As a fountainhead of postcolonial scholarship, Edward Said has profoundly impacted multiple disciplines. This chapter makes a case for why sociologists should (re)read…
As a fountainhead of postcolonial scholarship, Edward Said has profoundly impacted multiple disciplines. This chapter makes a case for why sociologists should (re)read Edward Said, paying specific attention to his warning about the inevitably violent interactions between knowledge and power in historic and current imperial contexts. Drawing on Said and other postcolonial theorists, we propose a threefold typology of potential violence associated with the production of knowledge: (1) the violence of essentialization, (2) epistemic violence, and (3) the violence of apprehension. While postcolonial theory and sociological and anthropological writing on reflexivity have highlighted the former two dangers, we urge social scientists to also remain wary of the last. We examine the formation of structures of authoritative knowledge during the French Empire in North Africa, the British Empire in India, and the American interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan during the “Global War on Terror,” paying close attention to how synchronic instances of apprehension (more or less accurate perception or recognition of the “other”) and essentialization interact in the production of diachronic essentialist and epistemic violence. We conclude by calling for a post-orientalist form of reflexivity, namely that sociologists, whether they engage as public intellectuals or not, remain sensitive to the fact that the production and consumption of sociological knowledge within a still palpable imperial framework makes all three violences possible, or even likely.
The Greek debt crisis (2009–2018) was an event that received unprecedented media attention worldwide. The media reproduced a highly negative image of Greece, addressing…
The Greek debt crisis (2009–2018) was an event that received unprecedented media attention worldwide. The media reproduced a highly negative image of Greece, addressing the crisis in exceptionalist terms, usually under a moralistic and culturalist explanatory framework. Drawing on earlier research, this chapter focusses on the culturalist discourses developed by popular Greek mainstream news media, of conservative and liberal political orientation, such as Kathimerini, Athens Voice and Protagon.gr. Through what is understood as a ‘self-orientalising’ process, such media tend to reproduce the neo-orientalist hegemonic crisis and austerity discursive construction, as enunciated by the EU's political and economic establishment. Under this lens, austerity emerges as a modernising project that would presumably correct Greece's irregularities and would make Greece European and economically competitive for global capitalism. The period studied concerns the years of the crisis between 2010 and 2015. The analysis discloses the classist underpinnings of such discursive repertoires and their antipolitical and antidemocratic character. The analysis also discusses the disciplinary effects of such media practices, which mystify austerity and the processes of expropriation it unfolds, and passivises civic culture, and counterhegemonic resistances, by promoting a collective ‘self-bashing’ strategy.
This chapter shifts contemporary debates on Eurocentrism from its focus on European social theory to an analysis of its moorings in non-Atlantic sociological traditions…
This chapter shifts contemporary debates on Eurocentrism from its focus on European social theory to an analysis of its moorings in non-Atlantic sociological traditions and especially those within ex-colonial countries. It discusses the sociological/anthropological visions of two first generation sociologists/anthropologists from India, G. S. Ghurye (1893–1983) and D. P. Mukerji (1894–1961), within Orientalist-Eurocentric positions and explores how these are reinvented in the work of contemporary sociologist T. N. Madan (1933–). It suggests that colonial processes and its institutions together with “derivative” nationalist ideas have played and continue to play important mediatory role in organizing these Orientalist-Eurocentric visions.
The chapter presents three sets of arguments. First it suggests that in order to understand postcolonialism it is imperative to lay out the organic links between Orientalism and Eurocentrism. Eurocentrism and its mirror Orientalism mediated to frame social science language in terms of the binaries of universal (the West) and particular (the East). The particular was represented in India through the discipline of anthropology. The latter studied “traditions” through the themes of religion, caste, and family and kinship. When sociology emerged as a discipline in India in the early twentieth century, it continued to use the language organized by anthropology to analyze the particular cultural traditions of the country. Second, I suggest that these binaries also framed nationalist thought and the latter mediated in framing the sociological ideas of G. S. Ghurye and D. P. Mukerji which were embedded in Eurocentric-Orientalist principles. Third, I analyze the ideas of the contemporary social theorist T. N. Madan to indicate how his perspective continues to derive its positions from Orientalist-Eurocentric positions and ignores an engagement with critics who have questioned Orientalist Eurocentrism. Disregarding these arguments implies the legitimation of the latter perspective derived from the disciplines of sociology/anthropology.
The chapter contends that a decolonized critique of colonial social science has existed in other regions of the world including India, and that this perspective needs to be retrieved by social theorists to reformulate the sociological discourse as a study of modern India. It also suggests that contemporary analysis of Eurocentrism needs to move out from within the circuits of knowledge defined by received colonial geopolitical enclaves in order to assess the way production, distribution, and consumption of Orientalist-Eurocentric perspectives have organized sociological traditions across the world including the Global South.
This paper seeks to interrogate the international business and management studies (IBMS) discourse via postcolonial theory. It demonstrates the value of applying…
This paper seeks to interrogate the international business and management studies (IBMS) discourse via postcolonial theory. It demonstrates the value of applying postcolonial theory as a critical practice with respect to that substantive domain.
The approach is to draw on the critical and intellectual resources of postcolonial theory and apply them in an interrogation of IBMS.
