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David Harvey -- The History of Neoliberalism

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As a Sociologist I am happy to see that the big and most important body of the profession- The International Sociological Association is currently led by Michael Burawoy. He is engaged in a particular approach to sociology called "Public Sociology" which encourages the discipline to engage in "explicitly public and political ways with issues stimulated by debates over public policy, political activism, the purposes of social movements, and the institutions of civil society". (*)

The social engagement of our profession is to me connected with the notion of the "public intellectual" and of course takes from the critical thought of the Frankfurt School of Social Research. The public or the publics is what we lack, and although the public sphere is in this times facing constant structural changes, I believe that it is the double practice of current Occupy movements - physically creating publics and generating theory - that is articulating new and so much valid insight for the current debate around public communication.

It is at hand that Socially Responsive Communication comes from strongly related cultures. And I must say that Sociology for me personally was always "Public Sociology". The Frankfurt School and Public Sociology have always played an important role in our thought and practice. For many years we have been focusing on the professions of Design and Communication. Btw: recently we have responded to a new discussion here: http://tiny.cc/lwfz4. It is exactly Public Sociology that we are also bringing in to both fields.

It is a good feeling that Sociology is so strong in times when we need it the most. This is helping a lot and will for sure help more in the process we are engaged in: articulating and building a new profession of (public) communication and design.

Part of the current challenges of the ISA is of course to speak out in public. Because of this ISA has launched a series of video interviews with Scholars from around the world. We will post some of this videos here in the next weeks. Here we have the always fantastic David Harvey talking about the history of neoliberalism as part of the Berkley seminar on Global Sociology.


(*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sociology





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