Skip to main content

Global Sociology: Towards an Alternative Southern Paradigm

Abstract

The project to (re)construct a global sociology is one where there is no agreed paradigm or even a shared understanding of the main issues that would be needed to secure a new robust and credible paradigm. What I seek to do here is to simply clarify the terms of the debate so as to establish whether we might pursue the quest for an alternative paradigm with some conviction. I first consider the ‘strong case’ for a global sociology based on the assumptions of globalisation theory which, overall, seems to suffer from economism in my view. Next I present a postcolonial perspective which posits a fundamental division between the global South and the North, an enterprise I find to be marked by a certain culturalism. I then present elements for an alternative approach towards a new paradigm based on an understanding of complexity, uneven development and the politics of scale. A brief Latin American excursus at the end seeks to provide some texture to the overall argument that a new global sociology could develop through a critical Southern lens and a focus on cultural political economy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Acosta, A. (2010). El buen vivir en el camino del post-desarollo. Friederich Ebert Stiftung, Policy Paper No. 9.

  • Albrow, M. (1996). The global age: State and society beyond modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Althusser, L., & Balibar, E. (1970). Reading capital. London: Verso.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arrighi, G., Silver, B., & Brewer, B. (2003). Industrial convergence, globalization, and the persistence of the north–south divide. Studies in Comparative International Development, 38(1), 3–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Aschroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (Eds.). (1995). The post-colonial studies reader. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balibar, E. (1995). The philosophy of Marx. London: Verso.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bartra, R. (2002). Blood, ink and culture: Miseries and splendors of the post-mexican political condition. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Benjamin, W. (1969). Illuminations. NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

    Google Scholar 

  • Best, J., & Paterson, M. (Eds.). (2010). Cultural political economy. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhambra, G. (2007). Sociology and postcolonialism: Another ‘missing’ revolution? Sociology, 4(5), 871–884.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bhambra, G. (2014). Connected sociologies. Bloomsbury Academic

  • Bieler, A., Lindberg, I., & Pillay, D. (Eds.). (2008). Labour and the challenges of globalization. London: Pluto.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bisley, N. (2007). Rethinking globalization. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burawoy, M. (2008). Rejoinder: For a subaltern sociology. Current Sociology, 56(3), 435–444.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Calderón, F., Hopenhayn, M., & Ottone, E. (1996). Esa esquiva modernidad: Desarollo, ciudadanía y cultura en América Latina y el Caribe. Caracas: Nueva Sociedad.

    Google Scholar 

  • Canclini, N. G. (1995). Hybrid cultures: Strategies for entering and leaving modernity. Minneapolis: University Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Canclini, N. G. (2002). Latinoamericanos buscando lugar en este siglo. Buenos Aires: Paidós.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cardoso, F. H., & Faletto, E. (1969). Dependencia y desarrollo en América Latina. Mexico: Siglo XXI.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cardoso, F. H., & Faletto, E. (1979). Dependency and development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Castells, M. (1996). The information age—Volume I: The rise of network society. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Castells, M. (1997). The information age—Volume II: The power of identity. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chandhoke, N. (2005). How global is global civil society? Journal of World Systems Research, 11(2), 355–371.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chernilo, D. (2011). The critique of methodological nationalism: Theory and history. Thesis Eleven, 106(1), 98–117.

  • Coates, D. (2005). Varieties of capitalism: Varieties of approaches. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, R., & Kennedy, P. (2000). Global sociology. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, R., & Kennedy, P. (2013). Global sociology (3rd ed.). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connell, R. (2007). Southern theory. The global dynamics of knowledge in social science. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coronil, F. (2008). Elephants in the Americas? Latin American postcolonial studies and global decolonization. In M. Moraña, E. Dussel, & C. Jáuregui (Eds.), Coloniality at large: Latin America and the postcolonial debate (pp. 396–416). Durham: Duke University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Day, R., & Gaido, D. (2009). Witnesses to permanent revolution. Chicago: Haymarket.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Delaney, D., & Leitner, H. (1997). The political construction of scale. Political Geography, 16(2), 93–97.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Drainville, A. (2004). Contesting globalisation: Space and place in the world economy. London: Routledge.

  • Eisenstadt, S. (2000). Multiple modernities. Daedalus, 129(1), 1–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Escobar, A. (2010). Worlds and knowledges otherwise: The Latin American modernity /coloniality research program. In W. Mignolo & A. Escobar (Eds.), Globalization and the decolonial option (pp. 33–64). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Firebaugh, G. (2003). The new geography of global income inequality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Friedman, T. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty–first century. Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  • Fukuyama, F. (1992). The end of history and the last man. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gandhi, L. (1998). Postcolonial theory: A critical introduction. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ghemawat, P. (2007). Why the world isn’t flat. Foreign Policy, March-April

  • Gouldner, A. (1970). The coming crisis of western sociology. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the prison notebooks. London: Lawrence and Wishart.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grzanka, P. (2014). Intersectionality: A foundations and frontiers reader. Boulder: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Habermas, J. (1985). A philosophical-political interview. New Left Review, I (15) (May – June).

