Present and Future of Sociology. A European Perspective
This lecture examines some main characteristics of sociology (and other social sciences) today. They exist now in almost all countries all over the world but this doesn’t lead necessarily to the decline of « methodological nationalism », following the expression coined by Ulrich Beck.
We should avoid any confusion between comparative approaches, and « global » or « cosmopolitan » ones.
The globalization of social sciences appear also when one considers the issue of language, and the quasi monopoly of English - a very complex question.
There is a contradiction between the reality in most Universities, and the discourses on pluri- or inter- or multi-disciplinarity, and one observes a strong tendency towards more and more specialization, and difficulties for many scholars to participate in rather general debates.
As a member of the scientific council of ERC, I discuss these issues taking into account the perspectives offered by this European institution. My conclusion : at the world level, we are facing now three main models for sociology, and not two : the International one, under anglo-saxon hegemony, the national one which resists to it, and the new European one, first of all with ERC.
Michel Wieviorka, professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, is the President of the Board of the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH). He was director of the Center for Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS, EHESS-CNRS) between 1993 and 2009. From 2006 to 2010, he was President of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and has been a member of the ERC (European Research Council) Scientific Council since 2014. He was co-director with Georges Balandier of the journal Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie from 1991 to 2011, and now heads the new SOCIO magazine (with Laetitia Atlani-Duault), which he created in 2013.
His research has focused on the notion of conflict, terrorism and violence, racism, anti-Semitism, social movements, democracy and the phenomena of cultural difference. After having edited the series "Voix et Regards" at Balland Publishing, he is now in charge of the series "Le monde comme il va" at Editions Robert Laffont, and with Julien Ténédos of the series "Interventions" at Editions de la MSH. His latest book is "The Jews, the Muslims and the Republic", at Editions Robert Laffont.