Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory
OverviewSocial scientists have long been resistant to the set of ideas known as "postcolonial thought." Meanwhile, postcolonial scholars have considered social science to be an impoverished discipline that is part of the intellectual problem for postcolonial liberation, not the solution. This divergence is fitting, given that postcolonial thought emerged from the anticolonial revolutions of the twentieth century and has since become an enterprise in the academic humanities, while social theory was born as an intellectual justification for empire and has since been institutionalized in social science. Given such divisions - and at times direct opposition - is it possible to reconcile the two? Postcolonial Thought and Social Theory explores the divergences and generative convergences between these two distinct bodies of thought. It asks how the intellectually insurrectionary ideas of postcolonial thinkers, such as Franz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak, among others, pose a radical epistemic challenge to social theory. It charts the different ways in which social theory might be refashioned to meet the challenge and excavates the often hidden sociological assumptions of postcolonial thought. While various scholars suggest that postcolonial thought and social science are incompatible, this book illuminates how they are mutually beneficial, and argues for a third wave of postcolonial thought emerging from social science but also surmounting the narrow confines of disciplinary boundaries.