Presented at the conference „Humanities and the Social Sciences in the Twenty-first Century“ organized by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), June 15-16, 2015
The presentation will attempt to define critical social science and explore its relationship to practical politics and collective action. It will then examine the different roles contemporary society offers to critical social scientists, after the demise of the figure of “organic intellectual”. It will focus on the situation of a critical social science cut off from political power and influence and under pressure from neoliberal “reforms” of academic scholarship and teaching. It also considers the need for critical social science to assert itself in a pluralist public governed by market laws against the white noise produced by omnipresent mass media, both conventional and new.