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Why we need a revolution in the
Social sciences: A post-colonial
perspective
Sujay Rao Mandavilli
Published in Google Books, May 2024
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Introduction
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We began our work in right and in serious earnest in the year 2005, November 14th
, 2005 to be precise
when children’s day is celebrated all over India in commemoration of the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The underlying philosophy of our work however, stretches back
to the early 1990’s, even the mid 1980’s, when we faced a great deal of cognitive dissonance in many of
our endeavours and daily walks of life due to a constant exposure to, and a bombardment by, a large
number of philosophies and ideas from different sources, both human and non-human. In the year
2005, particularly after the aforesaid date, we had reached out to several leading lights and luminaries
in the fields of science, religion, philosophy and spirituality with a great deal of hope, to meaningfully
engage with them and elicit their own pet theories, proposals and viewpoints on various issues and
topics. We had hoped that this would also help us in our own voyage and journey of discovery. The
results were indeed startling; there was a wide variation in viewpoints based on the scholar in question’s
own religious, linguistic and nationalistic affiliation, and loyalties. Therefore, the age of ideology has still
not formally or conceptually ended; ending this can change many fundamental equations at a grassroots
level, and can make life better for all of us living in different parts of the world. As a matter of fact,
Eurocentric biases in various fields of the social sciences has only served to throw up counter-reactions,
and exacerbate ideological differences. Intellectualism is also still weak in general, particularly in
developing countries, particularly owing to the following factors:
1. There is extremely poor quality intellectualism, and scholarship is often extremely sloppy
and shoddy.
2. Intellectuals are mostly leftist in orientation, or follow some other rival counter-ideology,
which may be either reactionary, or non-reactionary.
3. Marxist intellectualism is inherently weak since it mostly grapples with a limited set of
issues, and has limited perspectives to offer.
4. Intellectualism is mostly based in advanced nations such as the USA, and countries such as
India have yet to mature and evolve in this area.
5. The thrust areas for intellectualism are still extremely narrow; hence, we had proposed an
“Intellectualism by objectives” approach.
6. Intellectuals are mostly nerdist, geeky, and are social misfits. They lack a real-world
knowledge of practical problems facing society.
7. Intellectuals rarely follow cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary approaches; they do not have
knowledge of different fields and branches of the social sciences, research tools or
techniques, and a knowledge of other fields of the sciences.
8. There is no general long-term orientation in intellectualism, and there are too many rival
camps in operation.
Therefore, in twenty-first century intellectualism, and all fields of activity in various fields in the social
sciences, including theorization and conceptualization, the following must be followed, and must be
present at all times:
1. A desire for scientific, cultural and socioeconomic progress must always be at the heart of
scientific activity and intellectualism. People must always be at the heart of all meaningful
research activity.
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2. Our concepts and theories such as the theories of socio cultural change, structured
apperception techniques, cultural frame of references, ethnography of enculturation, mind-
orientation, cultural orientation, mindspace, identity theory, etc, must always be borne in
mind, and used whenever necessary.
3. Truly globalized teams must be used in research- refer our paper on cross cultural research
design for a more comprehensive overview.
4. Inductive approaches must be followed wherever applicable as discussed in our papers with
grounded theory and exceptionism.
5. Field work driven approaches must be followed wherever applicable with a collection and
analysis of raw data.
6. We must guard against excessive over theorization under any circumstances, especially
where they do not make any sense.
7. Real-world utility and practicality of theories, frameworks and paradigms must be ensured
at all times.
8. Universal applicability of theories, frameworks and paradigms must also be ensured at all
times.
9. Unnecessary careerism and rivalry must be eschewed at all times. There must be
institutional coherentism at all times.
10. Eschewing intellectual nerdism and ivory-tower approaches is a must for meaningful and
sustainable progress.
11. Desire to do good to science and to society or individuals must be present at all times. This
must be applied meaningfully and productively at a universal level, level of a culture, or the
level of an individual.
12. Scientific methodologies, tools and techniques must always be followed including
qualitative and quantitative social science research techniques such as interviews,
questionnaires, surveys, focus group discussions, panel studies, cohort studies, and
quantification techniques, and these must be put to practical use to solve real-world
problems, and provide practical and workable solutions
13. Integration between all fields of social science, and different branches of the social sciences
and the non-social sciences must also always be carried out by means of the adoption of
trans-disciplinary approaches.
14. Proper science communication must be carried out to the masses using simple and easy to
understand language. The principle of “Irreducible simplicity” and “Continuous zero-based
reassessment of assumptions, hypotheses and methods” must be borne in mind at all times.
Jargon must be avoided wherever possible, and culture specific requirements must be borne
in mind at all times.
15. Prioritization and according importance to those aspects and facets of research that are
important to solve societal problems.
These aspects are however, mostly sorely lacking in present-day research. Social sciences have also yet
to fully mature and change with the times; they are largely based on Eurocentric paradigms – unlike
most fields of the physical sciences – most fields of the social sciences are culture-based, and culture
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dependant. These determine and are determined by the subjective and personal experiences and mind-
orientation of both the object (the researcher) and the subject, both of which may be birthed in cultural
contexts. Hence, they cannot be carried forward or applied in toto to other non-western contexts. This
realization dawned upon us very early in our research, and is perhaps applicable to various fields in the
social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, historiography, and philosophy
albeit to varying degrees. This observation would hold good to most subfields of these scientific
disciplines. We have had schools of thought in the social sciences such as functionalism, neo-
functionalism, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism, and intersectional analysis, but
most have not solved the problems of the larger and wider world adequately or satisfactorily. We also
have had post-colonial schools of thought and post-colonial theory, but these have widely been
criticized as being highly reactionary and mostly lacking in comprehensive, wide-ranging and qualitative
substance. We cannot call ourselves post-post-colonial, and we will therefore still prefer to call
ourselves post-colonial. However, the contours and dynamics of post-colonialism must change. We are
not blindly anti-west or blindly anti-anything. On the other hand, we respect the west, and all the
contributions it has made to science. We had preferred to call our institute, “The institute for the study
of the globalization of science.” (ISGOS) We had also founded a think tank “Scholars and intellectuals for
mankind”. (SCHIMA). We hope that these two names would say a great deal.
We therefore emphasize the need for building robust intellectualism and scientific prowess in India and
other developing countries such that their own causes and interests are advanced. This is somewhat
lacking at the present day and time and the kind of intellectuals revolutions, renaissances and
enlightenments that the Western world has witnessed several centuries ago, have not replicated
themselves in the rest of the world. Sometimes, concepts and ideas are borrowed from the first world
slavishly, and without any modification, adaptation or reconsideration for local conditions. Therefore
intellectualism is still widely driven by Eurocentric considerations and interests. All these factors have
apparently therefore stymied economic, social, and cultural progress in various other parts of the world,
and in some cases, prevented these regions from regaining their past glory. The concepts, ideas and
ideals presented in this paper would overlap with those in our previously published papers, and other
scholars and researchers must also drive this process forward; they must also collaborate with other
developing countries through horizontal collaboration, though vertical collaboration must also be
pursued and followed wherever required. Globalized science activity will also naturally benefit science in
general. It is also allow for fundamentally better science to be birthed and gestated. This is yet another
reason why we call for an “Indian enlightenment”, and enlightenments in other developing countries.
This must be molded in line with older European renaissances and enlightenments, but must also always
take into account and consideration, the unique requirements and realities of the region.
We still have some more way to go. For example, in India, universal literacy has just been achieved, and
the quality of education is still sometimes poor, there is still an observed general pre-scientific
temperament, as people are steeped in religion and old myths, with religious-driven and religious-
inspired morals and ethics rule the roost, outdated pedagogical methods are mostly followed, learning
by rote is still emphasized over understanding concepts, and practical application of concepts, or the
difference between science and pseudo-science is still not fully and properly understood by the masses;
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there is an immaturity and lack of awareness on the part of policymakers and educational planners. We
have ideologies galore, and warped intellectualism, there is an inadequate spend on R&D, a poor reward
and recognition mechanism for scientists and intellectuals in India, etc. All these factors must be
overridden and overcome, before we can hope to make any meaningful progress.
Of course, the very nature and dynamics of various fields in the social sciences must also change for the
better; this is what this paper is all about. Intellectuals must also strive to make the world a better
place; currently, this is far from happening. We are not even moving in that direction. We do hope and
except that someone one day will come up with a test like the Turing test to assess whether or not,
social sciences are aligned to social and cultural needs. One simple and acid test could be this:
paradigms must make sense to, and work for peoples in all parts of the world. All the points presented
in the introduction of this book must also be constantly benchmarked against to see if they are adhered
too. There are a lot of people not only in India, but both in the developing and developed world who
cannot distinguish science from pseudo-science. But if standards of science are to be improved, and
superstition and blind faith fought, scientists, particularly social scientists, must produce science that is
of a fundamentally higher quality. This is possible only if scientists are committed to serving society, and
all the principles of this paper are followed.
We also believe this would produce intellectual revolutions of sorts particularly in the developing world.
The first intellectual revolution from our perspective was writing, and its spread in old world civilizations
such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. The second intellectual revolution would refer to the
flourishing of science in Ancient Greece, and its stellar contribution to the whole of human civilization.
