A Remembrance of Things Past: Punk Sociology Avant la Lettre

When I attended Jesuit prep school in the mid-1970s, I bought the second edition of Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution, but it was a version that still reflected its origin as the final volume of the logical positivists’ International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. Despite its relatively few pages, the book’s format was large and pink, with the ‘in your face’ lettering of the day (1970). I say ‘was’ because my heavily annotated copy mysteriously disappeared from my office in Durham when I was professor there in the 1990s and working on Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times (U Chicago Press, 2000). (Anyone who knows my office now will not find the prospect of theft a surprise.) I think I know who stole it – a smart, self-made guy from Scarborough with a Thatcher/Blair admiration of the USA. In any case, whoever possesses the original inserts, which functioned as bookmarks, they will see my drawings of the Rolling Stones logo (Mick Jagger’s lips, teeth and tongue), reflecting my own expression of the two-finger salute to the establishment. But of course, that was before blogs gave us the capacity to express outrage in a medium other than the one that elicited it. Nowadays we would call it ‘punk sociology in action’.

Categories: Sociological Craft

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