Ein Jahr in Deutschland: Impressionen eines asiatischen Soziologen

  • Huang Li Choi (Autor/in)

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Having the chance to spend an academic year in a Westem society, a Third World sociologist experiences such a venture as a kind of pilgrimage: he/she is full of expectations about what he/she will be able to learn, to acquire, to achieve. Mostly, these expectations are so high that there is almost no chance of their being disappointed: too much is to be learnt to give way to any feeling of disappointment. However, a sober and clear-headed account of an Asian sociologist’s one year stay in Europe, in West Germany mostly, should not suppress some critical remarks on the impressions the present state of German sociology has made on the author’s mind. Among them are a conspicuous lack of academic communication among German sociologists, an inclination to conceal from each other their academic intentions and their methods of work, a disposition to be caught up in their theoretical and methodological rivalries instead of dedicating themselves to actual social problems. Also, there is a remarkable narrow-mindedness among German sociologists, coupled with a widespread ignorance of and disinterest in the socio-cultural situation and structures in non-Westem societies. Observations of this kind are interpreted in the light of the petit bourgeois character of contemporary German sociology as a social phenomenon. The observations presented in this article lead to the conclusion that German sociology, and perhaps Westem sociology in general, seems to be faced by an urgent challenge to better understand its own role in society and to account for its eurocentric perspective instead of regarding itself as universal in its approach and cosmopolitan in its attitude.