The social sciences are under attack! The French minister for research is personally threatening the field of sociology, and, in January 2021, she launched an inquisition against the “Islamo-leftism” that is “corrupting” universities! In December 2021, Laurent Wauquiez wanted to cut the financial support provided by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region to Sciences Po Grenoble. The “Collège de philosophie” and the Observatoire du décolonialisme et des idéologies identitaires (Observatory of Decolonialism and Identity Ideologies), with the support of the pro-secularist Comité Laïcité République, organized a symposium on “wokeism” at the Sorbonne in January 2022. We could list many more examples here, and the way things are going, between these lines being written and the time they are read, further positions of this kind will surely have been staked out. However, we should begin by rejoicing. What luck: the social sciences are finally reasserting their role in dissent; intellectuals are finally remembering their mission of challenging the established order; the powers that be finally feel forced to react to this scandalous destabilization of the social order; let’s hope they won’t take long to imprison people… isn’t that right, Galileo? What a triumph for sociology!
Then, we should also grieve. While hostility toward the social sciences isn’t exclusive to our times, today it is taking on a new form in terms of its vigor and the effects it is starting to have. In France, where the general climate is particularly unfavorable to research and teaching—as demonstrated by the reduction in jobs and public funding in both fields, as well as the calling into question of their ways of workin…
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