Horizons of possibility : Sociologies for the 21st Century
The discipline of sociology has much to contribute to critical public awareness of changing global landscapes. Exactly what we are able to contribute —and how useful those contributions might be— will depend on how we (re)conceptualize the discipline in relation to narratives of science. While many sociologists argue for anchoring our analytical frameworks more strongly and more consistently to the physical sciences, this article counters that, at the start of the 21st century, the discipline needs to move forward with the development of social epistemologies, not turn back toward older models of science. This article begins with examples of the limitations of current research paradigms and argues for the development and use of social epistemologies that break from the Cartesian paradigm. It then highlights the value of sociological studies of language for apprehending 21st century social complexities.