Culture from a different, Islamic Perspective

There are nowadays a number of reasons to encourage sociologists to study culture in order to seek a deeper understanding of the nature and manifestations of culture in the behaviour of individuals and societies. Globalisation has become a hot topic for all at the beginning of the twenty-first century (al-Khuli 2000, p.515). In today’s world, economic globalisation is particularly prominent. But it is no exaggeration to say that most people on the five continents feel that cultural globalisation is even more present. The information and communication revolutions naturally play a decisive role in the greater prevalence of communication, which serves to disseminate the hallmarks of cultural globalisation to all corners of the globe, east, west, north and south.

Capitalism's Impending Dangers for Global Humane Development

The author suggests that development models influenced by the capitalist model of development overlooks nonmaterial dimensions of development and underdevelopment. As a consequence of this, social sciences, which are shaped by capitalist concerns also, do not examine the negative consequences of colonization on underdeveloped societies. The problem is not just ideological it is also epistemological. Positive social science, according to the author an offshoot of capitalism, is also unable to comprehend the most important consequence of colonization - other underdevelopment - the underdevelopment of the cultural symbols, psychology, and language of the colonized societies. The author advances a model that will help include an analysis of cultural symbolic underdevelopment in the study of development and underdevelopment of societies. 

Reflections into the Spirit of the Islamic Corpus of Knowledge and the Rise of the New Science

There is no question that contemporary western civilization has been dominant in the field of science since the Renaissance. Western scientific superiority is not limited to specific scientific disciplines, but is rather an overall scientific domination covering both the so-called exact and the human-social sciences. Western science is the primary reference for specialists in such areas as physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, economics, psychology, and sociology. It is in this sense that Third World underdevelopment is not only economic, social, and industrial; it also suffers from scientific-cultural underdevelopment, or what we call "The Other Underdevelopment" (Dhaouadi 1988).

Social Science’s Need for a Cultural Symbols Paradigm

Abstract: The thesis of this paper is that human beings are remarkably distinct from other living beings (animals, birds, insects, etc.) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) machines (computers, robots, etc.) by what we would like to call cultural symbols. The latter refers to such cultural components as language, science, knowledge, religious beliefs, thought, myths, cultural norms and values.

Social Sciences in Crisis: A Dialogue with Professor Neil Smelser on the Future of Social Sciences

Professor Mahmoud Dhaouadi is a sociologist at the University of Tunis, Tunisia. As part of his Fulbright Research on “the State of American Sociology Today,” he interviewed Professor Smelser on January 5, 2001, director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California. Here are some excerpts.

DHAOUADI: Based on my own observations and impressions, one talks more about sociology as a discipline having a crisis, than about psychology or political science. How do you respond to that?

SMELSER: I heard this kind of talk among sociologists. Among the questions raised in their frequent conversations are: What is the field about? What are the boundaries about? Is it (sociology) fragmented? Is it practiced … etc?

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