Frederique Apffel Marglin and Stephen A. Marglin (eds).Dominating Knowledge: Development, Culture, and Resistance. WIDER (WorldInstitute of Development Economics Research) Studies in DevelopmentEconomics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1990. 293pp.

Author: Arshad Zaman
Publication Year : 1992

This is a collection of seven original and intelligent essayswhich question the ethnocentricism implicit in the uncritical advocacyof modernization and development in non-Europeanatel societies, andargue for a greater sensitivity to their cultures. In the intellectualfootsteps of Michel Foucault (1980), the authors show a specialsensitivity to the power politics implicit in the generation of truthsand theories of development and in the process of implementation of theproject of modernization. Finally, the authors discuss the remarkabletenacity with which the targeted societies have attempted to defendtheir cultures against the onslaught of alien values, knowledge,techniques, and lifestyles. In his overview, “Towards the Decolonizationof the Mind”, Stephen Marglin sets out the hopes and fears of theauthors of this volume. Hope, that by decoupling technology from itscultural and political entailments, indigenous cultures may bestrengthened, and the process of the dismantling of empire may bebrought to its logical conclusion, the decolonization of the mind. Fear,that “If experience is any guide, the authors of the chapters thatfollow will, singly and collectively, be accused of promotingsuperstition, religious obscurantism, and even barbarity”.

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