9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 European Sociology: Beyond Methodological Nationalism? Building AA, AA.326

Selective interpretations of the social in social theory or "I wished those theorists had looked beyond Britain"

Based on my doctoral research with thirty sociologists in England upon their self-understanding as sociologists, their claims and practices, my paper will deal with the theme of the selective interpretation of the social in social theory. Alongside synthesis and critique, the social was identified as one of sociology?s key features by my respondents. Seeing the production of social theory as a key form of sociological practice, the social is however often conveyed in ways that do not look beyond a Western perspective. The paper investigates how sociologists often do not question this selective perception and how those who have come from other than Western backgrounds are very much aware of this selectivity. The paper finally raises the question of what a perspective could look like which does not express the social in a eurocentristic way and how on the other hand classic, eurocentristic authors could be revisited in this light.