  • Hall, P., & Soskice, D. (2001). Varieties of capitalism: The institutional framework of comparative advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hart, G. (2002). Disabling globalization: Places of power in post-apartheid South Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Herod, A. (2001). Labor geographies: Workers and the landscapes of capitalism. New York: The Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jessop, B., & Sum, N. L. (2010). Pre-disciplinary and post-disciplinary perspectives. New Political Economy, 6(1), 89–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kapoor, I. (2008). The postcolonial politics of development. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kay, C. (1989). Latin American theories of development and underdevelopment. London: Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lutz, H., Vivar, M. T. H., & Supik, L. (2011). Framing intersectionality: Debates on a multi-faceted concept in gender studies. Farnham: Ashgate.

    Google Scholar 

  • McEwan, C. (2009). Postcolonialism and development. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mezzadra, S. (2011). How many histories of labour? Towards a theory of postcolonial capitalism. Postcolonial Studies, 14(2), 151–170.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mignolo, W., & Escobar, A. (Eds.). (2010). Globalization and the decolonial option. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Milanović, B. (2011). Global inequality: From class to location, from proletarians to migrants. Policy Research Working Paper 5820. Poverty and Inequality Team: The World Bank.

  • Moore, A. (2008). Rethinking scale as a geographical category: From analysis to practice. Progress in Human Geography, 32(2), 203–225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (1999). Labour in the global: Challenges and prospects. In R. Cohen & S. Rai (Eds.), Social movements in the global age (pp. 83–100). London: Athlone Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (2002). Labour and globalisation: A new great transformation? London: Zed Book.

    Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (2006). Global civil society: Royal road or slippery path. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 17, 325–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (2007). Globalization and contestation: The new great counter-movement. London: Palgrave.

    Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (2013a). Rethinking Latin America: Development, hegemony and social transformation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Munck, R. (2013b). The precariat: A view from the South. Third World Quarterly, 34(5), 747–762.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Patel, S. (Ed.). (2010). The ISA handbook of diverse sociological traditions. London: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Patel, S. (Ed.) (2014). Afterword: Doing global sociology: Issues, problems and challenges. Current Sociology, 62(4), 603–613.

  • Phillips, A. (1992). Universal pretensions in political thought. In M. Barrett & A. Phillips (Eds.), Destabilizing theory: Contemporary feminist debates. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Quijano, A. (2008). Coloniality of power, eurocentrism and social classification. In M. Moraña, E. Dussel, & C. Jáuregui (Eds.), Coloniality at large: Latin America and the postcolonial debate (pp. 181–224). Durham: Duke University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Radcliffe, S. (2011). Development for a postneoliberal era? Sumak kawsay, living well and the limits to decolonization in Ecuador. Geoforum, 43(2), 240–249.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ramirez, R. (2010). Socialismo del sumak kawsay o biosocialismo republicano. In Los nuevos retos de América Latina: Socialismo y Sumak Kawsay. Quito: SENPLADES.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reed, I. A. (2013). Theoretical labors necessary for a global sociology: Critique of Raewyn Connell’s Southern Theory. In J. Go (Ed.), Decentering social theory (pp. 157–171). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Reigadas, M. C. (1998). Neomodernidad y posmodernidad: Preguntando desde América Latina. In E. Marí (Ed.), Posmodernidad. Biblio Editores: Buenos Aires.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, W. (2011). Globalization and the sociology of Immanuel Wallerstein: A critical appraisal. International Sociology, 26(6), 723–745.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Romero, M., & Margolis, E. (Eds.). (2005). The Blackwell companion on social inequalities. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Said, E. (2002). A conversation with Neeladri Bhattacharya, Suvir Kaul, and Ania Loomba. In T. Goldberg & A. Quayson (Eds.), Relocating postcolonialism (pp. 1–14). Oxford: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmidt, V. (2006). Multiple modernities or varieties of modernity? Current Sociology, 54(1), 77–97.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silver, B. (2003). Forces of labor: Workers’ movements and globalization since 1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Sklair, L. (2001). Globalization: Capitalism and its alternatives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sklair, L. (2002). Sociology of the global system. Harvester: Hemel Hempstead.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smart, B. (2003). Economy, culture, and society: A sociological critique of meoliberalism. Buckingham: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, N. (1984). Uneven development: Nature, capital and the production of space. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stevis, D., & Boswell, T. (2008). Globalization and labor: Democratizing global governance. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stiglitz, J. (2006). Making globalization work. New York: Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sum, N. G., & Jessop, B. (2014). Towards a cultural political economy. London: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Therborn, G. (1976). Science, slass and society: On the formation of sociology and historical materialism. London: Verso.

    Google Scholar 

  • Urry, J. (2003). Global complexity. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallerstein, I. (1979). The capitalist world-economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallerstein, I. (1996). Open the social sciences. Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallerstein, I. (2004). World-systems analysis: An introduction. Durham: Duke University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Webster, E., Lambert, R., & Bezuidenhout, A. (2008). Grounding globalization: Labour in the age of insecurity. Oxford: Blackwell.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Williams, P., & Chrisman, L. (Eds.). (1994). Colonial discourse and post-colonial theory: A reader. New York: Columbia University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wimmer, A., & Schiller, G. (2002). Methodological nationalism and beyond: Nation-state building, migration and the social sciences. Global Networks, 2(4), 301–334.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • World Bank. (2000). World development report 2000–2001: Attacking poverty. Washington DC: World Bank.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ronaldo Munck.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Munck, R. Global Sociology: Towards an Alternative Southern Paradigm. Int J Polit Cult Soc 29, 233–249 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10767-016-9223-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10767-016-9223-9

Keywords

  • Global sociology
  • Postcolonialism
  • Critical sociology
  • Latin America
  • Inequality
  • Emancipation