The discipline of sociology is both organised in relation to a particular orientation to history as well as being constituted by that history. The failure to acknowledge the colonial histories that made the modern world contributes to what can be seen as the colonial structure of sociological thought itself.
Sociology’s orientation to history tends to be based around an implicit consensus on the emergence of modernity and the related ‘rise of the West’, as well as around a stadial idea of progressive development and the privileging of Eurocentred histories in the construction of such an account. There are, however, two key deficiencies within such accounts. First, that the processes identified as significant in understanding the key events of modernity are not simply internal to Europe, but had broader, global, conditions of emergence and development. Second, that other global processes usually not addressed by sociology, such as (settler) colonialism and the European trade in human beings, are also significant aspects of the shift to modernity. These, however, tend to be elided in sociology’s conceptual framing of the making of the modern world.
The Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project responds to these challenges by providing resources designed to support students and teachers interested in ‘decolonising’ school, college, and university curricula. It provides resources for the rethinking of sociological concepts, categories, and topics that will enable us to make better sense of the worlds we inhabit. This supplements and extends existing initiatives – such as the Runnymede Trust’s Our Migration Story and the Institute for Historical Research’s Teaching British Histories of Race, Migration, and Empire.
Currently, we have 4 modules in active development:
- The Making of the Modern World
- British Citizenship, Race, and Rights
- Colonial Global Economy
- Policing "Crime" and "Violence"
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex, a Trustee at the Sociological Review Foundation, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is co-editor of Discover Society, an online social research magazine, and editor of Global Social Theory. She is author of the prize-winning Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination and Connected Sociologies. She is also co-editor of Decolonising the University.
Amit Singh is a PhD student in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck University of London and organiser of Consented. Through Consented he runs a 22-week supplementary curriculum aimed at sixth formers at two schools in South and East London titled “Race, Class & Society”. As part of this project, he is designing a 6-week Key Stage 3 History Unit for a school in South London on "British Civil Rights", with the aim of sharing these resources more broadly.
Design and Development
Ishan Khurana is a PhD student at UCL working on the LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter experiment, a researcher at Autonomy and a co-organiser of Consented. Along with Lukas, he regularly runs youth projects in schools focussing on both the natural and social sciences.
Lukas Kikuchi is a PhD student in statistical physics at the University of Cambridge and a researcher at Autonomy. Along with Ishan, he regularly runs youth projects in schools focussing on both the natural and social sciences.
Lucy Capes is a history teacher in East London. She also runs a parallel curriculum of events, workshops and short courses called The Knowledge is Power programme.
Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper is Research Associate at the University of Greenwich and an Editorial Board member for The Sociological Review.
Prof John Holmwood is Professor Emeritus in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham.
Dr Su-ming Khoo is Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at Galway University.
Saquib Malik is a teacher of Philosophy, Beliefs & Ethics at Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, South London. He is also a coordinator of the Consented Youth supplementary curriculum at Chestnut Grove.
Dr Lucy Mayblin is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sheffield.
Dr Lisa Palmer is Deputy Director of the Stephen Lawrence Centre at De Montfort University.