25 March 2015
Faculty of Sociology, St. Petersburg State University
In March 2015 Michael Burawoy, an outstanding British sociologist, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, the president of the American Sociological Association in 2004 and the president of the International Sociological Association in 2010-2014, visited the Faculty of Sociology, St. Petersburg State University, with a series of public talks.
The CGES and the Council of Young Scientists at the Faculty of Sociology invited him for an informal meeting with junior scholars. Professor Burawoy gave an insightful and emotional talk on the ‘growth zones‘ and challenges of contemporary sociology and the prospects of studying labour processes, capitalistic relations and social inequalities in the framework of (neo)Marxism. He answered numerous questions from the audience on the development and futures of sociological education and academia in the USA and worldwide and on the contribution of public sociology to bridging the academic community to the broader public. He also relived his experiences of fieldwork in Zambia, Hungary and post-soviet Russia. Burawoy‘s talk made a valuable introduction in the Scientific Environment session ‘Politics and Policies of Social Exclusion‘.
Along with the members of the Council of Young Scientists and other members of the faculty staff, the CGES also participated in the organization of another public talk by Professor Michael Burawoy – his open seminar on the extended case method. Here Burawoy showed how to trace the routines of everyday life by embedding them in spatial and historical contexts and how to balance between fieldwork and theoretical reflection.