100 years of sociology in colonial and post-colonial cyprus: Mapping public sociology and critical thought of a small divided island-country

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Abstract

This paper charts 100 years of sociology in Cyprus, detailing the sources, the contributions and the potential for public sociology. The paper connects Cypriot sociology to the broader critical thought in global sociological debates and explores the development of sociological and social thought in Cyprus in a small post-colonial, divided country. It critiques explanations for its marginal position as an academic discipline in Cyprus. This paper challenges the prevailing view that Cypriot society is ‘isolated’, ‘insular’ and ‘barren’ when it comes to producing ideas, theories and sociology, including the effects of the Cyprus problem and the ‘deficient modernisation thesis’, best expounded by Caesar Mavratsas. It then provides the first taxonomy of the sources and themes on the evolution of Cypriot sociology before it focuses on current issues and developments. The paper argues that, despite this relative marginality at an institutional level, there is an abundance of sociological thinking outside, often against or beyond the outmoded policy and sociology, often used as apologetics for the establishment. Public sociology and critical sociology provide serious challenge to hegemonic knowledge regarding different issues such as the Cyprus problem, state formations, ethnic conflict/relations class, gender, sexuality and migration. The paper examines how the combination of these historical factors, together with the particular organisation of institutional and class power, shaped all aspects of social and cultural life, including the development of sociology as a discipline. The paper concludes on the potential for critical and public sociology derived from the magma of Cypriot society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-191
Number of pages59
JournalCyprus Review
Volume31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Colonialism
  • Critical sociology
  • Cyprus problem
  • Divided society
  • Policy sociology
  • Postcoloniality
  • Public sociology
  • Social imaginaries
  • Social magma

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