Rodolfo Stavenhagen – Decolonializing Applied Social Sciences

10 March, 2018 - Thesis

Rodolfo Stavenhagen, “Decolonializing Applied Social Sciences,” Human Organization 30, no. 4 (Winter 1971), 333-344.

Summary and description of two camps of social scientists operating in Mexico with regard to agricultural development. Transition between two sets of social scientists.







“Or he can produce knowledge suited to prevailing and established interpretations of society, accepting and using in his work the premises upon which are predicated the continuity and stability of existing social systems. I would include under this heading the majority of studies on, say, acculturation, social class mobility, modernization, socioeconomic correlates of individual attitudes and behaviour, community monographs, etc. within the framework of functionalism and behavioralism. While such research has contributed considerably to an accumulation of knowledge in general, it has had little influence on changing prevailing patterns of the uses to which such knowledge is put and on the distribution of productive knowledge among different social groups. I am here consciously drawing an analogy between the accumulation of capital and the accumulation of knowledge in a capitalist society, insofar as both processes are an expression of the prevailing mode of social and economic organization.”

TRANSITION SENTENCE BETWEEN MY TWO GROUPS OF SOCIAL SCIENTISTS — a perfect description, from the perspective of the radical anthropologists, of the development-oriented econometricians and sociologists

“Thirdly, he can attempt to offer alternative explanations; explore new theoretical avenues; and exercise his intellectual critique of established or accepted ‘truths,’ and at the same time promote the redistribution of knowledge is a fashion suggested earlier. At this point, the accumulation of knowledge may become dangerous in the eyes of those who control the academic or political establishment . . ..”

And a summary of the other group of my thesis subjects — the critiquers of the Green Revolution development regime






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