Welcome to the website for our ESRC funded research network, 'Connected Histories / Connected Sociologies: Rethinking the Global'.
Short web address is: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/esrcchcs
This website is the virtual 'hub' of our network. It contains a description of the project, information about forthcoming events and an archive of the group's work.
Research Context of the Network
This network addresses a specific research problem – that of global interconnections – in light of postcolonial critiques of the ‘Eurocentrism’ of dominant approaches. It does so in the context of specific epistemological and methodological challenges associated with interdisciplinary research undertaken in an international and cross-cultural context. Indeed, we see these substantive and methodological issues as integrally related. For example, while the focus of social science research has historically been delimited by national boundaries, it is now increasingly international and cross-cultural. This is, in part, as a consequence of increasing recognition that the issues that affect us within national communities are international in their nature and source. Further, such issues are rarely of concern simply to one discipline and are taken up within different disciplines, but often without common dialogue across the boundaries of those disciplines. There is frequently no address of the unique methodological issues raised by interdisciplinary research, nor reflection on the challenges of building knowledge systematically across disciplinary boundaries.
This network addresses fundamental questions of interdisciplinarity in the context of thinking and rethinking globalisation and the social scientific categories it produces and which also produce it as an object of research. In this way, we engage with recent discussions of the sociology of science and reflexivity in their application to the social sciences, such that social inquiry is not seen simply as a form of reflection upon a world produced by (other) social actors, but is also the co-producer of that world. Sociology and history as disciplines are crucial because of the way that they seem to be mutually implicated in forms of thinking and rethinking of the past in terms of its relation to the present. While the perceived scale and complexity of the problem of globalisation frequently gives rise to claims that it can only be addressed by cooperative effort across different disciplines, we would suggest that the current approaches are flawed and that our network offers an innovative and more effective way of looking at the problem.
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Gurminder K Bhambra
International Sociological Association 2010 conference