Tag: Imagining Better Worlds

This week I am launching the first draft of 





 First Presented at the VI Congreso Andaluz de Sociologiá, University of Cadiz, November 2012

To be published in Daniel Nehring: Sociology: A Text and Reader ( Pearson, 2013).

This is the first edition; it is now under revision for a 2nd version. Comments are welcome

Contact Ken Plummer at plumk@essex.ac.uk

you can find it by clicking here: Manifesto

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, 1869

These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. William James:  The Will to Believe. 1896



      1. Prologue: A very human animal in an all too human world
      2. On the Human Search for Meaning
      3. On Sociology
      4. The Challenge of Humanism
      5. Righting the Troubles with Humanism
      6. On Critical Humanism
      7. The Human Condition: Obdurate Features of the Human World
      8. On Human Potentials, Capabilities and Rights
      9. The Challenge of Plural Worlds, Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism
      10. On Becoming Human: The Process of Humanization
      11. A Sociology of the People:  Being Practical and Pursuing the Wise Society
      12. We are the Story Telling Animals
      13. The Politics and ethics of Humanism: Living a Better Life and Making a Better World
      14. Dark Hope and Dreaming Ahead in Perpetually Troubled Timers: Key Directions For a Future Humanistic Agenda
      15. Further Reading



Shit! It’s World Toilet Day

Shit! Monday 19th November is World Toilet Day Today is World Toilet Day. Across the world of some seven billion people, some  2.6 billion people ( 40%) have no access to sanitation. It is the direct cause of much disease and death. The Millennium Development Project wants to halve this by 2015.  (click on this)…

Quoting Humanisms: Let’s Hope!

I am a pessimist because of intelligence

but an optimist because of will    Antonio Gramsci


Quoting Humanisms

We are all the same race: the human race.


I recently found this image and slogan: it was new to me.

I found it on an interesting site for for scholars researching the queer diaspora:

You can find this at:

Queer Migration Research Network  (Click)


(I have tried to approach the photographer – but no success yet)

So here is the image – and the quote:

On Cosmopolitanism

Ten Theses on Cosmopolitanism There exists a real humanistic universalism of differences (including sexual differences). Human difference is a sine qua non of human existence. I believe that these differences have to be a key subject for the human studies. There are perpetual conflicts about these differences (including sexual differences), the source of much human…

Up Marx :


Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.

Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. Karl Marx 1852

Quoting Humanisms

‘First of all, he said, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you”ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view..until you climb into their skin and walk around in it…. (page 41)

Harper Lee,  To Kill a Mockingbird

Love, Loss and Laugher: Visions of Alzheimer’s

The work of the sociologist –photographer Cathy Greenblat  has aimed to show the ‘active’ nature of Alzheimer’s across the world; and how ‘good care’ can be crucial in creating situations to enable a better life for people with Alzheimer’s.  As she remarks: As a social scientist, I know how much expectations influence achievement, and I…

Pessimism, Hope and Real Utopias

Imagining Better Worlds? Pessimism, Hope and Real Utopias I have recently been reading two books with hugely different claims. One is by by the arch conservative philosopher Roger Scruton; the other by a long dead and much admired Marxist, Ernst Bloch. The conservative is arguing for The Uses of Pessimism – the importance of pessimism…

%d bloggers like this: