DID Sociology Favor Social Injustice to the Detriment of Violence (S) ? European Sociology Facing Colonialism at the End of the 19th Century.

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:30
Oral Presentation
Matthieu DE NANTEUIL, University of Louvain, Belgium
This paper wishes to critically look at the conditions under which European Sociology was born at the end of the 19th century. If ithe latter was crucially innovative in the field of social injustice within capitalist societies ("the social question"), it was terribly silent on forms of violence generated by colonialism ("the colonial question"), i.e. forms of violence which were not produced by - and limited to - social inequalities. Embracing Marx's contributions and contradictions on this issue, this communication will critically examine Durkheim's text on Division of Social Labour (1893) and Weber's conferences on Science and Politics as Vocations (1919). It will show that the "Fonding Fathers" of sociology were unable to set up epistemic categories to analyse structural violence in European mondernity and, therefore, to open adequate routes to overcome them. For European sociology - esp. for critical sociology -, this has generated a situaton whereby social injustice has progressively become "a rule" - injustice are never legitimate: it's posible and necessary to combat them in a radical way - and violence "an exception" - a certain level of legitimate violene has to be accepted: violence can be regulated but not eradicated. Oppositely to such a vision, which also roots in Montesquieu and Elias' legacy, this communication wiil end with some proposals to combat structural violence in contemporary societies facing economic and political globalization. "Non-violence" is one of them.