The Future of the Present

S.N. Balagangadhara

in Reconceptualizing India Studies

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082965
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081936 | DOI:
The Future of the Present

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This chapter probes the phenomenon of post-Orientalism in order to answer the question: what next after Edward Said’s Orientalism? Said’s work has been of crucial importance to Indian intellectuals in allowing them to raise the following issue: If we know India through the organization effected by the Western intellectual tradition, how would it look if organized otherwise? To begin answering this question, one needs to examine Said’s insight that Orientalist discourse is the result of a particular form of constrained thinking, which transforms non-Western cultures into pale and erring variants of the Western culture. The chapter argues that the social sciences and Orientalism constrain each other. Therefore, the social sciences have been a monologue of the Western culture and cannot go beyond Orientalism in their current form.

Keywords: Edward Said; Orientalism; Western culture; non-Western cultures; social sciences

Chapter.  10179 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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