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Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges - Sujata Patel

Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges - Sujata Patel

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Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges - Sujata Patel
Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges - Sujata Patel

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09/24/2014

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Current Sociology
 http://csi.sagepub.com/content/62/4/603The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/0011392114524514 2014 62: 603 originally published online 19 March 2014
Current Sociology 
Sujata Patel
Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges
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at Eindhoven Univ of Technology on June 10, 2014csi.sagepub.comDownloaded from at Eindhoven Univ of Technology on June 10, 2014csi.sagepub.comDownloaded from 
 
Current Sociology Monograph2014, Vol. 62(4) 603  –613© The Author(s) 2014Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.navDOI: 10.1177/0011392114524514csi.sagepub.com
CS
Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges
Sujata Patel
University of Hyderabad, India
Abstract
This Afterword maps out the methodological constituents that organize global sociology. It suggests that the starting point for doing global sociology is to deconstruct the inherent Eurocentrism which is there in the discipline’s cognitive frames. Also, it suggests that Eurocentrism is not merely represented in sociological theories and methods but is also enmeshed in practices and sites that administer and govern sociological knowledge, such as journals and curricula. Additionally, Eurocentric frames are organically connected with the discipline of anthropology with which sociology was interfaced through coloniality. It then discusses the other three methodological constituents that help to frame global sociology: provincialization, methodological nationalism and endogeneity. It concludes by suggesting that global sociology is possible if we work with these methodological constituents at many levels.
Keywords
Endogenous knowledge, Eurocentrism, global South, methodological nationalism, provincialization
A large number of sociologists today argue that the sociological theories of the 1950s and 1960s have little to no purchase; these being based on perspectives developed in late 19th- and early 20th-century theories that promoted the idea of ‘convergence’. They sug-gest that this model, in both its liberal and/or Marxist formulations, universalized the European experience and advocated the latter as the only framework to assess social change and dynamics in the globe. Sociologists now recognize that modernity and
Corresponding author:
Sujata Patel, Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500046, India. Email: patel.sujata09@gmail.com
CSI
 
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10.1177/0011392114524514Current Sociology
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2014
 Article
 at Eindhoven Univ of Technology on June 10, 2014csi.sagepub.comDownloaded from 
 
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 Current Sociology Monograph 2 62(4)
modernization have had varied articulations across the world and that today social theory has to account for this difference by introducing a ‘critical turn’ through plural and cos-mopolitan (Beck, 2002) frameworks of social change. As a consequence, a plethora of new models and concepts has evolved, such as multiple modernities (Eisenstadt, 1999), alternative modernities (Bhargava, 2010; Gaonkar, 2000), hybrid modernities (Bhabha, 1994), entangled modernities (Randeira, 2002; Therborn, 2003) and global modernity (Dirlik, 2007).It is now accepted that if an intellectual project for and of global sociology needs to deliberate the many different experiences of modernity, it also has to critically reframe the terms of classical sociology (Turner, 1967). This position reinforces Ulrich Beck’s (2010) question asked in
Global Dialogue
: ‘how can social and political theory be opened up, theoretically, empirically as well as methodologically and normatively, to historically new, entangled modernities which threaten their own foundations?’These concerns organize the discussions presented in this monograph issue. The authors take a different stance than Beck and many others who advocate plural and cos-mopolitan models. They suggest first, that the project of global sociology should be  perceived though the lens of coloniality (Dussel, 1993, 2000, 2002; Quijano, 2000; Wallerstein, 1997, 2006) and the critique of Eurocentrism
1
 (Amin, 2008).
2
 The perspec-tive of coloniality and Eurocentric critique focuses on the epistemic organization of knowledge in context to the unequal relations between the Atlantic
3
 and non-Atlantic regions of the world. It suggests that the structured processes of the global economy, pol-ity and society have not only been connected unequally since the late 15th century when the world capitalist system emerged, but that these asymmetrical connections and inter-face have also organized the discourse of sociological knowledge in a form that elides an assessment of these inequalities and thus of these experiences.Second, a project of doing global sociology is necessarily oriented to ontological and epistemic issues (Mignolo in this issue). For the Eurocentric critique contends that social theory needs to acknowledge and comprehend the epistemic silence regarding the his-torical inequalities and exploitation that connected up the different processes and institu-tions of knowledge across the globe. There were two aspects to this episteme; the first is historical and the second is sociological. The historical argument posits that there was and is only one experience of modernity – that which was experienced in and by Europe and that lineage is unique because of Europe’s heritage in the Greek–Roman civilization. The Eurocentric critique has questioned the historical foundations of this argument and suggested that European modernity can be traced back to the influence of Egyptian and Islamic scholastic ideas (Amin, 2008). The sociological interpretation has legitimized the historical uniqueness between Europe and non-Europeans as being natural. Coloniality instead asserts that the uniqueness of European modernity was moored in the way race (Quijano, 2000), gender and sexuality (Connell, 2007) were used to control labour. These differences were reconstructed as hierarchies dividing peoples and regions within the colonial capitalist world.Third, the perspective of coloniality and the Eurocentric critique argues for a need to examine the nature of the science behind the corpus of established knowledge regarding the ‘social’ as this was formulated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It critiques the facticity and the truth that were established regarding the universalism of modernity
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