Ken Plummer: Tales of a Critical Humanist

BSA Presidential Event
Ken Plummer: Tales of a Critical Humanist

Monday 17th October 2011
The British Library Conference Centre, London

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The BSA President, Professor John Brewer, proudly announces the third of a series of Presidential events to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the British Sociological Association.

UK sociologist, Ken Plummer, has worked to bring ‘marginal’ topics, theories and methods to the forefront of contemporary sociology and the day will consider the value of such developments. His ’tales’ will provide a personal, panoramic view of the state of sociology.

Ken Plummer is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and has been a doubting sociologist for over 45 years. Since the 1960’s, he has helped to pioneer the sociological study of contemporary gay life and develop a critical sexualities studies as well as playing a prominent role in developing a focus on life story and narratives in sociology. Amongst his key books are Sexual Stigma (1975), The Making of the Modern Homosexual (edited, 1981), Documents of Life: An Invitation to Critical Humanism (1st ed 1983; 2nd ed 2001), Telling Sexual Stories: Power, Change and Social Worlds (1995) and Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues (2003). He has aimed to foster a humanistic sociology that works against the grain through its focus on individuals, reflexivity and political values – a sociology he calls Critical Humanism. His most recent book Sociology: The Basics (2010) is a call to arms for a sociology that will help make a ‘better world for all’.

We are also delighted that the following high profile speakers will join us to reflect on Ken Plummer’s work:

Jeffrey Weeks is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University and a pioneer of gay and lesbian studies and the social historical study of sexualities. His most recent book is The Languages of Sexuality (2011).

Liz Stanley is Professor of Sociology & Director of the Centre for Narrative and Auto/Biographical Studies at the University of Edinburgh and a pioneer of feminist epistemology, and auto/biographical studies. Her most recent book is Mourning Becomes… Post/Memory and the Concentration Camps of the South African War (2009). A new edited collection is currently being worked on (with Ken’s involvement): Documents of Life Revisited.

Rob Stones is Professor of Sociology & Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Essex and a pioneer of structuration theory. His most influential works are Structuration Theory (2005) and Key Sociological Thinkers (2nd ed 2008).

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