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Department of Sociology


Sociology, as a discipline, was born at the height of global colonialism and imperialism. Over a century later, it is yet to shake off its commitment to colonial ways of thinking.

On Fri 26 Feb at 10am (GMT), the Department of Sociology at Cambridge will be hosting a digital book launch for Dr Ali Meghji’s ‘Decolonizing Sociology’ via Twitter. Dr Meghji will be posting a thread of some of the key arguments contained in his book, and some of the open questions contained in the discussions of postcolonial and decolonial approaches to/in sociology. Our aim is to create a dialogical process with lots of engagement and interaction, so in this spirit we want to encourage people to post questions and thoughts onto Ali’s thread as he tweets, and he will reply to your comments as a Twitter-mediated Q&A!

You can buy Decolonizing Sociology via and Wiley.

The book

This book explores why, and how, sociology needs to be decolonized. It analyses how sociology was integral in reproducing the colonial order, as dominant sociologists constructed theories either assuming or proving the supposed barbarity and backwardness of colonized people. Ali Meghji reveals how colonialism continues to shape the discipline today, dominating both social theory and the practice of sociology, how exporting the Eurocentric sociological canon erased social theories from the Global South, and how sociologists continue to ignore the relevance of coloniality in their work.

This guide will be necessary reading for any student or proponent of sociology. In opening up the work of other decolonial advocates and under-represented thinkers to readers, Meghji offers key suggestions for what teachers and students can do to decolonize sociology. With curriculum reform, innovative teaching and a critical awareness of these issues, it is possible to make sociology more equitable on a global scale.


“Sociology is a late comer to the decolonizing discourses in the social sciences and humanities. This book, therefore, is an important addition to a slow but steadily growing literature, and reaffirms the stance that to decolonize our discipline is only epistemically just.”
Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore

“In this well-written and lively book, Ali Meghji makes the 'decolonial' project accessible to a wide audience of students and scholars. A welcome guide to a complex intellectual terrain that social scientists can no longer ignore.”
Julian Go, University of Chicago, author of Postcolonial Thought & Social Theory

About the author

Dr Ali Meghji is a Lecturer in Social Inequalities in the department of sociology, Cambridge. He is the director for the MPhil in marginality and exclusion, the course organiser for SOC12 Empire, colonialism, imperialism, and the chair of 'Decolonising Sociology'. Currently, Ali’s predominant research interests lie in bridging the epistemological, methodological, and empirical divergences between critical race theory and decolonial thought. Through this research, Ali intends to balance the study of national racialized social systems with the global process of coloniality.

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