The third intellectual revolution followed the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in
1436, when knowledge could be widely disseminated. The fourth intellectual revolution coincided with
the renaissance in Europe, while the fifth coincided with the European enlightenment. The sixth
intellectual revolution coincided with the second industrial revolution of the late nineteenth and the
early twentieth century, when people had plenty of time at their disposal. The seventh intellectual
revolution occurred when decolonialization occurred, and this set the stage for new and creative
intellectual thought in developing countries, though this would unfortunately be marred by dictatorship
and socialism. The eighth intellectual revolution occurred due to globalization, the collapse of the Soviet
bloc, and the rise of the internet. The ninth intellectual revolution would be attributed to the rise of
smart phones and artificial intelligence, while the tenth we believe could be driven by the globalization
of science the way we see it, and the emergence of intellectualism and enlightenments in
underrepresented parts of the world. Is anyone willing to take the bait?
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Chapter 1 What is post-
colonialism?
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What is post colonialism?
One of the guiding principles and building blocks of post-colonial theory is that while physical
occupation and political exploitation of colonies by erstwhile colonial powers has ended, the intellectual
supremacy of the west has neither eroded nor ended. This is sometimes referred to as neo-colonialism.
Neocolonialism is a term used to denote the continuation of imperialist hegemony or power in some
form, by a former colonial state even after colonialism has formally ended, and was first used around
the time of the Second World War. Neocolonialism may take on various forms such economic
imperialism, globalization (this is largely disputed because it has proven to be detrimental to western
interests unlike what many Marxists claim), cultural imperialism, and military interventionism. According
to the postcolonial researcher Robert Young, post-colonialism is an umbrella term which represents
various fields of studies which deal with the criticism of colonialism as seen by the oppressed and the
subaltern peoples of the formerly colonialized world. It also deals with reactions and emancipatory
movements led by the oppressed people. It comprises literary and non-literary branches of study, and
these include political, and economic critiques of colonialism and imperialism as well.
Postcolonial critiques also challenge established, and assumed Eurocentric knowledge in the cultural
sphere including racial and cultural stereotypes and allegations of the absence of civilizationism, by
providing counter canons, and must continue to work in the true spirit of the anti-colonial movements
by further developing its own tools and techniques to enforce social justice on formerly disempowered
and dispossessed peoples all across the world. Postcolonialism also argues that western knowledge was
often used chiefly for the purposes of subjugating non-western peoples. It comprises and encompasses
various and diverse fields of study such as post-colonial literature, postcolonial feminism, postcolonial
Marxism, postcolonial historiography, anthropology, sociology, and different streams of economic
thought from a postcolonial perspective. Subaltern studies allow for dispossessed peoples to speak
their voices out, and air their views openly. Other terms such as tri-continentalism have been proposed
to describe post-colonialism, connoting a study of Asia, Africa, and South America, but the term never
caught on.
Sometimes, the term global south is used to describe formerly colonialized regions of the world, but this
is sometimes thought to be a misnomer. The term west on the other hand, is used to refer to the
occident, and the term refers to both colonizers and non-colonizers. One of the key foundations of post-
colonialism is that ideas need to be studied with respect to their contextual settings and power
configurations which may also lead to cultural hegemony. This idea was also reinforced by Edward Said
in his 1978 book, on post-colonialism titled “Orientalism”. We however, not that notions such as the
west and the east may fade into gradual oblivion as globalization becomes more potent, and we
therefore cannot accept any “isms” at face value. This term is related to other fields of study such as
cultural studies, post-colonial melancholia, continued interference and meddling in the affairs of
sovereign post-colonial nations by former colonizers, post-colonial sentiment, and a study of other
general forms of post-colonial international relations, and critical race theory, with a number of
participating scholars such as Paul Gilroy and others. Peter Barry was an important colonial thinker. His
analysis of post-colonialism is based on the following key concepts:
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1. An awareness of the representations of other non-western cultures as being marginal,
peripheral, exotic, and non-mainstream, sometimes even immoral.
2. An interest in the role played by language in supporting, or subverting that power dynamic, and
the role played by the colonizers language in this respect.
3. An emphasis on identity as doubled, hybrid, and unstable, and the study of the mixing up of
cultures of colonial powers and the colonized to create hybridized cultures both at an individual
and cultural level.
4. A stress on “cross-cultural” interactions among different peoples including oppressors and the
oppressed, and studying it in relation to political and cultural power equations. .
Post-colonialism has been heavily influenced by post-structuralism developed through the works of
French thinkers Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. It has also been influenced by
Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionism which refers to the act of breaking something down into its
separate parts in order to understand its meaning, usually when this is different from how it is
traditionally and canonically understood. This approach also differentiates between central and
peripheral loci of power. It is also influenced by Foucault’s idea of power which is seen as being
impersonal and blind, and his idea of discourse as well which states that all forms of knowledge are
created primarily through mutual and productive discourse. Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi K
Bhaba, and by and large, the most important figures of the postcolonial movements, and these are
referred to as the holy trinity of post-colonial studies. Postcolonialsm must also ne necessarily distanced
from post-modernism; the latter rejects many enlightenment worldviews, and the even certainty of
knowledge, according a great deal of importance to subjectivity, and interpretation of knowledge, and
to this extent must be frowned upon by all well-meaning and serious individuals and intellectuals.
Marxists have naturally been critical of post-modernism, but post-colonialism and Marxism have
similarly shared an uneasy relationship. We now discuss the contributions of leading post-colonial
thinkers, and the role played by them in shaping post-colonial discourse below:
Edward Said who passed away in 2003, was an eminent Palestinian-American thinker and writer, and
was among the founders of post-colonial studies. He is best known for his book Orientalism which was
published in 1978; in this book, he provided the foundation of what would later come to be known as
post-colonialism. Gayatri Spivak is an Indian scholar, and literary theorist, who is best known for her
essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?". She is also considered to be one of the founders of post-colonial
studies. Homi K Bhabha is a leading Indian scholar and critical theorist. He is one of the most important
figures in postcolonial studies, and has developed a number of the field's neologisms and key concepts,
such as hybridity, mimicry, difference, and ambivalence. Arjun Appadurai is an Indian-American
anthropologist and a major proponent of postcolonial and globalization studies. Some of his most
important and influential works include “Worship and Conflict under Colonial Rule” (1981), “Disjuncture
and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” (1990), etc. Frantz Fanon has often been hailed as the
great prophet of decolonization.
He has written about the effects of colonization, and is a Marxist humanist thinker, and a Pan-Africanist.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is an Indian historian and leading scholar of postcolonial theory and subaltern
studies. He has published important works such as Rethinking Working Class History (1989), and
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Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2000). Robert J. C. Young is a
British postcolonial theorist, cultural critic, and historian. He has published books such as “Empire,
Colony, Postcolony” (2015) Torn Halves: Political Conflict in Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester
(1996). Gautam Basu Thakur has also published works on post-colonial theory, and so has Stuart Hall
who is a British sociologist and cultural theorist. Others like Masood Raja have also written extensively
on postcolonial studies.
There are several criticisms of post-colonialism, and these include allegations that these are influenced
heavily by postmodern literary criticism, allegations that they are heavily Influenced by Jacques
Derrida’s deconstructionism. Another criticism is that leading post colonial thinkers did not publish
extensively in oriental languages, and relied heavily on English. Western conservative and right-leaning
thinkers believe that postcolonialism is anti-western in orientation, that it is damaging to western
culture and interests, etc. Some others accuse post-colonialists of vendetta, and a vendetta-drivien
agenda that is otherwise lacking in substance. This is not necessarily true; we believe that science is
science; there is no western science and no eastern science, and we do not wish to do any injustice to
anybody, or demean anybody; science is good science if it benefits everybody, and does justice to
everybody. That is the bare and naked truth, and the quintessence of it all; that is the bottom line. 1 2 3
1 On the power dynamics between Western cultural knowledge production and Indigenous knowledge systems, see Laurie, Timothy, Hannah
Stark, and Briohny Walker. 2019
2 Ashcroft, Bill; Griffiths, Gareth; Tiffin, Helen (2000). Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. New York: Routeledge. pp. 168–173.
3 Saïd, Edward. 2000. "Nationalism, Human Rights, and Interpretation." Reflections on Exile, and Other Essays. pp. 418–19.
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Chapter 2 Science and the
history of science
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It is difficult to put forward a straightforward and an all-encompassing definition of science because
although the principles of science are universal, and its histories intertwined, science cannot be
alienated from a cultural context, and therefore may not have a permanent or a universal meaning.
Because modern scientific practices have different histories, some mutually interdependent, and some
birthed in their unique cultural contexts, they may vary from context to context while retaining a
universal core. The west did not always dominate is science; even the Islamic world has produced great
scientists, examples being Ibn Sina, and Ibn al Haytham, and there was a time when Islamic science was
dominant. However, other societies may have had other approaches to science such as the observation
of phenomena in their natural contexts over a protracted span of time, or no controlled approaches at
all. These are sometimes brushed off as traditional or indigenous knowledge.
