Sociology Engaged in Social Justice

Mary Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This article expands on my presidential address to further bolster the case that sociology has, from its inception, been engaged in social justice. I argue that a critical review of our discipline and our Association’s vaunted empiricist tradition of objectivity, in which sociologists are detached from their research, was accomplished by a false history and sociology of sociology that ignored, isolated, and marginalized some of the founders. In the past half-century, scholar-activists, working-class sociologists, sociologists of color, women sociologists, indigenous sociologists, and LGBTQ sociologists have similarly been marginalized and discouraged from pursuing social justice issues and applied research within our discipline. Being ignored by academic sociology departments has led them to create or join homes in interdisciplinary programs and other associations that embrace applied and scholar-activist scholarship. I offer thoughts about practices that the discipline and Association should use to reclaim sociology’s social justice tradition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • engaged sociology
  • exclusion
  • historical sociology
  • knowledge production
  • politics
  • scholar-activist
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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