Metareflection, middle-range theory and pausing to think
Professor Graham Scambler (UCL, University of Surrey) will speak on 'Metareflection, middle-range theory and pausing to think'.
My focus in this contribution is on links between sociology’s macro-, meso- and micro-foci. I advocate making more constructive use of already available theoretical and substantive resources than we currently deploy. This necessarily involves a willingness to counter the present tendency to compress the past in the interests of institutional and personal advantage. I argue that we seriously underestimate the utility of extant literatures, theoretical and empirical, and illustrate this with reference to publications on health inequalities. Via a playful use of the Rubik Cube, I argue for: (a) the unrealized and ‘explosive’ explanatory potential of the sociology of health, illness and health care; (b) an acknowledgement of the limitations as well as the reach of the sociological project; and (c) outline a future research programme for (my) ‘six sociologies’ (professional, policy, critical, public, foresight and action). I shall be willing to expand on this in a nearby bar afterwards.