Freed from direct political constraints, many sociologists from former Communist countries have sought to maintain a clear distinction between research and politics through an attachment to objectivity, conceptual clarity and methodological rigour. Yet they have often sidestepped the critique of epistemological certainties which has become orthodoxy in much 'Western' thinking, and which has implicated sociology in the very structures of power it describes. This collection of writings, based on the 2002 Critical Sociology Conference held at Tbilisi State University in Georgia, was produced by sociologists working as members of or visitors to post-Communist states. As such, it reflects the tension between the desire for scholarly distance and an ackwledgement that the construction of kwledge is always a political act and a product of hierarchical social relations. Whether considering the issue of political legitimacy in Kyrgyzstan, the political nature of discourse about Eastern Europe, or problems of institutionalisation in Georgia, the authors all seek to avoid the scepticism about the effects and ethics of sociology common in much Western social theory without falling back upon the positivist approaches apparent in much of the former Communist bloc and in important pockets of Western academia.
The Editors: Carol Harrington is an assistant professor in political science at Central European University, Budapest. She has published papers in Women's Studies International Forum and New Zealand Sociology on the links between intersubjectivity, social identity, social networks and political power. Ayman Salem is completing a Ph.D. thesis in social theory at University College, London. He is a guest lecturer in sociology at Tbilisi State University in Georgia and the editor of A Question of Method: Teaching in the Social Sciences at Post-Soviet Universities (2002). Tamara Zurabishvili is completing a Ph.D. thesis in media studies at Moscow State University on nationalism and national stereotyping in the mass media. She is a senior lecturer in sociology at Telavi State University, Georgia.
Verlag Peter Lang
Date of Publication
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
Verlag Peter Lang
Ayman Salem, Carol Harrington, Tamara Zurabishvili