Conclusion: Sociology and Social Theory After Postcolonialism – Towards a Connected Historiography



A key concern of this book has been sociology and its sense of the past. The conceptual categories of sociology, I have argued, are dependent on a particular historical understanding, but have been argued to be timeless, or universal, in character. I have argued that the categories are not universal, but embody a form of Eurocentrism. It has been my contention that the distinction between the discourse on the modern project and the practices and institutions of modern society is inadequate to address the world we inhabit and the problems we share. In fact, not only is such a separation inadequate, it actively contributes to the perpetuation of inequalities and injustices that are in urgent need of consideration and resolution. The distinction between discourse and structure that permeates sociological understandings — both in its dominant and postmodern forms — permits the perpetuation of inadequate concepts by admitting a multiplicity of forms of inadequacy and turning attention away from the problem of adequacy itself. This can be seen clearly in the way that modernization theory has given way to the theory of multiple modernities, which has, in turn, been supplemented by alternative, plural, and entangled modernities. These, I submit, are variations on a theme where the theme is always the necessary priority of Europe, or the West, in any understanding of the world.


Developmental Type Dominant Approach Dominant Narrative Historical Understanding Sociological Understanding 
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© Gurminder K. Bhambra 2007

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