Indigeneity and Universality in Social Science: A South Asian Response

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Emerging out of the Renaissance and the industrial revolution, the set of disciplines that got institutionalised as the social sciences were fashioned in Europe. However, what were areas of scholarly inquiry responding to specifically Western problems and concerns, laid claim to universality in course of time and were uncritically accepted as being so until they began to be challenged by non-Western thinkers in the second half of the twentieth century.

Bringing together 18 essays by distinguished social scientists, this volume is a major contribution to the debate on the indigenisation of the social sciences. It addresses two central questions from a primarily Asian perspective:

- Are the social sciences that originated in the West, and are essentially indigenous to it, universal for the rest?

- Can the universal explain the particular, unless the universals in the particulars of different cultural contexts contribute to the construction of the universal?

Some of the issues explored in this twin framework are:

- The de-parochialisation of Western social science.

- The concept of the ‘captive mind’, which fails to fathom its captivity.

- The limitations of Western social sciences on crucial issues such as modernisation, economic liberalisation and structural adjustment.

- The validity and potential of indigenous models of development as demonstrated by Bhutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness.

- Oral traditions and their potential for universal knowledge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761932154
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Indigeneity and Universality in Social Science - Partha Nath Mukherji
Social Science and the Quest for a Just Society - Immanuel Wallerstein
The Captive Mind and Creative Development - Syed Hussein Alatas
The Call for Indigenization - Yogesh Atal
Economic Theory and Development Practice - Saman Kelegama and Chris Rodrigo
Stiglitz's Critique and the Sri Lankan Experience
Pseudo-Modernization and the Formation of Youth - S T Hettige
Poverty in a Rural Economy - Bishwambher Pyakuryal
Opportunities and Threats - A Case Study of Nepal
Inquiring Minds and Inquiry Frames - Ajeet N Mathur
NGO Failure and the Need to Bring Back the State - S Akbar Zaidi
Values and Development - Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley
Gross National Happiness
Gross National Happiness - Stefan Priesner
Bhutan's Vision of Development and Its Challenges
Glimpses of Social Structure in Ancient Indian - Rangalal Sen
Kautilya's Relevance for Sociology in South Asia
Institution-Building in South Asia - T K Oommen
Dilemmas and Experiences
Traditions and Actors - Satish Saberwal
'Communities' Reconfigured in 19th Century India
Globalization, Intellectual Property Rights and Indigenous Response - Indra N Mukherji
Consultative Managerial Leadership Style in India - Satish Kumar Kalra
A Viable Alternative
The Indigenous and the Modern - Jacob Aikara
Education in South Asia
Urban Sociology of South Asia - Chandan Sengupta
The Problem of Formulating the Indigenous
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