Sociology is what martial art?
15 Apr 2018
Many people are saying that sociology is a martial art. At least the good old Bourdieu said so, and he even made a movie out of it. For others, however, the art of sociology may seem more martian than martial. No wonder, sociological prose and what counts as evidence in the discipline sometimes has an extraterrestrial flair.
All of this immedately raises the question: Which martial art is sociology? Or, the more important question: which sociology is which martial art? To better comprehend the unnumbered reasons sociology is a martial art, I here present a list of potential mappings between martial arts and sociological subdisciplines or “styles”:
Mixed methods research maps elegangtly to MMA
Social epidemiology is sumo wrestling. People in this field are worked up over the obesity epidemic, and the link is obvious for all to see.
Welfare state/social policy research people are all obsessed with the Nordic model of martial arts: Glima wrestling, the long-forgotten Viking mode of fighting.
Analytical sociology is Kung Fu. Hard, targeted strikes.
Symbolic interactionism is perhaps Tai Chi? Or possibly Muay thai, with its pregame rituals.
Grounded theory-inspired qualitative work is of course ground fighting. It’s grounded, after all.
People working in sociology of the armed forces probably practice a Krav Maga-type of sociology.
I am sure there are as many mappings as there are styles of sociology and martial arts.
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