. 4-5)

sociological vocation

“[T]he image of the ‘magic curtain’ and its tearing through strikes me as eminently appropriate as the job description of practitioners of the sociological vocation. It means piercing through the ‘curtain of prejudgments’ to set in motion the endless labour of reinterpretation, opening for scrutiny the human-made and human-making world ‘in all the comical nakedness of its prose’ and so drawing new human potentialities out of the darkness into which they had been cast, and in effect stretching the realm of human freedom and retrospectively revealing all that effort as the constitutive act of free humanity.” (Bauman. What Use is Sociology? p. 17)

possible world semantics

“The extension of a predicate, what it applies to, can be identified just with a subset of the domain of that model. Possible world semantics, introduced on the basis of an extensional understanding of the basic predicates, then can introduce intensions, as functions from possible worlds (thought of as constrained models) to the extensions of predicates that are extensional in each world.” (Brandom, From Empiricism to Expressivism, Loc 1243 of 6280)

what the analyst must do

“Taken together, our view forces the analyst to do more than just tell the story of how the winners were inevitable. Instead, the analyst must carefully specify the players, consider their resource endowments, understand the nature of the collective projects at stake, and study what courses of action were possible and then successful or unsuccessful.” (Fligstein & McAdam, A Theory of Fields, p. 171)