Jonathan Purkis
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Towards an anarchist sociology

This chapter considers the possibility of developing an anarchist sociology. It suggests that some of the founding rationales behind sociology in the nineteenth century might have negative impact on those being studied and their environment. One of the founding rationales behind sociology is the instrumental attitudes towards pursuing research in the name of industrial progress and social cohesion. Anarchism and sociology share something of a common intellectual background as ideas shaped by Enlightenment developments in philosophy, science and technology during the late eighteenth century. It is through the controversial discourses of postmodernism and poststructuralism that anarchism has been referenced in the social and philosophical sciences, sometimes as an argument for relativism. The chapter looks at the assumptions behind the established sociological literature on social movements. It offers some suggestions as to how anarchist theory would be of advantage to developing a more tangible understanding of this area of study.

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Changing anarchism

Anarchist theory and practice in a global age


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