Thus, in 1913, J. McKeen Cattell, the Vice President of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science was skeptical or the ability of non-white cultures to produce great scientists; even the otherwise
brilliant American Biologist and Geologist Louis Agassiz thought non-whites to be unfit for scientific
work. but this may only be partly true, and applicable to the situation in the USA then. The application of
scientific method and its duties in relation to society may also change from time to time, and as
scientific awareness improves, its role may change from that of countering pre-scientific beliefs (from all
directions, examples being myths legends in traditional cultures to scientific racism in the west) to
facilitating intellectual development and progress. Thus, one of the pillars of a modern society is a
scientific culture and many researchers of sciences such as Kandor (1957) see science to be a major
factor of production. Science continues to evolve, and the science of the future encompassing methods
and principles, may be a vast improvement from the science of the present, given the opportunities now
available for dialogue, discussion and cross-cultural comprehension. The scientific framework includes
the people, institutions and techniques involved in creating and disseminating a scientific temper, and
these would play a major role in determining scientific outcomes and the pace and direction of scientific
research. (Dear, 2006).Science therefore not only encompasses scientific method, but is also an art
because it involves an understanding of culture, culture specific constructs and involves a thorough
understanding of the human psyche. This is particularly true of the social sciences.4
The term Science is derived from the Latin word scientia, meaning knowledge or the state of knowing,
and is a systematic endeavour that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of facts, principles,
testable explanations and predictions about different phenomena by studying and observing them
based on evidence, and reassesses them from time to time based on changing evidence. Thus, science
may be defined as a “A systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis
testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory-building to lead to more adequate
explanations of natural phenomena.”According to the Science Council,“ Science is the pursuit and
application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic
methodology based on evidence.” It is a systematic hunt for pertinent knowledge on a topic acquired
with a certain goal or end. It is also a body of certified knowledge comprising empirical methods and
valid deductions. Scientific methodology includes several components such as objective observation,
quest for objectivity and accuracy, empirical measurement and data, multiple routes of evidence,
4
Teaching science in the 21st
century, Jack Rhoton, Patricia Shane, 2006
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systematic approaches, experiment and observation, reasoning and critical analysis, hypothesis creation
and verification, establishment of general rules or conclusions, verification and testing, peer review and
assessment, as well as communication of scientific findings to the masses. (Kuhn, 1962) Science also
encompasses research which D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences
define as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend,
correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of
an art.” William Emory, on the other hand, defines Research as "an organized enquiry designed and
carried out to provide information for solving a problem". It often comprises of defining and redefining
problems, formulating hypotheses, and providing solutions to problems. Thus, research, is often central
to scientific endeavour, as it extends the body of scientific knowledge systematically. On the other hand,
for sociologists like Robert K. Merton, science may be defined in terms of what scientists do and
produce, and scientific output in relation to society, and for its betterment. Thus, scientific knowledge is
based on empirical evidence, and helps us understand the natural world, but provides only a limited
understanding of other aspects of culture such as art, philosophy, or religion. These may however be
attempted to be understood through unique frameworks in social sciences as these evolve and become
robust in their own right.
Scientific methods are to some extent still subjective and subject to the vagaries of human nature, given
that science is still and will be a human endeavour, but a gradual transition to higher states of objectivity
will result if scientific methods become more robust, fool proof and trust worthy. This can happen only if
empirical data is gathered from all parts of the world. Many sociologists such as Ian Robertson, William
P. Scott, and W F Ogburn consider Social sciences to be bonafide sciences, but these must prove their
mettle in the days to come. Science also includes pure research which is carried on regardless of
practical application (It is driven by sheer curiosity or inquisitiveness, and often provides explanations to
natural phenomena), as well as applied research which ties scientific research to real-world outcomes. A
related concept is the emergent discipline of the philosophy of science (with its natural corollary, the
philosophy of social sciences) which encompasses all the assumptions, methods, processes and
frameworks of science particularly in relation to their social contexts, though the utility of this field of
study, is greatly disputed. This field emerged in the twentieth century, is still nascent, and greatly
overlaps with the Sociology of Science, a field that may be in need of a reorientation. Scientific method
therefore, often overlaps with fields with scientific epistemology, or an epistemological approach to
knowledge, ontology or the study of entities, and metaphysics as well, to achieve overarching
frameworks. The philosophy of science must also encompass the search for, and definition of
philosophical worldviews and ideologies, both hidden and manifest, as these may impact scientific
output. It may, in most cases, also call for the elimination of undesirable philosophies of science.(Guba
1990) 567
There are several defining characteristics of science, and these include the following:
5
Research Methodology C R Kothari, New Age International (P) Ltd, 2004
6
Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches, John W. Creswell, Sage Publications,
2014
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Research Methodology, Ranjit Kumar, Sage Publication, 3rd
edition, 2011
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1. Objectivity: This refers to the ability to see facts as they are, and guard against biases, beliefs,
favouritism, personal values and preferences. Thus, one must set aside subjective considerations
and personal prejudices driven by cultural outlooks, and adopt a quest for objectivity at all times.
This requires a truly global outlook with the ability to understand diverse cultures, and not just base
conclusions on Eurocentric premises, or reactionary ones. This field remains largely elusive in the
field of social sciences till date, even though many claims are made to the contrary. Lack of
objectivity may either arise due to the absence of neutral scientific paradigms, or due to biases
during the time of fieldwork or observation. Objectivity must be multi-dimensional and must be
attained at every stage of scientific endeavour, though in the case of social sciences, only near
objectivity may be possible, and objectivity must be studied against the backdrop of postpositivism,
and antifoundationism.
2. Verifiability: Scientific knowledge is based on verifiable evidence (or concrete factual observations)
so that other researchers can observer measure the same phenomena and achieve the same results.
In other words, scientific endeavour is always testable and verifiable, with minimum scope for error.
Thus, any scientific theory is also falsifiable and can be rejected if not found in order. This doctrine
was famously introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in the 1940’s. This concept can
be extended for the field of social sciences too, albeit with suitable modifications.
3. Scepticism: Scientific endeavour is based on healthy scepticism. Thus, all postulates and
assumptions made are always questioned. As a corollary of this, paranormal and occult explanations
must be summarily rejected, unless these can be investigated through bonafide methods. However,
one must guard against over-scepticism or skeptopathy which is detrimental to the interests of
science. This, combined with ideological predilections, has often been the bane of science, and has
retarded progress. Likewise, the limits of science must be understood, and the power of curiosity
and wonderment retained.
4. Ethical and moral neutrality: Science is ethically and morally neutral. It seeks knowledge for
knowledge’s sake, and does not differentiate between what is good and what is bad. The application
of knowledge is determined by societal or universal human values. Thus, scientific knowledge is
value-neutral or value- free. However, scientists are often bound by codes of conduct or ethics in
the real-world, and must abide by them. These have currently been implemented only in some fields
of science, and practitioners often resist them. Value-neutrality and objectivity have also been
elusive in the social sciences, as processes to pursue them have not been put in place. Scientific and
professional codes of conduct must be universalized in due course and must promote objectivity
and the pursuit of ethical science which must remain at the core of scientific endeavour.
5. Methods and processes: A scientific approach adopts defined methods and procedures for collecting
and analysing facts to arrive at outcomes. This includes pre-determined steps such as formulation of
hypothesis, collection of facts, analysis of facts and results generation. These taken together form
frameworks and paradigms, a concept introduced by Thomas Kuhn. While older researchers
recommend the use of pre-determined procedures, science is often now free-form and scholars may
choose their own methods. Thus, science comprises both a body of knowledge and processes which
are used to produce such knowledge. All these taken together constitute methods which may
comprise of experimentation, observation, logical arguments from postulates and a combination of
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these in different proportions. Thus, hypotheses are introduced, and tested to give rise to theories,
and in some cases, laws. These are then used for other scientific work; thus, science is incremental.
6. Reliability: Scientific knowledge must be reproducible under a specific set of circumstances and the
same results must be achieved under all conditions. Scientific endeavour is not only scrutinizable,
but also verifiable and repeatable. Thus, conclusions must always be demonstrable to be held valid.
This differentiates valid sciences from pseudosciences such as Astrology. Another related concept is
that of coherentism which implies that concepts must be understood only in relation to a coherent
and an all-encompassing framework.
7. Precision: Scientific knowledge is precise. It is not vague like literary writing. Thus, all conclusions
must be backed up by evidence. Scientists must refrain from adding their own interpretations, and
restrict their conclusions to what can be backed up by evidence.
8. Accuracy: Scientific knowledge is accurate, and accuracy is the hallmark of a good scientist. Thus,
precise measurements must always be used in drawing conclusions (in such a way that these can be
tested), and vague statements avoided.
9. Realistic: Science must show realistic results, and abstraction must be avoided. Thus, science must
serve practical ends, and scientists must be useful to society. However, in the real world, this is not
always so, and scientists succumb to ivory-tower approaches. Thus, inductive methods are often
used to arrive at generalizations and laws which can be applied under all circumstances.
10. Predictability: Scientists do not merely describe the phenomena being studied, but attempt to make
predictions as well. This predictability arises from the reliable nature of scientific work, and scientific
work must have explanatory and predictive power. Scientific work must therefore also satisfy the
principle of causality. However, results in social sciences are less reliable than physical sciences, and
causation is hard to establish. To remediate this, better scientific methods need to be developed for
such sciences.
11. Constant refinement: Constant refinement is one of the hallmarks of science, and scientists should
not rest on their laurels. They should adopt a constant quest for perfection, and improve on their
results to achieve a higher state of understanding. Scientific findings are always work in progress,
and there is scope for improvement. Thus, scientific work greatly contributes to scientific
knowledge, and this is compared to a repository where new findings are added, and irrelevant ones
discarded.
12. Cultural sensitivity: Science must be culturally sensitive, and while adopting scientific method, the
sensitivities of people in different cultures must not be trampled upon. Thus, there must be cross-
cultural dialogue and communication which will naturally lead to dialectical approaches, and better
science.
13. Communication: Communication is also an integral part of science communication entails
communicating the results of science to the masses to achieve and higher state of understanding,
and battle against, dogma, superstition, and blind faith.
