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Classics and classicality: JCS after 20 years

Susen, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-0643-1891 & Turner, B. S. (2021). Classics and classicality: JCS after 20 years. Journal of Classical Sociology, 21(3-4), pp. 227-244. doi: 10.1177/1468795X211034946


This article provides an introduction to the 20th Anniversary Special Issue of the Journal of Classical Sociology. It begins with some brief observations on the key developments that have shaped the disciplinary core of sociology over the past decades. It goes on to reflect on the role of classical sociology in Europe and beyond, drawing attention to its continuing presence in British and Anglo-American intellectual circles. Far from existing in a bubble of academic ivory towers, the paradigms emerging from disputes in the social sciences in general and in sociology in particular are profoundly shaped by wider historical trends – notably those influenced by different forms of collective action, as illustrated in the impact of social movements on the university sector in the late 1960s. In light of recent calls for ‘the decolonization of academia’, we ask to what extent sociology can, and should, strive to go beyond the hegemony of the ‘Western’ canon. Having given a succinct overview of the 20-year history of JCS, we elucidate the different formats of the material published in the journal, stressing the importance of editorial flexibility. On a more substantive note, we point out that the thematic scope of the work published in JCS has been wide-ranging and inclusive – not only because of its editors’ broad conception of ‘classics’ and ‘classicality’, but also because of the interdisciplinary spirit permeating the journal. This commitment, as we explain, manifests itself in the wide range of thinkers and topics discussed – from a multiplicity of perspectives – in the journal. We also grapple with noteworthy challenges posed by the academic publishing industry in the early 21st century, including the difficulties arising from peer-review processes. Finally, we express our gratitude to those who have contributed to this 20th Anniversary Special Issue and emphasize the journal’s commitment to defending the legacy of classical sociology.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher Keywords: Canon, classical sociology, classicality, classics, decolonization, humanities, JCS, Journal of Classical Sociology, paradigms, peer review, politics, social sciences, sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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