Global sociology, live!

Global sociology, live!

Laleh Behbehanian & Michael Burawoy University of California, Berkeley

When sociology began as a positivist enterprise in the 19th century the goal was to develop laws of society that were universal in character, that applied everywhere and through all time. Such were Durkheim’s theories of the division of labor, of suicide, and of religion; such were Weber’s categories, classification and ideal types; and such was Marx’s theory of capitalism. A global sociology, on the other hand, is the culminating phase of the reaction against universal sociology, introducing geographical space as central to the formation of knowledge.  Global sociology directs attention to the particularity of many universal claims, but without dissolving everything into particularity, without abandoning the search for the universal.

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