History of science
Science has made a huge impact on human lives particularly since the Nineteenth Century, and its
impact can be felt on virtually every facet of human life. Thus, the Industrial Revolution which began in
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Europe, changed the relationship between humans and nature greatly, and initiated a natural resource
consumption driven economic growth. While standards of living have improved greatly, this has raised
concerns about dwindling natural resources and sustainable development, and in recent years, has led
to a call for radically new approaches to science and economic development. Since the end of
colonialization, countries in Asia have also made gigantic strides in economic development, but have
barely begun to challenge Eurocentric paradigms, or analyse the cultural contexts that produced many
paradigms in science. 8
Science is not however, a recent phenomenon, nor was its development limited to the West, as it is
often fallaciously assumed. Some researchers such as Lucretius, Vedel Simonsen, Svel Nelsen,
Montfaucon and Mahudel have traced the origin of science in human pre-history, long before the
emergence of writing. John Frere and Boucher de Perthes discovered early pre-historic stone
implements in France, and these put in motion more sophisticated tools in the periods to follow in
different parts of the world such as blades, flake tools and harpoons. However, the cradle of tool-making
was Africa, and not Europe. Tool making also led to a better control over wild animals, natural elements,
an increasing diversity in diet and specialization of labour, corresponding to a greater complexity and
sophistication in society. This also initiated downstream changes such as early clothing, a diversification
of habitats and better dwellings. According to Richard Wrangham and Frances D. Burton, the discovery
of fire a was another important development in human evolution because it paved the way for other
complex discoveries. It led to cooking and helped chase away wild animals leading to a better control
over nature. The earliest boats were used one hundred thousand years ago and these emerged in
different parts of the world, making them the earliest form of transport, long before the invention of the
wheel, the bullock cart and the chariot. These were typically made of hollow barks or reeds, and enabled
people to travel long distances over rivers, and stillwater.
However, the development of writing which is considered to be a pre-requisite of civilization was a long-
drawn process, was preceded by proto-writing and non-linguistic symbols which equates to proto-
history. Agriculture and the domestication of animals, associated with the Neolithic revolution first
began in the Levant with developments elsewhere. This led to a transformation from hunter-gatherer
societies to a more settled way of life, bringing about other changes in turn. Pottery is another early
human invention, at the earliest pottery is dated to 15000 BC. Weaving of textiles began in the Neolithic
Age, with cotton and wool being used in textile production. Housing also improved in the Neolithic Age,
and the first villages also began to appear in this age.
The invention of the wheel is another milestone in human history, and is believed to have taken place
around 6000 BC. This later came to play a major role in the popularization of wheeled transport, and the
earliest bullock carts were used in Mesopotamia around 3500 BC from where they quickly spread to
Egypt and the Indus Valley where they were the sole form of inland transport. The domestication of the
horse began in Central Asia in 3000 BC according to the Kurgan hypothesis. The use of horses is carts
was perhaps a much later invention and probably began in Western Asia after 2200 BC, from where it
spread to Egypt, and later the Ganges Valley, where it was associated with the ruling class. The
8
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE IN INTELLECTUAL FORMATION JEAN-MICHEL MALDAMÉ
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Chalcolithic age is characterized by the use of metals, and this period is also known as the early metal
age. The first metal to be used was Copper, and tin was later added to Copper to make Bronze. The
former is also known as the Copper Age, while the latter is known as the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age
also coincided with the development of writing, which led to the emergence of the first civilizations.
Metallurgical skills greatly improved in Old World Civilizations and a wide variety of metals were
manufactured and used. The most important Old World Civilizations were Egypt, Mesopotamia and the
Indus Valley. Precious metals and other precious stones were also in use in this period, and a wide
variety of goods such as Lapis lazuli and steatite were manufactured. This period also saw an emergence
of major urban centers and architectures. People of Old World Civilizations pioneered knowledge in
mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The Mesopotamians developed a calendar and a sexagesimal
numeral system. Geometry was developed by the Mesopotamians and the Harappans, and put to
widespread practical use. The Harappans also used a very accurate weighing system, and could measure
lengths accurately. Ancient Egyptians too possessed a knowledge of science. They not only invented
papyrus, but Egyptian priests such as Imhotep possessed a knowledge of medicine. The Greeks were
also exposed to Mesopotamian ideas through trade, but took science to altogether new heights, and
developed the local reasoning, rationalism, and deductive approaches which are still in use today. Thus,
a new golden age of science emerged in the Hellenic world after 600 BC, and Greek scholars laid the
foundations for philosophy and metaphysics. Notable Greek scholars included Aristotle, Ptolemy,
Pythagoras, Thales, Empedocles, Anaximander and Plato, and their contributions in diverse fields are
remembered even to this day, even though their conclusions were often highly erroneous.
The Romans had great respect for Greek scholars and there was a continuity of tradition from the Greek
period to the Roman period, even though the contributions of the latter were inferior, and the decline
of Greek tradition led to a decline in scientific traditions as well . Egyptian works had also likewise
influenced the Romans, but to a much smaller extent. The Romans also excelled in the application of
science and attempted a more practical use of scientific knowledge. Post-Harappan India also saw
remarkable advances in Mathematics and Geometry forming a part of Indian esoteric traditions. Early
Indian mathematicians were Baudhayana and others. Sushruta was an early Indian physician who lived
around 600 BC. Aryabhatta was a great Indian mathematician and made many contributions to
Mathematics and Astronomy. Science in Ancient China was also advanced and developed independently
from influences elsewhere in the world. Chinese medical systems were advanced and included
acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Other Chinese technological advances included
gunpowder, counting machines, time-measuring devices, paper, compasses, printing, porcelain and
alchemy most of which developed independently. Science in the Medieval Islamic world flourished
between 800 AD and 1400 AD, and is referred to as the Islamic Golden Age of Science. This included
advances in various fields of Mathematics such as Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, and Geometry.
Major advances were made in the fields of Astronomy, physics, geography, medicine, botany and
zoology too. Alchemy was developed the Arab world to transmute materials, and this evolved into
Modern Chemistry. In addition, Ibn-al-Haytham made many contributions to scientific method, and is
regarded by many as an important scientist.
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The Middle Ages or Medieval Period in European history is the period from the 5th to the 15th
centuries. The trigger for the start of the Middle Ages was the collapse of the Western Roman empire,
while the Renaissance and the Age of discovery marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval
period is sometimes further sub-classified into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages. The Byzantine
Empire survived into the Early Middle ages and remained a major power with its capital as
Constantinople till its sacking in 1453. During the Byzantine Empire, much of ancient scientific
knowledge was retained, and further refined and developed. After 1000 AD, in the High Middle ages,
there was an upsurge in technological innovation in Europe, including developments in fields such as
theology and philosophy. The Crusades, first launched in 1095 AD, were military conquests by the
Christians aiming to take back control of the Holy Land from Muslims. This period was marked by
scholasticism, a philosophy that blended faith with reason, and the earliest cathedral schools and
universities which imparted religious education were founded during this period. There was also a study
of law during this period, including both secular and ecclesiastical law.
The earliest windmills and mechanical clocks were also developed during this period as also technologies
to manufacture gunpowder. New technologies in Agriculture were also developed during this period.
The Late Middle Ages however, was marked by famine, plague, and war, which killed millions; between
1347 and 1350, the Bubonic Plague and the Black Death killed twenty million people, according to one
estimate. One of the more important intellectuals of this period was William of Ockham who developed
the Occam’s Razor which impacted scientific method. This approach calls for parsimony, and states that
entities should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. Literary output in Vernacular languages
(languages other than Latin) increased in this era, and the earliest literature in the old English Language
dates to this period. This period is also known as the intellectual dark ages, and for the excesses of the
Church as characterized by the burning of Giordano Bruno on the stake for his ideas of cosmic pluralism,
then equated to heresy. The Middle Ages were succeeded by the renaissance which lasted from the
fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The renaissance began in Italy, around the Florence region,
and later spread to the rest of Europe. The fall of Constantinople led to a rediscovery of new texts.
Greek philosophy was also revived and adapted for the new age, leading to the philosophy of Humanism
which emphasized human thought and action. There was also a new emphasis on education,
intellectualism, and learning. In science, observation, and inductive reasoning was encouraged. The
German Renaissance saw advances in arts, architecture, sciences, and the Protestant reformation. The
French renaissance is associated with arts, literature, architecture, science and exploration.
The English renaissance saw the emergence of important writers such as William Shakespeare and
Christopher Marlowe, and this age was succeeded by the Industrial Revolution. Exploration also began
in this age. Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Magellan were some of the great explorers of
this era, and discovered the new world. This exposed shortcomings of old conceptions of geography.
Science was seen as being against religion, however, and new knowledge was often not seen kindly.
Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in the year 1600for heresy and blasphemy. Nicholas Copernicus,
who was preceded by Tycho Brahe, promoted a Heliocentric model of the Universe overturning
Ptolemy’s model, and revolutionized Astronomy; he was opposed for his ideas even though they
gradually gained acceptance. Tycho Brahe was a Danish Astronomer who made accurate planetary
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observations, and showed that the moon orbited the Earth and the planets orbited the sun. However,
he wrongly concluded that the Sun orbited the Earth instead of the other way around. Johannes Kepler
developed the three laws of planetary motion which led to Isaac Newton’s theory of Universal
Gravitation. Galileo Galelei invented the telescope based on earlier work by Hans Lippershey and
promoted the idea of Heliocentrism; for which he was labeled as a heretic and put under house arrest.
