Author: kenplummer

For over 40 years I worried about things sociological; now I have time to stand and stare.

MOURNING SONDHEIM: PART 3 – SONDHEIM’S WORLD

         White. A-blank-page-or-canvas. So-many-possibilities.                               Sunday in the Park with George I have long been fascinated with Sondheim’s lyrics, writings, and musicals. They help bring alive an inspiring sense of a deeply human relational, moving, and contingent world stuffed full of everyday precariousness and ambiguity. Here we can sense negotiated social structures formed through fragile human beings…

MOURNING SONDHEIM: PART 2 – CHANGING THE MUSICAL

It has become a cliché that Sondheim was a powerhouse of change for the contemporary musical in the last half of the twentieth century. He remade it anew, brought fresh possibilities, gave it a new prominence – and, not least, he gave it a wider credibility as an art form. There were many earlier people…

WORLD AIDS DAY 2021 IN A TIME OF COVID

We live in a Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic. But we would be very foolish not to forget that it is just over 40 years since the world confronted AIDS and HIV. And we have had to live with it ever since. Looking back, those who were there find it hard to believe now how…

MOURNING SONDHEIM: 1 Sondheim Dies

Stephen Sondheim died on Friday November 26th, aged 91. A musical Giant for our times. The shaper of the modern musical. My guru. He has been with me as inspiration and muse these last fifty years and it is a sad day. I hope to write some reflections on him before too long. (For the…

THE EVERYDAY LIVES OF GAY MEN: Autoethnographies of the Ordinary has just been published, edited by Edgar Rodriquez-Dorans and Jason Holmes.

I have recently been involved in a new edited collection of personal stories by gay men. The Everyday Lives of Gay Men draws on the expertise of 12 contributors from different countries and fields, writing from an auto-ethnographic first-person approach. Putting the power of personal stories at the centre of the construction of sophisticated narratives of gay…

NARRATIVE NOW An interview with Ken Plummer

Earlier this year I was interviewed by two dynamic sociologists, Ashley Barnwell and Signe Ravn – both at the University of Melbourne (see picture below). They run a regular podcast series NARRATIVE NOW. These look at different approaches to narrative and‘how to employ them. For episode 4 they interviewed me about my engagement over the…

SOCIOLOGY: THE BASICS 3rd edition is now published

.  Yesterday, the third edition of Sociology: The Basics was published. It started life back in 2010, and has been translated into six languages: in South Korea, Indonesia, Portuguese / Brazil, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish/Mexico.  The new edition of Basics updates everything but keeps the structure very much the same. It might even be called the Covid-19…

CRITICAL HUMANISM: An interview with Ken Plummer

Critical Humanism: A Manifesto for the 21st Century (2021) Polity Press has just been published and here Ken is interviewed about the book. This was published on the Polity Press Blog on 27th September 2021. See https://politybooks.com/blog/ Q: I’ll start by asking you just what you mean by Critical Humanism?  KP. The words human, humanity and…

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