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Sociology and Beyond: Towards A Deep Sociology

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This paper explores potential new directions for a sociology linked more to Asian social theory and to new forms of knowledge emerging from ecology and the new social movements than to its older foundations in Western philosophy and conceptions of society. It suggests that there is a route beyond the trajectory of modernist and postmodernist social thinking and it calls into question the anthropocentric, Cartesian and dualistic assumptions of most conventional sociology. It does so by exploring the possible relationships between sociology and the existential issues thrown up by Asian philosophical and religious traditions, and in particular Buddhism, and the in many ways parallel arguments of Deep Ecology. In doing so it calls into question the adequacy of current sociology as a vehicle for addressing fundamental existential questions and in particular the issues of social suffering, the emerging ecological crisis and the alternative conceptions of society generated by many of the new social movements, and suggests ways in which this inadequacy might potentially be resolved.

Affiliations: 1: United Nations University


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