How Can We Characterise National Sociologies?

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:15 AM
Room: Booth 49
Oral Presentation
Jennifer PLATT , University of Sussex, Brighton, England
National sociologies are often referred to, either directly or implicitly, but the methodological basis for doing this is normally taken for granted rather than discussed, and relevant data are not evaluated critically.  The commonest formulation is probably in terms of the thought of those identified [in ways not specified] as leading national social thinkers, though there are also some cases where the contents of leading national journals [identified as such in ways not specified] are treated as sufficiently representative to be used.  There are also problems about what to define as the nation.  What if the state and its sociology are divided in important ways, for example by having different language communities? What if the sociological work done within state boundaries is closely integrated with sociological work done elsewhere, or significantly influenced by the work of recent immigrants?  Such questions raise issues about what could be defined as a 'national' sociology.  This paper explores the practical possibilities of empirical work on the characteristics of national sociologies as variously defined, giving special attention to some sources which have not commonly been used in this context.