The "Vocation" Redux: A Post-Weberian Perspective from the Sociology of Knowledge

Inanna Hamati-Ataya

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This article engages the Weberian view on the scholarly vocation from a perspective informed by ‘strong reflexivity’. The reflexivist perspective is grounded in a sociological understanding of knowledge that calls for a coherent reformulation of the relation between the social nature and social function of science, and of the cognitive and axiological posture of scholarship understood as socio-political praxis. Drawing on the sociology of knowledge, the article argues that Weber’s perspective is untenable conceptually and practically. Strong reflexivity, here illustrated through Standpoint Feminism and Bourdieusian sociology, permits a coherent delineation of the problem of the scholarly vocation, in a way that reconciles the social origins, efficacy and responsibility of science, and hence allows for a more realist reformulation of the cognitive, social and moral dilemmas we face as scholars, educators, and citizens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1012
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Sociology
Issue number7
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2018


  • Bourdieu
  • Durkeim
  • reflexivity
  • sociology of knowledge
  • Standpoint Feminism
  • values
  • Weber
  • Durkheim


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