"Studies are also used--by social
scientists and by other people--in ideological ways. In fact the
ideological relevance of social science is inherent in its very existence
as social fact. Every society holds images of its own nature--in
particular, images and slogans that justify its system of power and the
ways of the powerful. The images and ideas produced by social scientists
may or may not be consistent with these prevailing images, but they always
carry implications for them. In so far as these implications become
known, they usually come to be argued over--and used:
justifying the arrangement of power and the ascendancy of the powerful,
images and ideas transform power into authority.
criticizing or debunking prevailing arrangements and rulers, they strip
them of authority.
distracting attention from issues of power and authority they distract
attention from the structural realities of the society itself" (The
Sociological Imagination, 1959, p. 80).