Bonner, Raffel Redefining the Situation
St. Jerome’s University is pleased to recognize professor Kieran Bonner, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies and Director of the Human Sciences program, on the publication of Redefining the Situation. The book features the writings of internationally known sociologist Peter McHugh (1929-2010).
Bonner co-edited the volume with Stanley Raffel of the University of Edinburgh, who sadly passed away last year before the book’s publication. It is the only collection of McHugh’s sole-authored writing, presenting a comprehensive view of the influence of this key theorist in the field of anti-positivist social theory.
Redefining the Situation is a compendium of McHugh’s published and unpublished short-form writings, along with three new essays on McHugh’s work, one by his long-time collaborator and friend Alan Blum and the other two by Bonner and Raffel. The collection contributes to a new perspective from which to imaginatively rethink the development of sociology over the last fifty years. The reader is led through the development of a method to analyze everyday behaviour in light of fundamental questions, exploring conflicts and connections between socialization and recidivism, fragmentation and ethnic cleansing, justice and affirmative action, teaching and university politics, and intimacy and aesthetics.
Bonner was introduced to Blum and McHugh’s work in 1974 while an undergraduate student in Trinity College, Dublin. “These essays and articles offer an opportunity to follow McHugh’s thoughts and reflect on the history of social and sociological theory,” stated Bonner, adding that Raffel took the reins on the project in 2015 recognizing the significance of making McHugh’s work widely available. In addition to the cross-Atlantic partnership working on this volume and to co-authoring the extensive Introduction with Raffel, Bonner is the author of the final paper in the publication: an analysis of a series of interviews he conducted with McHugh.
“Anyone who has spoken to Dr. Bonner about social theory will know how much the work of Peter McHugh and Alan Blum has influenced him as a scholar,” said Scott Kline, the St. Jerome’s University Vice President Academic and Dean. “This book stands as a testament to Dr. Bonner’s love of the liberal arts and his commitment to preserving the legacy of scholars, particularly McHugh and Blum, who pursued an important line of inquiry in the history of contemporary sociology and social theory. As a university rooted in the liberal arts, we are excited to celebrate the publication of this book with him,” Kline added.