Beyond Sociology: An Introduction and An Invitation

  • Ananta Kumar Giri


Exploring new frontiers of sociology does not mean extending existing theories and methods but rather interrogating some of its uncritically accepted modernist assumptions, such as the equating of society and nation-state, the dualism of individual and society and that of ontology and epistemology. Beyond Sociology explores pathways in which we go beyond sociology in terms of exploring the contours of a transformational sociology; this seeks to transform the assumptions of conventional sociological theorizing and practice as well as modes of sociological imagination. Despite all the waters that have flowed around the world for the last 150 years, contemporary sociology, even so-called global sociology, suffers from what Ulrich Beck called the NATO-like firepower of Western sociology. In this context, sociology has to open itself to transcivilizational dialogues and planetary conversations about the very themes of thinking about self, culture and society. So far, globalization of sociology has meant globalization of themes and methods of modernist sociology, which makes an easy equation between sociology and modernity. For sociologists such as Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and André Béteille, sociology is a modern discipline and is post-traditional. But if sociology blindly follows the post-traditional teleology of modernity, how can it study varieties of forms of life—traditional, modern, postmodern and transmodern? These varieties of forms of life exist not only in the so-called traditional societies such as India or Lapland but in all contemporary societies—whether India, Indonesia, Sweden, France, Britain, Germany, Singapore, China or the USA. Beyond Sociology thus initially challenges us to go beyond an a priori teleological privileging of the post-traditional telos of modernist sociology. It invites us to make a foundational interrogation of modernist sociology as a prelude to making sociology part of a planetary conversation about the very themes such as society and individual that it seeks to understand.


  1. Beck, U., Giddens, A., & Lash, S. (1994). Reflexive Modernization: Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in Modern Social Order. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  2. Béteille, A. (2002). Sociology: Essays on Approach and Method. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Clammer, J. (1995). Difference and Modernity: Social Theory and Contemporary Japanese Society. London: Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  4. Dussel, E. (2017). Transmodernity and Interculturality: An Interpretation from the Perspective of Philosophy of Liberation. InResearch as Realization: Science, Spirituality and Harmony. Delhi: Primus Books.Google Scholar
  5. Giri, A. K. (2006). Creative Social Research: Rethinking Theories and Methods and the Calling of an Ontological Epistemology of Participation. Dialectical Anthropology, 30(1), 227–271.Google Scholar
  6. Giri, A. K. (2012). Sociology and Beyond: Windows and Horizons. Jaipur: Rawat Books.Google Scholar
  7. Giri, A. K. (2013a). Knowledge and Human Liberation: Towards Planetary Realizations. London: Anthem Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Giri, A. K. (2013b). Rethinking Integration. Sociological Bulletin, 62(1), 100–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Giri, A. K. (Ed.). (2017a). Pathways of Creative Research: Towards a Festival of Dialogues. Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  10. Giri, A. K. (Ed.). (2017b). Cultivating Pathways of Creative Research: New Horizons of Transformative Practice and Collaborative Imagination. Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  11. Giri, A. K. (Ed.). (2017c). Research as Realization: Science, Spirituality and Harmony. Delhi: Primus.Google Scholar
  12. Habermas, J. (2001). Justification and Application: Remarks on Discourse Ethics. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  13. Madan, T. N. (2011). M.N. Srinivas: The Man and His Work. InSociological Traditions and Perspectives in the Sociology of India (pp. 174–194). Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ananta Kumar Giri
    • 1
  1. 1.Madras Institute of Development StudiesChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations