Writing a World History of Sociology: Issues and Challenges
When did sociology emerge? When did it become worldwide? The answer to these two questions is usually understood as being obvious: sociology emerged in Europe and America in the mid-late 19th century and became internationalized from the mid-20th century onwards, spreading to Asia, Latin America, the Arab world and Africa. Historical evidence tells a very different story since sociology was reflected upon and even taught in certain non-Western countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, or Japan. Moreover, the internationalization of sociology from the mid-20th century onwards has to relativized or at least completed, since the internationalization process goes hand in hand with a nationalization process and also with the emergence, from the late 1960s on, of a more and more transnational Southern cooperation challenging the Eurocentric vision of social sciences. The presentation will draw on specific examples to outline the importance of a brand new vision of sociological history.
Stéphane Dufoix is Professor of Sociology at the Paris-Nanterre University (Sophiapol laboratory) and a Professor at Sciences-Po Paris. He works on the history of concepts and the historical sociology of the social sciences.