So-called classical sociology took shape during perhaps the high point of a world dominated by imperial states. In the “west” the British, French, and German empires, along with a surging America, claimed political and sometimes territorial control over wide stretches of the globe. Beyond Europe and the United States, while the Ottoman and Qing empires were in there last days, new states were staking out their imperial claims such as Japan and Russia. The tension between a reality of empire and an ideal of sovereign nation-states eventually exploded in WWI. Curiously, much of this dynamic, especially the global power of empire, went theoretically unnoticed by the makers of modern sociology. This chapter explores this theme through a sketch of the failure of this theoretical reckoning in Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
Seidman, S. (2013), "The Colonial Unconscious of Classical Sociology", Go, J. (Ed.) Postcolonial Sociology (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 35-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-8719(2013)0000024008Download as .RIS
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