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A Decolonial Imagination: Sociology, Anthropology, and The Politics of Reality

Savransky, Martin. 2017. A Decolonial Imagination: Sociology, Anthropology, and The Politics of Reality. Sociology, 51(1), pp. 11-26. ISSN 0038-0385 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

While the recent proliferation of sociological engagements with postcolonial thought is important and welcome, central to most critiques of Eurocentrism is a concern with the realm of epistemology, with how sociology comes to know its objects of study. Such a concern, however, risks perpetuating another form of Eurocentrism, one that is responsible for instituting the very distinction between epistemology and ontology, knowledge and reality. By developing a sustained engagement with Boaventura de Sousa Santos’s work, as well as establishing possible connections with what has been termed the ‘turn to ontology’ in anthropology, in this paper I argue that in order for sociology to become exposed to the deeply transformative potential of non-Eurocentric thinking, it needs to cultivate a decolonial imagination in order to move beyond epistemology, and to recognise that there is no social and cognitive justice without existential justice, no politics of knowledge without a politics of reality.

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25 April 2016Accepted
1 February 2017Published Online

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Date Deposited:

31 May 2016 16:40

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2018 11:32

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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