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Keywords:

  • Sociology;
  • criminology;
  • higher education;
  • social movements

Abstract

From the vantage point of criminology, one of sociology's main export subject areas, the present and future of sociology appear a good deal more promising than John Holmwood's essay on the discipline's misfortune would suggest. Sociology remains in high demand by students and faculty hiring remains strong, even in its more critical sub-fields, such as race and ethnicity, sex and gender, and social inequality. Holmwood is correct that sociology is vulnerable to external pressures to demonstrate its relevance to social practice, but those pressures come from left-wing social movements as well as from centres of power. He is also correct that external pressures contribute to internal disagreement, but sociology has been at war with itself since the 1960s, with little evident decline in its academic standing or intellectual vitality. Those of us on the discipline's diaspora, who depend on sociology for both support and light, must remain hopeful about sociology's continued good fortune.