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From Public Sociology to Sociological Publics: The Importance of Reverse Tutelage to Social Theory

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jats:p This article develops an alternative vision of public sociology. Whereas public sociology is often defined through the actions of professional sociologists, this article calls for a recognition of reverse tutelage in public sociology. Here, publics are seen as sociological interlocutors who can, and often do, produce sociological theories and analyses that can inform professional sociology. I demonstrate this reverse tutelage by focusing on anticolonial and anti-racist social movements, including the Zapatistas, Black Lives Matter, Palestine Action, and Cops Are Flops. I highlight how they produce sociological theories of power, neoliberalism, race, bordering, and violence that can orient professional sociology toward relational forms of analysis that build connections between different sites of resistance. In doing so, I highlight how the boundary between what Burawoy terms “professional” and “critical” sociology is much more porous than initially theorized and that critical sociology—from wider publics—can significantly shape professional sociology. </jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True


4410 Sociology, 44 Human Society

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Sociological Theory

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SAGE Publications