A Genealogy of Sociological Theories — An Attempt at General Reflection
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The University of Opole
University of Silesia in Katowice
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Polish Sociological Review 2015;191(3):355–380
This article attempts to show the asymmetry in the framework of theoretical sociology. This asymmetry concerns the unambiguous domination of Western sociological theoretical systems over theoretical systems from outside theWest’s boundaries.We have in mind here the intellectual domination of representatives of countries of the North over countries of the South. It may be agreed simultaneously that such an asymmetry is acceptable and reasonable, and that it is unjust to ascribe unique truth and appropriateness to the theories of the North in explaining all the phenomena of the whole world—North and South alike. Thus in this article we present, in the historical perspective, selected sociological theories—in our opinion the most important ones—which confirm the validity of the domination of sociological theories of Europe and North America. We reach back to the first sociological systems of, among others, Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber, and the theories of social development. These latter are important in that it is precisely within their framework that two kinds of theories emerged with clear input from scholars of the South: dependency theory and endogenous theories of social development.