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    Postcolonialism, postsocialism and the anthropology of east-central Europe

    Cervinkova, Hana (2012) Postcolonialism, postsocialism and the anthropology of east-central Europe. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 48 (2). pp. 155-163. ISSN 1744-9855

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    In this paper, I consider the issue of postcolonialism and postsocialism from the perspective of the discipline of anthropology. I argue that the recent efforts of anthropologists at bringing postcolonialism and postsocialism into dialogue can help us to develop a fresh conceptual framing of ethnographic problems and can play a positive role in the dismantling of the historically generated and geographically bounded divisions that have determined scholarly approaches to analysing peoples’ experiences in different parts of the globe. I insist, however, on what I consider to be a key epistemological divergence between the two concepts. While postcolonialism was born as a project of indigenous epistemological critique of the persistence of colonialism in the postcolonial present with emancipatory/liberatory implications, postsocialism was developed as an analytical tool by western scholars to analyse the former societies of the Communist bloc. This hegemonic epistemology of postsocialism makes it a very different concept from postcolonialism and raises questions concerning its usefulness as an intellectually empowering tool for scholars in challenging local inequities arising from the effects of global capitalism. In order to illustrate this limitation, I review the recent disciplinary debate on the politics of knowledge production between native and western anthropologists of postsocialism.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: postsocialism; postcolonialism; anthropology; epistemology; global capitalism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Item ID: 12753
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Hana Cervinkova
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2020 13:40
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Postcolonial Writing
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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