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Sociology as a Social Critique: A Question of Legitimacy and of Efficiency

The research project aims to study the conditions that make possible contemporary sociology to play the role of both a legitimate and an efficient social critique. The hypothesis of the research is that that possibility depends on the capacity of sociology to embed its project in the normative expectations of social actors, thus guaranteeing its legitimacy, but to formulate on this basis an ambitious critical perspective transcending any particular viewpoint and relevant to the current complex forms of domination.

The hypothesis will be tested through the example of Luc Boltanski's pragmatic sociology of the critique which will be studied in comparison to other social-critical projects: Zizek's and Badiou's radical social critique as well as Honneth's critical social theory. The research implies also the construction of a theoretical model of social critique through the implementation of the conceptual tools of Boltanski's pragmatic sociology to the case of the national strike of the Bulgarian schoolteachers in autumn 2007.

The project is based on the assumption that social critique has been playing a growing role in philosophy and sociology during the last decade. This renewed importance of social critique should be understood as an intellectual mobilization aimed at conceiving of social and political projects capable to oppose the globally triumphant neoliberalism, the increasing "economization" of social relations, the growth of social inequalities, and the going deeper feelings of injustice, disrespect and humiliation.

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