Isaac Newton, who discovered gravity, was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Great progress was
made in other sciences too. In the thirteenth century, the printing press had brought about a revolution
in knowledge by disseminating ideas quickly. Francis Bacon developed the idea of empiricism which
stated that progress could only depend on real world observations. Rene Descartes searched for the
underlying principles of nature. Helmont discovered Carbon dioxide, and William Harvey of England
researched the process of blood circulation. Valerius Cordus obtained ether from Sulphuric Acid and
Alcohol. One of the events leading to the renaissance was the invention of the printing press which
resulted in a spread of knowledge.
Philosophers such as Peter Abelard and Roger Bacon emphasized reason and empiricism over blind
faith, and this triggered an increase in knowledge too. The Colonial Period began in the Fifteenth
Century when European powers established their earliest colonies across Asia and Africa. Although
there were some benefits associated with colonialism such as the spread of new technologies to new
territories, the effects of colonialism were mostly negative, as this led to economic stagnation and
oppression of knowledge in colonies (as colonialism was driven by vested interests). The Colonial age
ended when colonies won their economic and political freedom in the 1950’s. The Enlightenment, or
‘The Age of the Enlightenment’ and ‘The Age of Reason’ followed the renaissance. This is referred to the
Scientific Renaissance by Marie Boas Hall, and others. The Enlightenment began with the Scientific
Revolution through the works of scholars such as John Locke, Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Gottfried
Leibniz and others, and strove for progress and the triumph of secular values. Enlightenment ideals also
spread through the works of scholars such as John Miller, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Immanuel Kant,
Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. One of the more important works of this era was the first
encyclopedia which was published between 1751 and 1772 by Denis Diderot.
Rene Descartes was an important philosopher whose doctrine of rationalism also influenced the course
of the Enlightenment, and greatly impacted modern science. Montesquieu’s ‘Spirit of the Laws’ and
Rousseau’s ‘Discourse on Inequality’ were other important works of this age. The Enlightenment also led
to the decline in the power of the Church, and loosened its control on people’s lives. There was a revolt
against tradition, and traditional beliefs in this age, as scientific progress and new inventions enabled
people to see the world in a new perspective and re-examine their old ways of thinking. The Eighteenth
Century Italian scholar Giambattista Vico was also one of the earliest scientists to explore the
relationship between science and society. However, some scholars argue that subjects like political
science and history were given undue importance, and the natural sciences neglected. They also argue
that intuition and emotion were given undue importance, and logic and reasoning neglected. The
German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued in this book, ‘Critique of pure reason’, that experiences
were highly subjective, and these had to be counterbalanced with logic and reasoning. His work later
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led to new fields of study such as interpretivism and phenomenology. The latter is also related to the
idea of structuralism proposed by Claude Levi Strauss, and others.
The Industrial Revolution led to the adoption of new technologies and manufacturing processes and
improved productivity. The First Industrial Revolution led to Steam Locomotives, Steamships, the
Telegraph, besides other machinery. The Second Industrial Revolution began in 1870, and this led to
widespread adoption of existing technologies impacting daily lives, besides development of new
technologies such as electricity and telephones. The rise of technology and consumerism marked the
Twentieth century: this included new technologies such as the automobile, the radio, the aeroplane and
the television. Karl Marx rebelled against the inequities associated with capitalism, and proposed the
idea of communism, though his legacy remains controversial and questionable. The German philosopher
Max Weber was one of the important pioneers of sociology and social science ,and his work was
extended by Alfred Schutz and others. There were also notable philosophers of science like Thomas
Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Bertrand Russell and Aldous Huxley. Albert Einstein overturned many concepts
of Newtonian physics, and the foundations were laid for quantum mechanics as well. The century ended
with the great internet boom which triggered globalization, and is leading to a better cross-cultural
understanding of cultures.
Scientific method continues to evolve, and some question the need for a scientific method itself.
Extreme versions of this approach encompass Epistemological anarchism and epistemological
individualism. The axis of economic and political power is now gradually shifting away from the West to
other parts of the world, and most developing nations are now trying to showcase their technical,
military and economic might. The renewable energy revolution and the ‘Globalization of Science’ are
bound to transform the world further, and in turn produce new scientific advances. However, scientific
paradigms particularly in the social sciences continue to be Eurocentric, and science communication to
the masses remains to be poor despite remarkable advances in education. Due to this, scientific
progress continues to be erratic, and dependent on event driven scientific revolutions; this may change
if scientific methods in the social sciences which already comprise action research, field research,
participant observation, ethnography, questionnaires and surveys, among others are greatly improved
by social scientists across the world, are geared towards bringing systemic social change in diverse
contexts. We believe these will be the two pillars of scientific progress in the 21st
century and every
advance must be evaluated against this yardstick. 91011121314
Our fundamental and foundational hypothesis is that – especially for most fields of the social sciences
such as sociology, physical and cultural anthropology, economics, historiography, philosophy, and
linguistics – science needs to be sufficiently and adequately globalized. Otherwise, they will throw up
false, erroneous, or misleading results and conclusions – this is also because most fields of the social
9 THE SHORT HISTORY OF SCIENCE – or the long path to the union of metaphysics and empiricism TUOMO SUNTOLA Third Edition
10 Evolution: The remarkable history of a scientific theory, Edward J. Larson,, 2004
11 The story of philosophy, Will Durant, Pocket books, 1926
12 Darwin, the indelible stamp, edited with commentary by James D. Watson, Running press, 2005
13 River out of Eden, Richard Dawkins, Phoenix, 1995
14 Presenting the ‘Structured and Annotated Participantdriven Appraisal’ technique in Ethnography: Towards the universal realization of
Multivocality in Ethnographic studies Sujay Rao Mandavilli ELK's International Journal of Social Science Vol 4, Number 4, 2018
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sciences are context-dependant, and culture-dependant, unlike many other fields of the physical
sciences. Therefore, concepts such as emic perspectives, cultural frames of references, sociological
ninety-ten rules, and the certainty uncertainty principle for the social sciences, all must kick in, and play
their part in developing frameworks and paradigms, and data must be collected from all over the world.
Of course, this will hold good for other sciences as well, though in some specific circumstances alone; for
example, automotive safety must take in accident data collected from all over the world, not just
developed nations alone. This would result in safer cars for everybody. It is perhaps only due to
accidents in history, that the west came to play such a dominant role in science. However, science
produced by Asian, African and other non-white scholars particularly in various fields of the social
sciences is still reactionary and recalcitrant. All this must also change, and people from all over the world
must produce high-quality science in their own right.
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Chapter 3 Understanding the
Social sciences
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Social science is a very important and one of the most fundamental sub categorizations of science, the
other fundamental sub categorization of science being the physical sciences which studies the inorganic
world. The four main branches of physical science are physics, chemistry, astronomy, and the earth
sciences, which include meteorology, ecology, and geology. All branches of the social science are
devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The
social sciences are used to study human-created, human-dominated, and human-influenced systems.
The most important field of the social sciences is sociology, which is the science of the study and analysis
of society, and its myriad problems and challenges. However, anthropology, economics, linguistics,
political sciences, law, philosophy, psychology and historiography besides a wide variety of disciplines
and sub-disciplines also fall under the social sciences.
The history of the social sciences began with the ancient Greeks, Chinese and Indians, though it
flourished and took off in a modern sense during and immediately after the Age of Enlightenment which
saw a revolution in the fields of sociology, and other allied fields, all of which were influenced by the
ideals and the spirit of the age. The development of various fields in the social sciences was also
influenced by subsequent events such as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution. Voltaire
and, Immanuel Kant, and Jean Jacques Rousseau were some of the leading thinkers of the age. The
beginnings of the social sciences in the eighteenth century can be traced to the grand encyclopedia of
Diderot, with articles from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other pioneers. August Comte was known as the
father of sociology, and gave the field a distinctive shape and orientation. The growth of the social
sciences is also reflected in other specialized treatises produced during this period as well. The term
"social science" was coined in the French language by Mirabeau in 1767, and later came to be used in
English and other languages.
The earliest forms of social science research techniques were also instituted during this period.
Sometimes, mathematical, statistical and other quantitative techniques were also applied.
Interdisciplinary approaches were also eventually adopted, and the interrelationship between sociology,
economics, and other fields explored. Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, and others also developed the first
ideas in modern economics. Anthropology also became a distinct and very important field of the social
studies. Evolutionary theories in the field were developed by EB Tylor and others. Early anthropology
was armchair anthropology, but fieldwork driven anthropology known as ethnography was developed
by Bronislaw Malinowski, AR Radcliffe Brown, Edmund Leach, and others. In the recent past, social
sciences have matured, evolved and diversified with the times, though they are decidedly Eurocentric in
orientation. Examples of emerging disciplines within social sciences are ethnobiology, ethnomedicine,
social research of medicine, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics and the history and sociology
of science. Sustainable development studies have also become an important field of studies. The term
social sciences is also interrelated with humanities, though these two are somewhat different from one
another.
The methodologies, tools, techniques and methods used social science research are generally not as
complex as the methodologies, tools and techniques used in most fields of natural science research.
Social science research is fundamental based on less complex forms of research such as surveys,
interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, longitudinal studies, cross-cultural research,
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behavioral studies, phenomenology, etc., unlike natural science research, which is chiefly based on
experimentation. However, research methods used in both fields may sometimes overlap, and the basic
scientific methodology used is mostly the same. Cross-cultural research design would also
unquestionably be extremely important in the social sciences, though it is mostly given the short-shrift.
Inductive approaches and grounded theory would also be extremely important from our perspective.
