From the Publisher:
In this provocative and original retelling of the history of French social thought, George Steinmetz places the history and development of modern French sociology in the context of the French empire after World War II. Connecting the rise of all the social sciences with efforts by France and other imperial powers to consolidate control over their crisis-ridden colonies, Steinmetz argues that colonial research represented a crucial core of the renascent academic discipline of sociology, especially between the late 1930s and the 1960s. Sociologists, who became favored partners of colonial governments, were asked to apply their expertise to such “social problems” as detribalization, urbanization, poverty, and labor migration. This colonial orientation permeated all the major subfields of sociological research, Steinmetz contends, and is at the center of the work of four influential scholars: Raymond Aron, Jacques Berque, Georges Balandier, and Pierre Bourdieu.