Sociology in an Eggshell


The following is a stolen body of scientific words, arranged by me into poetry, without the permission of the author, sociologist John Levi Martin.  It is also a bit of a joking extension to my previously posted poem, Sociology in a Nutshell.

… However, in the case
of sociological analysis,
there are extremely good
reasons not to automatically
privilege a theory that can
be linked to mechanisms.
Because individuals (or at least
individual acts) are frequently
though not inevitably the level
below those units described
by sociological theories,
mechanisms tend to involve
action by individuals.  While
we all must appreciate
the robust realism
of appealing to the nature
of individuals, who certainly
do exist, great dangers
lurk here for theorizing.
This is because social science
is the unique case in which
the lower level appealed to
by mechanistic accounts
is ourselves, and we have
a great number of prejudices
about our own constitutions
that we cannot rid ourselves of,
because we do not know
what all of them are.
There might not have been
any theory of natural selection
if the Galapagos finches
were the theoreticians;
Galapagos finches may have
very different ideas about
what it means to be
a Galapagos finch.


About mrsorenson

NOT my president
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