Case studies, participatory research, and action research are also sometimes used. Of late, quantitative
and qualitative techniques are being integrated, and data and method triangulation adopted.
Sociological theories are therefore, embedded in a particular social context, and are deeply influenced
by them multi-directionally and multi-dimensionally. Each sociological thinker or theorist has thoroughly
understand and investigate the social situation in which his object of study exists (this is known as a
social and a psychological setting) and to try and make sense of the greater, overarching culture as well,
before he can hope to make any meaningful progress in his area of study.
As the twenty-first century progresses, further global shifts will manifest themselves in the form of
globalization, the emergence of non-western economies, intellectual multi-polarity, etc. We have made
some progress, as Jesse Popp and others have spoken about the importance of non-western systems of
knowledge, and there is an acknowledgement in the west about the need to reconcile diverse schools
and systems of thought. However, we must also eschew all isms, and embrace “isopedology” in true
letter and spirit. We have defined this term elsewhere in our earlier papers, and this essentially means
the science of putting, or attempting to put everything on an equal footing. Social sciences must take all
these factors and aspects in their stride, and must emerge fully equipped to tackle present and future
challenges. Thus, we need multi-layered and multidimensional inclusivity with comprehensive and
robust interpretations of the term subaltern. In some definitions, women may also be construed as
subaltern. We have also had science wars which were, in large part, related to conflicts between the
social sciences and the natural sciences; such debates will continue to manifest themselves until all fault
lines are dissipated, cultural and non-cultural, ideological and non-ideological.
Therefore, knowledge is embedded, situated, located in, and therefore greatly affected by, the
historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious context of the knower, and these also in turn define his
perceptions and value systems. Therefore, the philosophy of positivism which has several variations, has
its natural limitations, and we have discussed concepts such as cultural frame of reference, and cross-
cultural frame of reference. We also proposed the ideas of bounded mindspace which means that
scientific ideas and ideals can never effectively replace pre-scientific ones, including religious ones. We
also need a through and comprehensive evaluation of power dynamics, and intellectual dynamics,
including reactionary mechanisms. We also need cultural and moral relativism, and not cultural and
moral absolutism or othering.
All this will of course be possible only if there is an intellectual awakening in different parts of the world.
Only this can lead to diversified emic and diversified etic perspectives, including typical and atypical ones
and the ensuing reconciliation mechanisms that can lead to espitemological rupture, and an exponential
increase in human knowledge. Only this can lead to bipolarity and multipolarity that is so essential for
human and scientific progress in different parts of the world. For example, we have birthed and gestated
concepts such as thought worlds, worldviews, mind-orientations and cultural-orientations which have
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thus far eluded both conventional and conservative sociological thinkers, and progressive and radical
sociological thinkers, including post-enlightenment thinkers. Why have post-modernist thinkers shunned
some of the ideas, and ideals of the Enlightenment movement, while we have not? This is because
multi-culturalism and progressivism have always been at the root and heart of all our activity, as also a
desire to do good to societies, and people from all cultures and walks of life. We have always adopted
bread and butter approaches, while other researchers may not. We require sociological imagination
including agency and structure, (a term coined by C. Wright Mills) but this must be combined with
altruism, and humanitarianism.
We need reflexivity to assess our own place in the social and cultural world, and in the bigger social and
cultural scheme of things. We also need to ability to move back and forth between a wide spectrum of
different political, cultural and social positions and standpoints without losing our cool, but this is in
reality, easier said than done. We need an approach to determine whether “aeternitism” and
“omnimodism” are achieved. We had proposed an approach for this in the introductory part of this
book, and had recommended an approach in our papers on the Indo-Europeanization of the world as
well. What changes in approach, or what changes to frameworks need to be made as a result of their
confabulation with a diverse array of peoples in line with our principles of cross-cultural research
design? For example, what visions of the future do Chinese and Indians have in comparison with
Americans? Are they exactly the same, or do they differ widely? What “Sociological explanations” do we
have for these? What exceptions exist for any given phenomena, and are these actively analyzed and
researched?
We look forward to a large number of new ideas and papers emerging in this virgin field and unexplored
area. In some cases, concepts already do exist, whether through the medium of social science research
techniques or otherwise, but they are not actively explored and implemented. For example, are social
science research techniques used to study religiosity, or religious shifts? Are they used to study the
ethnography of enculturation? Are they used to study first and second language acquisition patterns?
Are issue-based approaches adopted? Are long-term approaches adopted in line with our paper on long-
term ethnography, and are trends extrapolated? For example, can we predict long-term religious
trends? We still have some more ground to cover here. Of course, positions, solutions and
recommendations must also vary from region to region. For example, we can argue that India’s ideal
total fertility rate must be lower than other developing countries because India’s population density is
already higher, and India is more susceptible and vulnerable to the perils of global warming. We can also
not make omnibus and high end generalizations on aspects of human culture like the total fertility rate.
For example, the total fertility rate in South Korea was 0.72 in 2023, less than that of Japan, Europe and
North America. Idiographic, inductive and nomothetic approaches must therefore be always followed in
any meaningful and well-structured study.
We can also use our concept of the certainty and uncertainty principle for the social sciences to good
effect in many practical situations. We can use it to study where claimed IQ differences between two
groups of people are genetic or not; we can use to it study whether differences in GDP per capita
between two nations are due to cultural differences or not; we can use it to study whether increased
intake in colleges of students pertaining to a particular racial or ethnic group are due to affirmative
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action or not; we can also use it to determine to what extent biases in Marxist sociological scholarship is
due to impact of Marxist economic philosophy, and to what extent it is not. Our position is that all these
areas of study and focus must be driven by researchers and scholars from developing countries as well,
in order to override cabals, conflicts of interest, and other vested interests. For this, of course,
intellectual revolutions are a must everywhere. There is simply no other way.15 16
15 Backhouse, Roger E., and Philippe Fontaine, eds. A historiography of the modern social sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
16 Delanty, G. (1997). Social science: Beyond constructivism and realism. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
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Chapter 4 Sociology
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The word sociology is said to have been derived from the Latin word socius, which means companion,
The suffix “logy”, which means “the study of” comes from the Greek word “logos”, which also means
knowledge. The ancient Greeks, and later, Muslim scholars such as Ibn Khaldun, and Ma Duan-Lin, a
Chinese historian, also studied some aspects of sociology, though it did not exist as a formal discipline
way back then. The term sociology in the modern sense was coined in the year 1780 by the French
clergyman and political activist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes. A more contemporary and comprehensive
meaning of the term sociology was imparted by the French philosopher of science Auguste Comte in
1838 who saw it as a distinct discipline encompassing various facets of the study of society, social life,
and human-derived culture, through a semi interdisciplinary approach. He also developed the idea and
concept of sociological positivism which holds that society, much like the physical world, functions based
on a set of general and predetermined or predefined laws, that determined its current state, and pace
and direction of progress, and these could be understood and analyzed using predetermined scientific
method, and various forms of critical analysis.
This, according to him, would constitute the pinnacle and apex of societal understanding. Comte’s works
were translated into English by Harriet Martineau. Applied sociological research which eventually came
into existence, may be applied to understanding social policy and human welfare, besides its myriad
issues such as and issues such as religion, social class, social order, social change, social processes, social
groups, sexuality, gender, law, secularization, social stratification, social mobility, and deviance. unlike
theoretical approaches which deal with more abstract issues. Marx also introduced concepts such as
social class, social conflict, class conflict, social oppression, cultural alienation, etc. important concepts
such as macro-sociology, micro-sociology, and meso-sociology were also developed. Concepts such as
structuralism and functionalism also eventually came to be introduced as important theoretical
perspectives. Another related field is cultural anthropology which is a vital sub-discipline of
anthropology and covers a diverse array of fields such as art, religion, politics, economy, folklore, music,
food, work culture, kinship, marriage, parenting, health etc.
A formal study of sociology began in 1892 when Albion Small established a department of Sociology at
the University of Chicago. The American Journal of Sociology was also founded in the year 1895. The
French sociologist Emile Durkheim, also developed many concepts many concepts in sociology including
positivism, and set up the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux in 1895.
The first sociology department established anywhere in the United Kingdom was at the London School
of Economics and Political Science in 1904. The first university course entitled "Sociology" was taught in
the United States at Yale University in the year 1875 by William Graham Sumner. Eminent thinkers such
as John Locke, Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, and Thomas Hobbes also wrote extensively on society, and
social reform. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote about women’s oppressive conditions in society, and this later
led to feminist movements. Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber are commonly seen as the
three traditional principal architects of sociology. Herbert Spencer, Ferdinand Tonnies, W.E.B. Du
Bois, Werner Sombart, William Graham Sumner, Thorstein Veblen, Lester F. Ward, Vilfredo
Pareto, Alexis de Tocqueville, Robert E Park, Georg Simmel, Jane Addams and Karl Mannheim also made
early seminal contributions to sociology. Today, sociology plays an important role in the social sciences,
and is probably next in importance only to economics, and anthropology. Karl Marx and Max Weber
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believed that economic factors were at the heart of driving societal and transformational change; Marx
also developed his own dialectical approach known as material dialecticalism. Herbert Spencer believed
in social Darwinism and believed that society would progress by itself, drawing an analogy and a parallel
from the ‘survival of the fittest’ paradigm. (Nobbs, Hine and Flemming, 1978)
Many concepts in sociology however, lack practical appeal in different parts of the world outside the
realm of some traditional societies, and are not always driven by raw real-world data. An example is the
theory of symbolic interactionism which was proposed by American sociologists such as CH Cooley,
William I Thomas, and George Herbert Mead in the early twentieth century. This perspective views
symbols as the very basis of social life, and objects to which we attach meanings. Symbols can also be
shared meaningfully and productively across societies to produce new paradigms. Some theories such as
the theories of cultural evolution including classical evolutionism, as proposed by EB Tylor and others
lack universal applicability, and have not withstood the test of time. Some form of evolutionism has also
been proposed by Herbert Spencer, Henry Maine, James Frazer, W.H.R Rivers, Carlos Seligman, William
Graham Summers, William Ogbum, Bachofen, McLennan, Westermark and A.C Haddon, though there is
no absolute consensus on the issue.
