Sociologists and scientologists
DOI link for Sociologists and scientologists
Sociologists and scientologists book
I have argued that, contrary to popular opinion, studies of labelling are not inescapably flawed by political bias. In themselves, they neither justify the behaviour of the deviant, nor recommend alternatives to the policies embodied in the crime control system. Stanley Cohen’s Folk Devils and Moral Panics is thus a work of sociology-not of ideology-and, as we have seen, is demonstrably less partisan than many of the critiques to which it has been subjected over the years. Cohen has angered the Left and Right in equal measure precisely because, as a good sociologist, he draws a clear distinction between empirical and normative considerations-between explanation, on the one hand, and evaluation on the other. The former alone is the concern of sociology, and it seems to me at least that the majority of postwar British sociologists have respected this distinction by striving towards ideals of objectivity and value freedom in their analyses, despite numerous philosophical and practical hurdles that have been placed in their way during recent years. I therefore reject (and resent) the currently fashionable charge that sociology is merely socialism in academic guise.