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To Be of Use

To Be of Use The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York Inspired by Marge Piercy’s poem “To Be of Use” (1973) and sobered by the loss of the late, fabulous Carolyn Payton who, in 1984, asked us all, “Who is going to do the hard things?” we write on the responsibility of social scientists to study critically “what is,” to imagine “what could be,” and to contribute responsibly to a mobilization toward “what must be.” We take seriously this call, when this year, this decade, this millennium, and this election cry out for a resurrection of the short-lived “radical promise” of SPSSI. Progressive scholars work today in a treacherous political and historic moment in which the relations of social research to social policy are badly misaligned. Even more severely strained are the relations between social justice and social policy. Globally and locally, the state has walked away from the needs of individuals, families, and communities, poor and working class communities of color in particular. We face what French theorist Pierre Bourdieu has called “a crisis of politics . . . [in which we encounter] despair at the failure of the state as the guardian of the public interest” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
ISSN
1529-7489
eISSN
1530-2415
DOI
10.1111/1530-2415.00012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York Inspired by Marge Piercy’s poem “To Be of Use” (1973) and sobered by the loss of the late, fabulous Carolyn Payton who, in 1984, asked us all, “Who is going to do the hard things?” we write on the responsibility of social scientists to study critically “what is,” to imagine “what could be,” and to contribute responsibly to a mobilization toward “what must be.” We take seriously this call, when this year, this decade, this millennium, and this election cry out for a resurrection of the short-lived “radical promise” of SPSSI. Progressive scholars work today in a treacherous political and historic moment in which the relations of social research to social policy are badly misaligned. Even more severely strained are the relations between social justice and social policy. Globally and locally, the state has walked away from the needs of individuals, families, and communities, poor and working class communities of color in particular. We face what French theorist Pierre Bourdieu has called “a crisis of politics . . . [in which we encounter] despair at the failure of the state as the guardian of the public interest”

Journal

Analyses of Social Issues & Public PolicyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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