Some other theories such as cyclical theories of cultural change which propose that cultures pass
through several stages, from an initial stage, undergoing a series of changes, and then reverting to its
original state. These theories are not universal and are not driven by real-world data. Some
Anthropologists such as Oswald Spengler even believed that decay and death were inevitable in
societies. A related theory is the theory of deterioration. This theory has some currency among Hindu
nationalists who subscribe to a hoary golden age in the remote past. Leslie A. White was a neo-
evolutionst, and equated cultural advancement with energy consumption. Pitirim Sorokin was a Russian-
born scholar who migrated to the USA in the 1920’s. Sorokin’s theories have some features of the
cyclical approach. According to Sorokin, any socio-cultural system alters due to its own forces and
properties. Sorokin identified three broad categories of change – ideational, idealistic and sensate.
According to Sorokin, culture oscillates like the clock of a pendulum between two points, and that there
is some kind of a recurrence or rhythm in change. This is likewise, difficult to ratify.
The idea of structuralism was propounded by Claude Levi-Strauss. According to him, elements of culture
such as arts, ritual and the patterns of daily life were surface representations of the underlying structure
of the human mind. Levi Strauss’s works have revolved around the cognitive processes of people, and
the ways in which humans perceive and classify things around them. Varying interpretations of
structuralism have been provided by Edmund Leach, Rodney Needham and Mary Douglas. Structuralists
believe that various elements of a culture can only be meaningfully understood in terms of the inter-
relationships among them. According to Klages (2006; 31), structuralism is ‘a way of thinking that works
to find the fundamental basic units or elements of which anything is made’. According to Barry (1995;
39), “The essence of structuralism is the belief that things cannot be understood in isolation and they
have to be seen in the larger context of the larger structures they are part of”. Structuralists also look for
inter-relationships between different elements of a culture, and tend to adopt more holistic approaches
while looking for solutions to problems in Anthropology. For example, if anyone is studying kinship, he
cannot arrive at any meaningful conclusions by studying just one family, but must interface it with a
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study of kinship systems in the society as a whole. Likewise, this approach cannot be easily reconciled
with real-world data and experiences. 17 18
Let us now attempt to take another parallel from the field of social psychology which is closely related to
sociology; social psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its various and different
functions, particularly those which affect human behaviour in a particular or a specific social or a cultural
context. We also have various different theories in psychology, most of which took root in a narrow
Eurocentric context. We also have the social convoy theory in psychology and the convoy model.
According to the Convoy Model, relationships with a spouse and other close-knit family members, (in
other words, people in the innermost circle of the convoy), usually remain stable throughout the human
lifespan. On the other hand, coworkers, neighbours, and acquaintances, people in the periphery of the
convoy, are intrinsically much less stable. Does this theory take data from all contexts and situations,
and analyse exceptions? Maybe not.
We also have the concept of Oedipus complex proposed by Sigmund Freud. This complex refers to a
son’s proximity towards his mother, and his hostility towards his father. This is just a general
observation, and has been highly criticized by other thinkers as well who state it has been formulated
with minimal evidence. Critics also point that this complex may not apply to all cultures. Also, just what
are the practical applications of this postulate? Another idea is that of a self-fulfilling prophecy which
was first investigated by William Isaac Thomas and Dororthy Swain Thomas and later reworked upon by
Robert K Merton. The evidence for such a phenomenon is far from conclusive, and all theories we
believe must be internally and externally consistent, and self-correcting. Another weird example is
Hume’s guillotine which is somewhat abstract in orientation, and can have many potential exceptions.
Theories must also be reflective of human behaviour, and as far as possible, throw light on it. Social
sciences will blossom and flourish is data driven constructs are adopted, and data-driven theorization
becomes the norm. This will also raise the prestige of social sciences in the eyes of the common man,
and do away with pre-scientific constructs too. (Jennison 2011) These are just some illustrative
examples; we also then have Thematic apperception tests and Rorschach inkblot tests which are so
abstract, they are pretty much useless in solving real world problems. For example, why do most
modern Indians, including educated ones, lack a scientific orientation? Why are they overly religious,
and why do they succumb to ideologies. We have proposed the structured apperception test for socio-
cultural change instead, in a paper we had published in 2023. They law of three stages proposed by
Auguste Comte is also difficult to justify; it is at best, an approximation. Talcott Parsons along with his
colleagues like Robert Bales and Edward Shills have proposed the ‘AGIL Paradigm’, which is fairly
comprehensive, though critics may see it as being somewhat subjective.
Most concepts in sociology, just in most other fields of the social sciences, have yet to fully transition
out of a “White man’s adventure perspective”, (sometimes, civilizing missions, or missions civilizatrices)
into “Service to society”, and a “Service to humanity” perspective. This is even though many
anthropologists studied other ”primitive” cultures. These are the two key concepts we wish to define,
17 Aby, Stephen H. 2005. Sociology: A Guide to Reference and Information Sources (3rd ed.). Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited Inc.
18 Macionis, John J (1991). Sociology (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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and these are polar opposites. Therefore, societal problems in society (not just in one given society, but
in societies all over the world), must be taken as the meaningful starting point, and solutions and
strategies worked out accordingly. Also, all societies must be studied, and not just “primitive” ones.
However, many theorists in sociology have provided us the foundational building blocks in terms of
concepts in diverse areas such as individualism, collectivity, social facts, social structure and organic
analogy, social actors, conflict, stratification, power elite and veto groups, ethnicity, and inequality,
including concepts such as natural and social inequality, that are useful in developing more complex and
advanced concepts, and we must be thankful and grateful to them for this even if they are not from a
cross-cultural perspective. Very early in sociology and cultural anthropology, John Beattie and Thomas
Hylland Eriksen, advocated a study of diverse cultures. However, there is now a slow and gradual pace of
change as many new concepts such as action anthropology within applied anthropology have come up;
this sub-discipline of study seeks to solve communities’ most pressing problems and challenges.
Participatory approaches in anthropology help provide a broad direction, but let communities solve their
own problems. Cultural brokerage approaches help achieve mutual cross-cultural understanding among
people of different cultures.
This pace is however, too slow for our liking, and must be rapidly accelerated. There are also no
overarching theories in the field, and meaningful and structured attempts to synthesize various theories
in the field. We have come up with concepts such as the symbiotic approach to social and cultural
change. We have also proposed several new concepts in the social sciences such as thought worlds,
world views, mind space, mind-orientation, societal and cultural orientation, cultural and cross-cultural
frames of reference, the sociological ninety ten rule, cross-cultural research design, etc. Why did other
researchers not think up of them earlier? According to the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, there
are various stages in scientific growth, namely the pre-paradigm stage, the normal science stage, the
stage of anomalies and crisis, the stage of paradigm-shift, revolution and incommensurability; and the
stage of resolution. According to him, these stages would be applicable for the social sciences as well.
Let us hope he is proved right eventually.
Over-theorization is also dangerous and has limited utility; there has to be a counterbalance between
theory and the search for facts. Since Marxism and communism have also declined worldwide, we also
look forward to a post-Marxist school of thought in relation to sociology, and one that also takes into
account, the realities of decolonialization and globalization. This will also impact the study of political
and economic institutions, among others. Marxism is also generally seen as being western-centric by
most intellectuals despite the existence of other schools of thought such as the Asiatic modes of
production. Marx’s four stages of communism model was never corroborated with real-world data, and
neither were his concept of base and superstructure in relation to economic theory. The latter was
published in his work “The Critique of Political Economy” in 1859. Traditional Marxist theory also focuses
very little on other important issues such as gender, ethnicity, or other aspects of identity. This is
another important criticism of Marxist theory, and one that has withstood the test of time. Marx also
does not appear to have taken into consideration the aspect that “classes”, and social constructs are
fluid and dynamic, not static, and that “class relations” were not based on conflict alone. As Jean Paul
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Sartre states, “Marxism remains the philosophy of our times because we have not gone beyond the
circumstances which created it.”
Anthropologists have done some work on climate change, and environmental ethnography has emerged
as a major discipline within anthropology. For example, the plight of climate refugees has been studied
by some anthropologists. Ethics must also be understood from a global perspective, and in keeping with
the principles of cultural relativism which is opposed to cultural hegemony and cultural imperialism. This
must also lead to universal humanism, an idea that is still new within the realm of sociology. Many
sociologists may also have been critical of capitalism, but capitalism may also have changed with the
times, with more equitable development models, and the institution of social security.
