Toward a Pragmatist Sociology

John Dewey and the Legacy of C. Wright Mills

Robert G. Dunn
Book Cover

HC: $45.00
EAN: 978-1-4399-1459-5
Publication: Feb 18

Ebook: $45.00
EAN: 978-1-4399-1461-8
Publication: Feb 18

204 pages
5.5 x 8.25

An original study that mines the work of John Dewey and C. Wright Mills to animate a more relevant and critical sociology

Read the Introduction (pdf).


In Toward a Pragmatist Sociology, Robert Dunn explores the relationship between the ideas and principles of philosopher and educator John Dewey and sociologist C. Wright Mills to provide a philosophical and theoretical foundation for the development of a critical and public sociology. Dunn recovers an intellectual and conceptual framework for transforming sociology into a more substantive, comprehensive, and socially useful discipline.

Arguing that Dewey and Mills shared a common vision of a relevant, critical, public sociology dedicated to the solution of societal problems, Toward a Pragmatist Sociology investigates the past and present state of the discipline, critiquing its dominant tendencies, and offering historical examples of alternatives to conventional sociological approaches. This original treatment of two influential American thinkers whose work offers a conception of and model for a sociology with public relevance and a sense of moral and political purpose should inspire future sociologists and others to regard the discipline as not only a science but also an intellectual, moral, and political enterprise.

Table of Contents


1. Against Sociological Formalism
2. C. Wright Mills and the Tradition of Social Criticism
3. The Social Pragmatism of John Dewey
4. The Unity of Theory and Practice
5. Values, Social Science, Pragmatism, and Social Critique


About the Author(s)

Robert G. Dunn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, California State University, East Bay. He is the author of Identifying Consumption: Subjects and Objects in Consumer Society (Temple) and Identity Crises: A Social Critique of Postmodernity.