S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.29 No.1/2 (2000)
Beyond Orientalism: Decolonizing Asian Studies
- Palat, Raviarvind
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.29 No.2, pp. 105-135
- This article argues that proponents of an ‘Asian capitalism’ were rendered theoretically defenseless by the economic crisis of 1997-98 because the institutionalization of Asian Studies programs over the last 50 years had not generated a genuinely comparative framework. Diversity of research environments and the dominance of the modernization perspective till the 1970s, the first section shows, implied that social change in Asian societies were studied as deformed versions of a normative pattern of social transformation derived from a distorted rendition of English development. Given the continued exoticization of Asian societies, the second section shows, paved the way for culturalist explanations of the spectacular growth of economies along Asia’'s Pacific Rim in the 1980s and 1990s. The stress of cultural values meant that they were unable to challenge Western analysts when their economies suffered a meltdown. Finally, it is suggested that increasing globalization entails the development of a broader comparative framework and some research strategies are explored.
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