Book Review : The arrest of sociology

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview article


Colin Campbell, Has Sociology Progressed? Reflections of an Accidental Academic, Palgrave
Macmillan: Cham, 2019; xviii + 134 pp.: ISBN 9783030199777, £44.99 (hbk)

A new book from Colin Campbell, the distinguished British sociologist, asks a disquieting question:
Has sociology progressed? Campbell concludes that our discipline has made little progress in the
past half-century. This essay describes what Campbell means by progress, and the factors that,
on his account, impede it. The discussion focuses on one such obstacle: the politicization of the
university. The older current of ideological advocacy, that Campbell highlights, is today bolstered
by a newer development: ideological policing. This is a posture that attacks free expression and
viewpoint diversity. The fate of sociology hinges on colleagues grasping the dangers of such
policing and finding ways to check it. Remedial measures are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Sociology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020



  • Ideological advocacy
  • ideological policing
  • progress
  • research
  • scholarship
  • sociology
  • the university

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