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Indigenous and postcolonial sociology in South Asia: challenges and possibilities

Author:

Siri Gamage

School of Social Science and Psychology, Western Sydney University, Parramatta., AU
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Abstract

This paper examines the critical debates and discussions on the Eurocentric nature of sociology in its origin, diffusion, dominance and practice on the one hand and counter discourses that have emerged from disparate groups of sociologists from different parts of the world, on the other. In the process, this paper explores the unequal nature of global knowledge discourse and its impact on the sociology debates and practice in the global periphery with a focus on South Asia. The work of several sociologists who have contributed to the discourses on postcolonial theory and sociology, alternative, indigenous and pluralist sociology, are reviewed with a view to highlighting the predicament of conventional metropolitan sociology as it is practised in the colonised periphery. Ideas for a fresh sociological imagination consonant with indigenous intellectual traditions in South Asia are discussed along with the need to retool methodology. Usefulness of new approaches such as relational and connected sociologies and Southern Theory are discussed. Several approaches and strategies that sociologists in the region can utilise in formulating a knowledge field that is integral with the needs of the people and consonant with their own intellectual or knowledge traditions are also surveyed. The need to go beyond essentialist binaries constructed by imperial/colonial sociology is emphasised along with the need for forming epistemic communities in centres of learning with a view to examine emerging proposals from critical sociologists for a new sociology imagination rooted in the South Asian context.

How to Cite: Gamage, S., 2018. Indigenous and postcolonial sociology in South Asia: challenges and possibilities. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 41(2), pp.83–99. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v41i2.7696
Published on 31 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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