Book review: A sociology of Ireland / by Hilary Tovey and Perry Share. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2000.
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Citation:McCullagh, Ciaran. 'Book review: A sociology of Ireland / by Hilary Tovey and Perry Share. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2000.' - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, July, 2001, pp. 181-183, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
According to its authors, this book has two aims. The first is to offer an interpretation of the development of Irish society. The second is to provide an introduction to the discipline of sociology. Underpinning both of these is a particular vision of the nature of sociology. This regards all sociologies as in part at least national ones. The concern of sociology is to understand the particular society that the sociologist is a part of rather than interpreting it as a distorted version of some kind of amorphous modern society that is only inhabited by social theorists. As such this perspective involves taking Irish society seriously as a society in its own terms and not as an inferior or defective version of supposedly modern societies such as the United States, Germany or Great Britain. This is a useful and important starting argument all the more significant for the fact that it had to be made. It is an odd reflection on the institutional status of Irish sociology and of the status within that of work on Ireland that the authors feel the need to articulate and defend this position. It is unlikely that a textbook on British, American or Australian society would have to begin in this manner. But then senior professors in these countries would have achieved their position on the basis of research and interpretative work done of the countries in which they are employed, a situation that generally speaking does not apply in Ireland.
Publisher:Economic & Social Research Institute