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Book part
Publication date: 12 February 2013

Julian Go

What is “postcolonial sociology”? While the study of postcoloniality has taken on the form of “postcolonial theory” in the humanities, sociology's approach to postcolonial

Abstract

What is “postcolonial sociology”? While the study of postcoloniality has taken on the form of “postcolonial theory” in the humanities, sociology's approach to postcolonial issues has been comparably muted. This essay considers postcolonial theory in the humanities and its potential utility for reorienting sociological theory and research. After sketching the historical background and context of postcolonial studies, three broad areas of contribution to sociology are highlighted: reconsiderations of agency, the injunction to overcome analytic bifurcations, and a recognition of sociology's imperial standpoint.

Details

Postcolonial Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-603-3

Article
Publication date: 17 September 2019

Gabriel Bamie Kaifala, Sonja Gallhofer, Margaret Milner and Catriona Paisey

The purpose of this paper is to explore perceptions and lived experiences of Sierra Leonean chartered and aspiring accountants, vis-à-vis their professional identity with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore perceptions and lived experiences of Sierra Leonean chartered and aspiring accountants, vis-à-vis their professional identity with a particular focus on two elements of postcolonial theory, hybridity and diaspora.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodological framework was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 participants about their perceptions of their professional identity and their professional experiences both within and outside Sierra Leone.

Findings

The current professionalisation process is conceptualised as a postcolonial third space where hybrid professional accountants are constructed. Professional hybridity blurs the local/global praxis being positioned as both local and global accountants. Participants experience difficulty “fitting into” the local accountancy context as a consequence of their hybridisation. As such, a diaspora effect is induced which often culminates in emigration to advanced countries. The paper concludes that although the current model engenders emancipatory social movements for individuals through hybridity and diaspora, it is nonetheless counterproductive for Sierra Leone’s economic development and the local profession in particular.

Research limitations/implications

This study has significant implications for understanding how the intervention of global professional bodies in developing countries shapes the professionalisation process as well as perceptions and lived experiences of chartered and aspiring accountants in these countries.

Originality/value

While extant literature implicates the legacies of colonialism/imperialism on the institutional development of accountancy (represented by recognised professional bodies), this paper employs the critical lens of postcolonial theory to conceptualise the lived experiences of individuals who are directly impacted by such institutional arrangements.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 July 2005

Radhika Viruru

What does a body of work that arose originally from looking at literary works written in formerly colonized societies have to do with the education of those who would…

Abstract

What does a body of work that arose originally from looking at literary works written in formerly colonized societies have to do with the education of those who would teach children? In this chapter I argue that there are several similarities between the concerns that many postcolonial scholars have raised and those of critical teacher educators. After defining postcolonial theory, I explore why this set of ideas is an important theoretical lens for those who prepare teachers of young children. I then explore some of the themes raised by a postcolonial critique of teacher preparation, relating each to my own practices as a teacher educator. In doing so I aim to show how postcolonial scholarship can serve as a vital resource for those engaged in educating educators.

Details

Practical Transformations and Transformational Practices: Globalization, Postmodernism, and Early Childhood Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-364-8

Book part
Publication date: 12 February 2013

Gregor McLennan

Sociology is often pitched as the social science discipline most obviously in need of postcolonial deconstruction, owing to its ostensibly more transparent Eurocentrism as…

Abstract

Sociology is often pitched as the social science discipline most obviously in need of postcolonial deconstruction, owing to its ostensibly more transparent Eurocentrism as a formation. For this reason, even postcolonial scholars working within the ambit of sociology are reluctant to play up its analytical strengths in addition to exposing its ideological deficits. Without underestimating the profound impact of the growing body of postcolonial theorizing and research on self-reflexivity within sociology, this paper points up some key ways in which the structure of comprehension within postcolonial critique itself is characteristically sociological. Alternatively, if that latter conclusion is to remain in dispute, a number of core epistemological and socio-theoretical problems must be accepted as being, still, radically unresolved. Consequently, a more dialectical grasp of sociology’s role within this domain of enquiry and style of intellectual politics is needed. I develop these considerations by critically engaging with three recent currents of postcolonial critique – Raewyn Connell's advocacy of “Southern Theory”; the project of “reinventing social emancipation” articulated by Boaventura de Sousa Santos; and the “de-colonial option” fronted by Walter D. Mignolo.

Details

Postcolonial Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-603-3

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Stefano Harney and Cliff Oswick

This paper seeks to confront the orthodoxy of global business education with some insights from postcolonial theory in order to develop a new critical pedagogy adequate…

1634

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to confront the orthodoxy of global business education with some insights from postcolonial theory in order to develop a new critical pedagogy adequate for a global sociology of management and accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviewing the state of play in postcolonial theory and noting the new politicisation in that field, the paper asks what relevance this politicisation might have for an alternative to orthodox global business education.

Findings

The paper finds that the texts available to postcolonial theory present a wealth beyond the regulation of colonial and neo‐colonial regimes and in contrast critical management studies do not have texts that express such wealth or reveal global business as the regulator of such a wealth. Instead critique and indeed the anti‐globalization movements risk, appearing as regulators of wealth and business, threaten to emerge as the true carnival of wealth and path to freedom.

Research limitations/implications

To dissociate critique from regulation and business from wealth, business and management education must seek out these texts in the fantasies among students and in the differences that obtain, as Dipesh Chakrabarty has argued, at the heart of capital.

