Toward a Buddhist Sociology: Theories, Methods, and Possibilities

Janine Schipper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article explores potential links between Buddhism and sociology, highlighting the many commonalities between sociology and Buddhism, with an emphasis on ways that Buddhist thought and practice may contribute to the field of sociology. What could Buddhism offer to our understanding of social institutions, social problems, and to the dynamics and possibilities for social change? The Four Noble Truths, central to Buddhist teachings, are explored in reference to their sociological theory applications. Finally, mindfulness practices that are endemic to Buddhism are explored as tools for sociologists to consider as they work reflexively, develop sociological insights, and pursue social justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-222
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Sociologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Buddhist Sociology
  • Qualitative methods
  • Social change
  • Social justice
  • Sociological theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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