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Emancipatory Social Science

Emancipatory Social Science

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Eric Olin Wright
Emancipatory Social Science

Emancipatory social science seeks to generate scientific knowledge relevant to the collective project of challenging various forms of human oppression…

To fulfill this mission, any emancipatory social science faces three basic tasks: elaborating a systematic diagnosis and critique of the world as it exists; envisioning viable alternatives; and understanding the obstacles, possibilities, and dilemmas of transformation. In different times and places one or another of these may be more pressing than others, but all are necessary for a comprehensive emancipatory theory…..

Crucially, to develop and exercise these potentials requires material resources and appropriate social conditions. The importance of material resources for human flourishing is obvious. Certainly without things like adequate nutrition, housing, clothing, and personal security it is difficult for most people to flourish in either the restrictive or expansive sense.

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