PhD Candidate Katelin Albert on the Contributions of Feminist Sociology

January 23, 2019 by Kathy Tang

PhD Candidate Katelin Albert published an article in The American Sociologist that critiques Stephen Turner’s (2013) book, American Sociology: From Pre-Disciplinary to Post-Normal. She argues that Turner's theorization of what constitutes as elite or non-elite sociology "under-explores" the contributions of feminist sociology to the discipline.

Katelin Albert is currently a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests span medical and health sociology, gender, feminist and sociological theory, and knowledge production politics.

We have posted the citation and abstract of her article below. The full article is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Albert, Katelin. 2015. "Towards a New Normal: Emergent Elites and Feminist Scholarship." The American Sociologist, 46(1):29-39.

Stephen Turner’s rich and informative history navigates the complex and changing landscape of American Sociology. He discusses how political, social, and academic conditions enabled varying forms of sociology and what epistemological and methodological impacts these conditions had on different schools of sociology. Turner’s book asks readers to reflect on what sociology is and what place elite and non-elite sociology should have in the discipline. Turner emphasizes the role of feminist sociology and “activist scholarship,” arguing that current sociology is one where we have in part returned to our early 20th century reformist roots. This paper expands Turner’s conversation about the contributions of feminist sociology. I offer this critique to function as an entry point through which to contemplate what elite sociology is, and how it relates to feminist sociology. I argue that Turner under-explores the contributions of feminist sociology by reducing its contributions to advocacy-based scholarship. By placing feminist sociology in opposition to elite sociology, he simplifies the important discussion of elite sociology, and loses sight of feminist sociology’s theoretical and methodological strengths. Highlighting aspects of intersectional theory and institutional ethnography, I argue that new elites have emerged in opposition, contrast, and conjunction to the elite that Turner describes, and I hope to further a dialogue on what constitutes “elite” sociology.

Read the full article here.