Originality/value

This article embraces the fantasies of the fetish of the commodity as part of an immanent politics, claiming both an excess of wealth and an access to wealth, based on a new fetish adequate for the globalized limits that students and teachers encounter.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2019

George Steinmetz

This review of Amy Allen’s book, The End of Progress (2016), first addresses the structure of the book and focuses on specific points made in individual chapters…

Abstract

This review of Amy Allen’s book, The End of Progress (2016), first addresses the structure of the book and focuses on specific points made in individual chapters, including the affinity between postcolonial theory and the approaches of Adorno and Foucault in subjecting the notion of historical progress to “withering critique,” and Allen’s alternative approach to decolonization; Habermas’ aim to put critical theory on a secure normative footing; Honneth’s stance that the history of an ethical sphere is an unplanned learning process kept in motion by a struggle for recognition; Forst’s attempt to reconstruct Critical Theory’s normative account through a return to Kant rather than Hegel; and Allen’s claim that her approach is fully in the spirit of Critical Theory and could be seen as continuation of Critical Theory’s first generation, as in Adorno, and how it is a “genealogical” approach that draws on Adorno’s negative dialectics and critique of identity thinking, as well as on Nietzsche’s conception of genealogy, as developed by Foucault. The second part of my response raises three issues: (1) Allen’s partial compromise with the idea of progress; (2) whether critical theory would profit from engagement with other critical theories and theories of ethics, beyond postcolonial theory; and (3) nonwestern theories shed a different light on the question of Allen’s critique, a theme that also draws attention to the gesture of decolonizing, the distinctions between colonialism and empire, and the sociology of knowledge production.

Book part
Publication date: 12 February 2013

Oliver Kozlarek

In this chapter I argue that the search for a sociological postcolonial critique of modernity should not restrict itself to academic sociology. In Latin America a strong…

Abstract

In this chapter I argue that the search for a sociological postcolonial critique of modernity should not restrict itself to academic sociology. In Latin America a strong tradition of essayists has at times assumed genuinely sociological tasks. As I have argued elsewhere (Kozlarek, 2009) the Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz should be read in this fashion.In what follows I try to show that what could be termed Paz's sociological critique of modernity is essentially related to his critique of the teleological understanding of modernity that expresses itself in modernization theory. In a second step I argue that Paz's alternative sociology resembles a comparative sociology in which different experiences in the processes of modernizations are compared. Finally, I mention Paz's historical reconstruction of colonial and postcolonial experiences, and close with his description of pathological forms of social interaction that colonialism inscribed in the cultural fabric of everyday life.

Details

Postcolonial Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-603-3

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Isabella Krysa, Kien T. Le, Jean Helms Mills and Albert J. Mills

Drawing on a series of RAND interviews with Vietnamese prisoners during the Vietnam War, the paper aims to analyze the role of colonizer–colonized in the production of…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on a series of RAND interviews with Vietnamese prisoners during the Vietnam War, the paper aims to analyze the role of colonizer–colonized in the production of postcolonial representations (postcoloniality) and the role of the Western corporation in the processes of postcoloniality.

Design/methodology/approach

Selected RAND interviews are analyzed using a postcolonial lens and explored through the method of critical hermeneutics.

Findings

The analysis supports the contention that Western othering of Third World people is neither completely successful nor one-sided. It is argued that while the Western corporation is an important site for understanding hybridity and postcoloniality, analysis needs to go beyond focusing on the symbolic and the textual to take account of the material conditions in which interactions between colonizer–colonized occur. Finally, there is support for further study of the socio-political character of methods of research in the study of international business.

Research limitations/implications

The case suggests further study of colonizer–colonized interactions outside of the context of an on-going war, which may have heightened some forms of resistance and voice.

Social implications

The paper draws attention to the continuing problem of Western othering of formerly colonized people through military and commercial engagements that are framed by neo-colonial viewpoints embedded in theories of globalization and research methods.

Originality/value

The paper provides rare glimpses into interactions between colonizing and colonized people, and also the under-research study of the role of the Western corporation in the production of postcoloniality.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

W.J. Penson

The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss how the psy-sciences have been, and continue to be, typified by some critics, as colonizers and are credited with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically discuss how the psy-sciences have been, and continue to be, typified by some critics, as colonizers and are credited with Imperialistic motivations. However, rarely are these critiques developed beyond a pejorative characterisation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the criticisms of psychiatry as colonial and outlines the tensions in taking different frames of reference in the mental health field, before going on to suggest theoretical and research perspectives arising from postcolonial theory that might advance these critical positions more coherently and the implications of doing so.

Findings

This study suggests an engagement with humanities-based methods and fields such as postcolonial scholarship.

Social implications

This argument is timely, especially given recent controversies over the publication of DSM5, the scaling up agenda for mental health in the Global South and increased attention to the agenda of Big Pharma.

Originality/value

Postcolonial intersections with psy-science remains a relatively undeveloped area in the critical literature.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2003

Marta B Calás and Linda Smircich

In a paper written for a theory development forum (Calás & Smircich, 1999) we insisted that the postmodern moment, in its association with poststructuralist analyses…

Abstract

In a paper written for a theory development forum (Calás & Smircich, 1999) we insisted that the postmodern moment, in its association with poststructuralist analyses, brought much of value to organization and management studies. At the time we observed that although such a moment may have already passed, its traces continued to be seen and expressed in several important intellectual developments. In particular, we identified poststructuralist feminist theories, postcolonial theory, actor-network theory, and narrative approaches to theory as productive heirs of the postmodern moment in organization and management studies.

Details

Post Modernism and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-573-4

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