This essay considers the relationship between global sociology and sociological theory through an examination of the critique of Northern Theory developed by Raewyn Connell. The author accepts many of Connell’s criticisms of the formation of the Northern Theory canon, and of the false universalism of contemporary Northern Theory, but disputes the degree to which Connell has succeeded in finding a replacement for the “ethnosociology of the metropole” provided by current sociological theory. In particular, the author suggests that, in Southern Theory, Connell pursues an intellectual history of world philosophies instead of the development of theoretical concepts that could provide a more adequate global sociology from a Southern perspective. Connell leaves the reader with a reconstructed canon of classics, but without a new repertoire of middle-range explanatory and interpretive concepts with which to reconstruct our understanding of history itself. The former may be the necessary first step toward the latter, however, rendering Southern Theory an important moment in the global turn in sociological theory.
The author thanks Julian Go, Gurminder Bhambra, Claire Decoteau, and Kristen Schilt for reading and/or discussion of earlier versions of this text.
Reed, I.A. (2013), "Theoretical Labors Necessary for a Global Sociology: Critique of Raewyn Connell’s
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