The paper shows the value of applying postcolonial theory to open up the discourse of IBMS, which is revealed to deploy similar types of universalistic, essentialising and exoticising representations to colonial and neo‐colonial discourse. It is revealed to rely on functionalist orthodoxy, realist ontology and neo‐positivist epistemology. Furthermore, it masks its own power effects, fails to make explicit its research commitments, especially its political and ethical ones, and remains deeply unreflexive.
The use of postcolonial theory in relation to organisation studies is in its infancy with only a limited number of studies directly related to that critical practice. This paper, then, is a contribution to an important, but emergent arena of scholarship. The interrogation mounted here points to a radical reconfiguration of the field and indications as to where that might take us are made.
This chapter explores the theoretical foundations of Hazeen, a Muslim blackened death metal band formed in 2015 by the authors - Safdar Ahmed on guitar and vocals, and Can Yalcinkaya on the drums and darbuka. It provides insights into the musical and performative practices of our band that are informed by traditions of black and death metal, but which also re-interpret them through an engagement with anti-fascist, anti-Islamophobic politics as well as Sufi/batini elements. Hazeen responds to a rising tide of Islamophobia in Australia, using our lyrics and performances to attack racist stereotyping and the dehumanisation of Muslims. In our performances, we dress in black, Islamic attire and apply ‘corpse paint’ to become the much feared ‘other’ of the post-9/11 world - the monstrous, rabid, zombie-like Muslim that has haunted the right wing/conservative imagination in the West. Our lyrics address such issues as the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, halal food conspiracies, orientalism and the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’. This chapter presents a critical exegesis of Hazeen’s output in the form of live gigs, art performances and studio recordings. It seeks to identify Hazeen’s place within the broader Australian metal scene, posing questions of authenticity and how metal enables us to question hegemonic notions of identity. Hazeen’s use of art spaces as venues of performance and involvement in the indie/zine community highlights an unconventional position within the local metal scene.
The identities of Muslim women tend to be essentialized into binaries of what she is and what she ought to be (Golnaraghi & Dye, 2016). For far too long Muslim women’s…
The identities of Muslim women tend to be essentialized into binaries of what she is and what she ought to be (Golnaraghi & Dye, 2016). For far too long Muslim women’s voices in North America have been marginalized by hegemonic Orientalist (Said, 1978) and traditionalist (Clarke, 2003) Islamic discourses. When it comes to issues of agency, empowerment, and self-expression, it is either imposed by Western ideals or regulated by traditionalist politics of Islam (Zine, 2006). As such, Muslim women activists must engage and negotiate within the dual and narrow oppressions of Orientalist and traditionalist Islamic representations of her (Khan, 1998; Zine, 2006). Given the scarcity of space provided in print media (Golnaraghi & Dye, 2016; Golnaraghi & Mills, 2013) for Muslim women to construct, appropriate, and remake their own identities, some have turned to social media to challenge these dichotomies through activism and resistance. Such a space is necessary in order to recover, resurface, and reauthorize the hybrid voices, experiences, and identities of the Muslim woman on their own terms in order to challenge hegemonic discourse. Highlighting the nuances of feminist activism, particularly that of Muslim postcolonial feminists that can make a difference to Critical Management Studies (CMS) as a community concerned with social justice and challenging marginalization and oppression. The “Somewhere in America #Mipsterz” (Muslim hipsters) video launched in 2013, the site for our critical discourse analysis, is one case where this resistance can be seen, showcasing fashionable veiled Muslim women artistically expressing themselves to the beats of Jay Z.
So-called classical sociology took shape during perhaps the high point of a world dominated by imperial states. In the “west” the British, French, and German empires, along with a surging America, claimed political and sometimes territorial control over wide stretches of the globe. Beyond Europe and the United States, while the Ottoman and Qing empires were in there last days, new states were staking out their imperial claims such as Japan and Russia. The tension between a reality of empire and an ideal of sovereign nation-states eventually exploded in WWI. Curiously, much of this dynamic, especially the global power of empire, went theoretically unnoticed by the makers of modern sociology. This chapter explores this theme through a sketch of the failure of this theoretical reckoning in Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.
Many academics have, as of late, shown commitment to decolonising academic research and/or have (re-)educated themselves, at least to some extent, on Indigenous…
Many academics have, as of late, shown commitment to decolonising academic research and/or have (re-)educated themselves, at least to some extent, on Indigenous epistemologies, methodologies and methods. While these efforts seem commendable, they may lead to tenacious expectations by some senior academics that new and emerging Indigenous scholars must use Indigenous research tools when conducting decolonising research with their communities. However, such expectations can create ethical issues in instances where the use of Indigenous research tools may be inappropriate or even harmful due to the ongoing impact of deep colonisation in the community. Such counterproductive expectations also disempower emerging Indigenous researchers as they undermine the researcher’s knowledge of what is and is not appropriate in their communities. In this autoethnographic account, an Indigenous knowledgemaker and her non-Indigenous academic mentor jointly reflect on the tightrope walk between meeting academic expectations and contributing to the decolonisation of Indigenous communities in meaningful, non-harmful ways. Drawing on Edward Said (1979, 2004), we contemplate whether the increasing dissemination of Indigenous scholarship has generated a type of ‘academic neo-orientalism’ that is characterised by academic outsiders exoticising emerging Indigenous scholars in various research matters and thus re-colonise (perhaps contrary to their sincere intentions) Indigenous scholarship.