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Introduction: Is Classical Sociology Still in Vogue? A Controversial Legacy

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Chapter Summary

In the contemporary social sciences a certain amount of hostility is directed at classical sociology. Classical sociology in particular, is accused of having a dual, yet interconnected, nature. On the one hand, a view of society is no longer accepted without question that has eluded the critical issue of problematizing the relationship between the social and the geopolitical space of a nation delimited arbitrarily, with its resultant simplification of reality in epistemological, theoretical and methodological terms. On the other hand, classical sociologists are blamed for their vague awareness of processes of constituting nation-states, ethnic issues, and nationalism and inter-national relations. At the same time, when they are aware of such matters, classical sociologists are accused of having placed national society on a par with a compact repository for stable and well-defined social relations within (arbitrarily) delimited boundaries.

Keywords: classical sociology; ethnic issues; inter-national relations; nationalism

10.1163/9789004272217_002
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