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Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science

Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science
Responses to Eurocentrism

First Edition

August 2018 | 228 pages | SAGE India
The social sciences in Asia, like most other disciplines, were introduced by the West and continue to look towards them for inspiration, affirmation and legitimacy. There is now a growing awareness amongst scholars and students about the need for developing Asia-centric social sciences in order to better appreciate Asian realities.

Written against this background, this book addresses a set of problems surrounding the state of the social sciences in Asia. It contextualizes these problems by pointing to the historical and continuing dominance over Asian social science discourses by Western paradigms and concepts.

Syed Farid Alatas documents various critiques of the state of the social sciences in Asia and critically assesses the prescriptions for alternative discourses that have emerged from these critiques. These include Orientalism, Eurocentrism, the captive mind, and both academic imperialism and dependency.

These critiques have variously generated pleas for alternative discourses, for decolonized knowledge and for indigenized social sciences. However, the author maintains, these calls for alternative discourses in the social sciences are not without their own problems. He, therefore, goes beyond documentation and critical assessment to the explicit conceptualization of relevant and irrelevant social science.

Among the important features of this book are that it has a pan-Asian focus and that it incorporates perspectives drawn from economics and sociology. It will be of interest to scholars and students of all social science disciplines but particularly for those studying sociology, cultural studies, anthropology and the theory and philosophy of the social sciences.
The Central Problem of the Social Sciences in Asia
Critique, Diagnosis and Prescription

Theorizing the State of the Social Sciences
The Structure of Academic Dependency and the Global Division of Labour in the Social Sciences
The Definition and Variety of Alternative Discourses in Asia
Nativist or Autonomous Social Science
A Clash of Orientations

Towards an Adequate Conceptualization of Relevance and Irrelevance in the Social Sciences
Alternative Discourses and Power
Rethinking the Teaching of the Social Sciences
The Prospects and Future of Alternative Discourses in Asia

This book is an excellent illustration of one of the many strong pleas to press towards a more critical and reflexive social sciences through the production of alternative discourses. It is a compelling and engaging read that should be of interest to many scholars of various social science disciplines.

Asian Journal of Social Science

…the book ‘addresses a set of problems surrounding the state of the social sciences in Asia…the book also offers multiple readings for its various audiences, spanning academics, researchers and activists… Alternative Discourses…is a must for anyone committed to developing Asian Scholarship that is culturally self reflexive and open to dialogue with other cultural contexts.

Contribution to Indian Sociology

Syed Farid Alatas

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