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]

Savransky, A Decolonial Imagination (OK).pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (362kB) | Preview

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.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



anthropology, decolonial thought, epistemologies of the South, Eurocentrism, imagination, Kant, ontology, reality, sociology

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



25 April 2016Accepted
1 February 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

31 May 2016 16:40

Last Modified:

23 Mar 2021 12:21

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)