Global connections, anti-colonial discourse, and multi-scaler divides


  • Sujata Patel Umea University


Polarized knowledge systems, colonial cognitive circuits, anti-colonial thought, colonial modernity , extraversion


The polarising divides in the contemporary world are not only about material and digital inequalities and exclusions. These relate to social science knowledge production and circulation as the UNESCO 2010 report graphically depicts. Though some semblance of this polarisation is captured within postcolonial and decolonial perspectives, its presence in most European and North American universities does not represent the complex discussions that it inhabits nor does it recognise that under and beyond this polarised structure, there are embedded distinctive knowledge circuits. An examination of the latter gives us a glimpse of distinct and diverse discussions that have emerged in the last eight decades around the various regions of the Global South on the theme of anticolonial knowledge systems and the politics of knowledge construction. In this paper I deliberate three alternate anti-colonial dominant/hegemonic knowledges: that of the indigenous vs the endogenous, that of colonial modernity, and that of extraversion and coloniality. I will argue that for global social theory to be effective, it should engage with the geographies and histories that these represent and promote diversities in social theorisations without which the former will repeat the binaries that have organised and continue to constitute social science fields.  Understanding the multi-scaler dimensions of global social theory will ultimately help to comprehend the complex grid that organises privilege, status, poverty, exclusion and power globally.


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