A Sociological Reading of Classical Sociological Theory

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"Do we still need to talk about the classics?" is perhaps one of the most basic yet difficult questions students and scholars of sociology face today. Mastery of the work of Marx, Weber and Durkheim remains to be a badge of membership—a rite of passage to become part of a community of professional sociologists. However, theory, as Robert Cox argues, is always for someone and for some purpose. Theories are always derived from particular standpoints and privilege certain perspectives. This article aims to unpack the classics' epistemological assumptions and argue for a critical renegotiation of their legacy. There is a need to contextualize, provincialize, and pluralize the classics to make them cognizant of non-Western and non-masculine accounts of modernity. The aim is to explore the possibilities of an approach that allows sociologists to make connections between social worlds without using European modernity as central referent for analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalPhilippine Sociological Review
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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