Editorial for the special issue “Scopes of the Social Imaginary in Sociology” in the ÖZS

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In this editorial, we offer an overview of research on the social imaginary. We begin by sketching the difficulties one faces when dealing scientifically with the social imaginary as an object of study, as a theoretical concept, or as an approach to studying cultural phenomena. We then collect the different lines of tradition, which have so far referred to the social imaginary within sociology. Although it often seems to play a marginal role for sociological theories, it nevertheless becomes clear how important the social imaginary is for a whole range of different approaches. In a further step, we elaborate theoretical and methodological starting points for productive research. We offer a heuristic scheme which should help to relate and classify different conceptions of and approaches to the social imaginary. Building on this, we delineate the research questions and fields of investigation which the social imaginary reveals, as well as the epistemological and social functions which it enables. Finally, we introduce the reader to the contributions of this special issue.
Translated title of the contributionEditorial zum Themenheft „Einsatzpunkte und Spielräume des sozialen Imaginären in der Soziologie“
Original languageEnglish
JournalÖsterreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2019

Bibliographical note

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© 2019, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Soziologie.