The Professional Ideology of Social Pathologists Transformed: The New Political Orthodoxy in Sociology

Kelleher, Myles J.
December 2001
American Sociologist;Winter2002, Vol. 32 Issue 4, p70
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the professional ideology of social pathologists in the U.S. C. Wright Mills stirred a debate with his indictment of an alleged historical conservatism of U.S. sociology which had developed around the study of social problems. In his classic discussion of the influence of ideology on the sociology of social problems, The Professional Ideology of Social Pathologists, Mills argues that the U.S. sociologists and social problems books in the first four decades of the twentieth century tend to be apolitical or aspire to democratic opportunism. Mills attacked most of the thirty-two social pathologists who had a lasting influence on the direction of U.S. sociology as being a conservative, homogeneous group. The transformation of the emphasis on sociology as social science versus social alarmism and political advocacy blurred rapidly after Mills's premature death in 1962 and the onset of the cultural revolution of the Sixties. In contrast to political science, economics, psychology and arguably anthropology, a great many sociologists are not just politically liberal but are on the radical left wing, particularly in the realm of the sociology of social problems.


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