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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Public sociology is a form of sociology that emphasizes public discourse and engagement with non-academic communities. The term was coined by Dr. Michael Burawoy, renowned British sociologist and social critic.

Public sociology emphasizes the importance of activism, grassroots movements and community action. This form of sociology challenges the traditional, privileged status of academia and holds that true knowledge comes from within the lived experiences of everyday people, rather than from academic theorizing. Thus, sociologists engaged in this type of work often proactively seek the input, insight, and leadership of activists and community leaders.