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ERIC Number: EJ1167842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1756-526X
EISSN: N/A
Modernity's "Other" and the Transformation of the University
Richards, Howard
International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, v7 n2 p6-25 2015
In a dehumanized world in which meanings derived from dominant liberal world views are tacitly assumed to exist objectively and to impose themselves on discourses and on minds quite independently of who expresses them, this paper endorses what Immanuel Wallerstein calls "unthinking social science" and then rethinking social science in the light of modernity's "other". We understand social science to include not just the academic fields discussed by Wallerstein like economics and political science, but also applied fields that tend to be inscribed within a liberal world view such as management, law, accounting, business, and education. Historically and logically, central planning and mixed economies in some ways deepen democracy, but nevertheless essentially preserve the logic of modernity (characterized by Max Weber as "Zweckrationalit├Ąt"), and this paper argues that they are "unequal to the task". We must, to use some phrases from Tom Berry, work to achieve a culture shift at a deeper level, at the constitutive level. A green, frugal, and less socially unequal future (which is the only possible future) is only possible if we can find ways to violate with impunity the systemic imperatives imposed by modernity's regimes of accumulation, be they capitalist, socialist, or mixed. We need to go further back in history beyond the point where commerce replaced kinship, to find the premises of a viable future. This implies that non-Western and indigenous knowledge systems are entitled to respect. "Standard science as it stands today has many useful practical applications, but it does not have a metaphysical monopoly on the right way to talk about what 'is'" (Bhaskar, 1986).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A