An Analysis of the Development of Turkish Sociology through a “Southern Sociology” Perspective: Historical and Empirical Findings

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Ercüment ÇELIK, Ankara University, Turkey
The rich contributions to the development of a Southern Sociology perspective have enabled sociologists in various countries to rethink and reassess the development of sociology discipline in their countries. This paper firstly, aims to identify the main theses of the scholars contributed to the Southern Sociology perspective such as Connell, Burawoy, Comaroff and Comaroff, Bhambra, Rosa, Maia etc. and then applies these to the historical development of Turkish sociology. The author selectively focuses on two periods, the 1930s-1950s and the 1970s-1980s, which would, he believes, be a valuable contribution from Turkey to the ongoing development of Southern Sociology perspective. The former period was remarked by the re-establishment of sociology at the Turkish universities with the contribution of German migrant scholars, who had to escape from the nationalist-socialist regime in Germany at those years. This period exemplifies a continuity of the Eurocentric development of sociology that extends and partly challenges the periodization of the development of sociology by Connell. The latter period was remarked by the contribution of Turkish scholars and intelligentsia to the international debates on the “Asian Type of Mode of Production” and “Petty Commodity Production”, which in turn exemplifies a Southern production of knowledge and engages with Burawoy’s arguments on Southern Sociology. The paper secondly, problematizes the hegemonic construction and structure of the discipline at Turkish universities and focuses on the teaching of ‘Contemporary Sociological Theory’ Courses. The author presents empirical findings of the content analysis of course syllabi and reading lists at 16 sociology departments and qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 14 sociologists teaching this course.