Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Excellence, Reflexivity, and Racism: On Sociology's Nuclear Contradiction and Its Abiding Crisis

March 2, 2018

Excellence, Reflexivity and Racism: On Sociology’s Nuclear Contradiction and Its Abiding Crisis by Michael Kennedy, Prabhdeep S. Kehal, and Laura Garbes, appears in Critical Historical Sociology, a blog section of the American Sociological Association. 

One of the most common elements in the expression of institutional responsibility in US universities is the commitment to diversity and inclusion. In this essay, Prabhdeep S. Kehal,  Laura Garbes and Michael Kennedy elaborate an alternative approach to that quest through a knowledge cultural sociology organized around contradiction’s recognition. Building on Alvin Gouldner’s method in The Two Marxisms, and improved with insights from scholars associated with Du Boisian thoughtintellectual activism and postcolonial perspectives, they argue that sociology, and perhaps by extension other disciplines, could improve collective accomplishment by looking squarely at their own nuclear contradictions. They propose that sociology, at least, is organized around a nuclear contradiction between excellence and reflexivity. The trio concludes with this question: what does anti-racist excellence look like? 

To read more, click here.

Kennedy, Kehal, and Garbes will present their paper at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA) on Tuesday, March 13th.