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…
NARRATIVE POWER: A SHORT INTERVIEW In this short interview, Ken Plummer tells a little about his new book. Q: Why did you write Narrative Power? Narrative has become a contemporary buzzword: everybody’s talking about it. There’s now a vast amount of writing by academics in all kinds of different disciplines from literature and the…
STORYTELLING CONFERENCE 10th and 11th July 2018 University of Suffolk, UK We are excited to announce that the call for papers for our Storytelling Conference is now open. We invite papers that theoretically and empirically engage with a broad range of disciplines reflecting the diverse nature of storytelling and stories substantively and methodologically. Keynote Speakers…
Whose side are we on? Power, Stigma, Transgression and Exclusion in Everyday Life 4,5,6 July 2018 University of Lancaster For more info: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/sssi2018/ Ken Plummer: “Whose Side Are We On?” Revisited: On Narrative Power, Inequality and Hope ‘To have values or not to have values: the question is always with us’. And so Howard S.…
On Thursday February 11 2016, my dear friend, mentor and guru John Gagnon died at the age of 84. He had experienced problems with his leg and his eye, but the final period starting in October brought a terminal pancreatic cancer. He has been an inspiration and will be loved and missed by many.…
Today, March 9th, marks the 10th anniversary of my ‘illness’. It is this day in 2005 I was rushed to hospital in Santa Barbara, diagnosed with ‘alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver’, told to give up drink or die. It was also the day I first heard the word ‘transplant’ It…
Announcement of forthcoming seminar 50 Years of Essex Sociology: A seminar sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship ‘The Making of the Modern Homosexual’ Revisited A discussion between Ken Plummer and Jeffrey Weeks and other contributors chaired by Gregg Blachford and an update with Róisín Ryan-Flood. Thursday March…
I gave this lecture at the Huddersfield Conference TROUBLING NARRATIVES: IDENTITY MATTERS on June 20th 2014. In this lecture I revisited my study Telling Sexual Stories, published nearly twenty years ago. I began by considering the background – how it came to be written. I then asked what its original contributions might have…
Just to announce this annual course which I will be running again this year at the end of January 2014 at the University of Essex.
It is open to all . But as part of that endless money making machine called ‘university’, it now costs !
30-1 January 2014: Narrative research and documents of life
Professor Ken Plummer
At 10:00 in Seminar room 3, Constable Building.
Story tellings, and the narratives that accompany them, are basic human social processes; we are the narrating animal. Although such story tellings are often neglected in the orthodoxies of social research, they are usually critical to every stage of the human social research process.
Humanistic research places the human story at the research centre and adopts humanistic values in such research. It is interested in a wide array of tools for telling these stories, including photos, self analysis, artefacts and documentaries.
This course will look at some key recent trends in qualitative research, but especially the concern with narratives and stories. In the broadest terms we study the stories that people tell of their lives; we connect these stories to the stories of our lives; and we ultimately represent them as our ‘social science stories’ – in essays, theses, books, films, photos, media, conferences, exhibitions.
This course will take place from 30-31 January.
A MANIFESTO FOR A CRITICAL HUMANISM
ON QUESTIONING THE HUMAN SOCIAL WORLD
(Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, U.K.)
This was First Presented at the VI Congreso Andaluz de Sociologiá, University of Cadiz, November 2012
In June it was 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 email@example.com
Thou shalt not answer questionnaires
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs,
Nor with compliance
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit
A social science
– W.H. Auden ‘Under Which Lyre’. 1946
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
- Prologue: A very human animal in an all too human world
- On the Human Search for Meaning
- On Sociology
- The Challenge of Humanism
- Righting the Troubles with Humanism
- On Critical Humanism
- The Human Condition: Obdurate Features of the Human World
- On Human Potentials, Capabilities and Rights
- The Challenge of Plural Worlds, Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism
- On Becoming Human: The Process of Humanization
- A Sociology of the People: Being Practical and Pursuing the Wise Society
- We are the Story Telling Animals
- The Politics and ethics of Humanism: Living a Better Life and Making a Better World
- Dark Hope and Dreaming Ahead in Perpetually Troubled Timers: Key Directions For a Future Humanistic Agenda
- Further Reading