Indian sociology and Indian anthropology are still relatively very young, having been conceptualized by
Andre Beteille, N.K. Bose, L.P. Vidyarthi S.C. Dube, S.C. Roy, G.S. Ghurye, D.N. Majumdar, and S. Sinha
and a few others. Most Indian sociologists and anthropologists however still slavishly copy western
paradigms; there is still very little originality in thinking. Sociology and cultural anthropology must be
meshed with economics; we have proposed the field of anthropological economics which would be a
very novel but useful way to study economics. However, the term ‘development anthropology’ has
already been used by anthropologists such as Glynn Cochrane, who felt that the term applied
anthropology had a colonial connotation with limited utility in post-colonial contexts. Development
anthropologists have also now begun to study the incorporation of local societies into larger, regional,
national, and world economic systems. They have also begun to study modernization processes all over
the world.
According to Escobar, there are two distinct concepts namely ‘Development Anthropology’ and
‘Anthropology of Development’. Both ‘Development Anthropology’ and ‘Anthropology of Development’
use anthropological concepts and insights for formulating economic policy. However, ‘Development
Anthropology’ accepts mainstream view of development, while the ‘Anthropology of Development’
prescribes a radical critique of development, and prefers to distance itself from mainstream, orthodox
and conventional developmental discourse and establishment. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists
have also developed techniques such as Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and Participatory Rural Appraisal
(PRA) which are two distinct methods of research applied by investigators and practitioners in the field,
specifically in the rural areas. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists have also played a role in
developing and refining concepts such as human capital and Human Development Index or HDI. Another
approach would be to adopt non-conservative and heterodox approaches away from the western
experience; for example, we could analyze Nehru’s fascination for socialism, his non-universalization of
primary education, and its impact on high population growth, along with Sanjay Gandhi’s forced
sterilizations of the 1970’s. 19 20 21
19 Coser, Lewis 1956, The Functions of Social Conflict. New York. The Free Press.
20 MacIver, R.M. 1926, The Modern State, Oxford Clarendon Press
21 Parsons, Talcott et al., 1965, Theories of Society, 1 Vol. ed. New York, The Free Press 1960-2 Vols.
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Chapter 5 Anthropology
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Anthropology is a holistic science which investigates different aspects of man or Homo sapiens, possibly
the single most successful species in the world till date, and integrates this study with a study of his
forerunners and predecessors including hominins, hominoids and other primates to achieve a thorough
understanding of the origins and culture of man. It is also the systematic study of humans as biological
organisms, and of human culture, and encompasses the approaches of both the biological and social
sciences for a wholesome synthesis between the two. It is an all-encompassing field of study and
includes topics as far apart as the evolution of primates into humans (evolutionary anthropology), origin,
classification and distribution of races, genetics, archaeology, anthropometry, paleoanthropology,
ethnography, human ecology, cultural anthropology, economic anthropology, political anthropology,
diachronic linguistics, synchronic linguistics and applied anthropology. Anthropology therefore deals
with all aspects of human existence (Howard and Dunaif-Hattis, 1992), and its scope is so vast that it
interfaces with a host of other sciences such as sociology, historiography, psychology, geography, social
sciences and economics. However, the core fields of Anthropology are considered to be Physical
Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology or Archaeological Anthropology and Linguistic
Anthropology. The last of these in a strictly Anthropological context evolved in American universities,
and is a sub-field with a lot of promise.
The word anthropology is derived from the Greek word ‘anthropos’ which means human being and
‘logos’ which means science. Anthropology therefore refers to the science of human beings (Barnard,
2000; 1). However, the term anthropology did not exist at that time and the word came into use only in
the past couple of centuries. Paul Broca defined Anthropology as “The natural history of man”.
According to Haviland, Prins, Walrath and McBride (2011; 2), “Anthropology is the study of humankind
in all times and places”. Langness (1974; 1) defines anthropology as “The scientific study of human
beings- i.e., of the human creature viewed in the abstract: male, female, all colours and shapes,
prehistoric, ancient, and modern.” According to the University of North Texas, “Anthropology is the
study of human diversity around the world with a view to identify commonalities and differences in
social institutions, cultural beliefs and communication systems”. According to Barrett (1996; 3),
“Anthropology usually has been defined as the study of other cultures, employing the technique of
participant observation, and collecting qualitative (not quantitative) data”. Clyde Kluckhohn likened
Anthropology to a great mirror which enabled man to look at his own diversity. The 1822 Encyclopaedia
Britannica on the other hand, defined Anthropology as a discipline devoted to a discourse on human
nature.
Anthropology is also very closely related to sociology which may be defined as the “science of society”.
(L.F Ward and W.G Summer) August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl
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Marx were the pioneers of sociology. Many Anthropologists also functioned as sociologists and the
distinction between the two disciplines is often blurred. August Comte defined sociology as “The science
of social phenomena subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of
investigation.” According to Max Weber, “Sociology is the science which attempts the interpretive
understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at causal explanation of its course and effects.”
Morris Ginsberg states “In the broadest sense, sociology is the study of human interactions and inter-
relations, their conditions and consequences.” Sociology also forms a part of Social sciences which may
be defined as “Disciplines which study social interaction, society or culture.” (William P. Scott)
Anthropology is a relatively new discipline whose theoretical framework developed only in the
nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. However, an interest in studying human beings can be traced to
the time of Heredotus in Ancient Greece in the fifth century BC, who developed a great interest in alien
peoples and may have been the world’s first anthropologist. Heredotus travelled amongst Greek
colonies such as those forming a part of the Persian Empire, but wrote about other alien cultures mostly
from second hand information. Other early contributors to Anthropology included Aristotle, Strabo,
Lucretius (progenitor of the Three-age system of classification later refined by Christian Jurgensen
Thomsen and Gustav Oscar August Montelius), Tacitus, Aquinas and Polo. Aristotle, arguably the world’s
first biologist, introduced philosophical anthropology, writing on human nature, and differentiating
between man and animals. Strabo, a geographer, also wrote about distant places and far off lands just
like Heredotus. He is known for his travels to Egypt, Ethiopia and Asia Minor. Some aspects of
anthropology such as linguistics also evolved independently, in places like Ancient Egypt, Ancient India
and Ancient China through the publication of notable works such as those of Panini. The voyages of
early travelers and conquerors such as Hiuen Tsang, Fa Hien, Alexander the Great, Appolonius of Tyana
and Megasthenes also stimulated interest in other cultures. Psammatichus of Egypt is regarded to be by
some as the world’s first linguist.
Interest in cultural studies can also be traced to the renaissance period of the fourteenth and the
fifteenth centuries. In the 14th century, Ibn Battuta also wrote about his travels to distant lands which
included both Muslim and Non-Muslim worlds. Similarly, the age of exploration gave a boost to interest
in exotic cultures, and travelers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, Vasco Nunez de
Balboa, James Cook and Christopher Columbus wrote about their experiences and encounters with
distant cultures. The dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Industrial
Revolution gave a major fillip to anthropology and sociology. The French philosopher Baron de
Montesquieu wrote about several exotic cultures in his work “The spirit of the Laws” which was
published in the year 1748. Henry Maine and Henri Lewis Morgan’s famous works “Ancient Law” (1861)
and “Ancient Society” (1877) were based on their own investigations and travels. Colonialists and
missionaries also wrote about their encounters with other cultures, but their endeavours often had
selfish, ulterior motives.
Cultures were often labeled primitive, savage, barbaric, pre-literate etc, and not even the most eminent
of Anthropologists were free from Eurocentric bias. In France and Germany, anthropology took off in the
seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, but other names such as ethnology, Volkskunde,
Volkerkunde were usually employed. Early attempts to establish anthropology as a science can also be
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Towards a revolution in the social sciences FINAL FINAL FINAL FINAL FINAL.pdf

  • 1. 1 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Why we need a revolution in the Social sciences: A post-colonial perspective Sujay Rao Mandavilli Published in Google Books, May 2024
  • 2. 2 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Introduction
  • 3. 3 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved We began our work in right and in serious earnest in the year 2005, November 14th , 2005 to be precise when children’s day is celebrated all over India in commemoration of the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The underlying philosophy of our work however, stretches back to the early 1990’s, even the mid 1980’s, when we faced a great deal of cognitive dissonance in many of our endeavours and daily walks of life due to a constant exposure to, and a bombardment by, a large number of philosophies and ideas from different sources, both human and non-human. In the year 2005, particularly after the aforesaid date, we had reached out to several leading lights and luminaries in the fields of science, religion, philosophy and spirituality with a great deal of hope, to meaningfully engage with them and elicit their own pet theories, proposals and viewpoints on various issues and topics. We had hoped that this would also help us in our own voyage and journey of discovery. The results were indeed startling; there was a wide variation in viewpoints based on the scholar in question’s own religious, linguistic and nationalistic affiliation, and loyalties. Therefore, the age of ideology has still not formally or conceptually ended; ending this can change many fundamental equations at a grassroots level, and can make life better for all of us living in different parts of the world. As a matter of fact, Eurocentric biases in various fields of the social sciences has only served to throw up counter-reactions, and exacerbate ideological differences. Intellectualism is also still weak in general, particularly in developing countries, particularly owing to the following factors: 1. There is extremely poor quality intellectualism, and scholarship is often extremely sloppy and shoddy. 2. Intellectuals are mostly leftist in orientation, or follow some other rival counter-ideology, which may be either reactionary, or non-reactionary. 3. Marxist intellectualism is inherently weak since it mostly grapples with a limited set of issues, and has limited perspectives to offer. 4. Intellectualism is mostly based in advanced nations such as the USA, and countries such as India have yet to mature and evolve in this area. 5. The thrust areas for intellectualism are still extremely narrow; hence, we had proposed an “Intellectualism by objectives” approach. 6. Intellectuals are mostly nerdist, geeky, and are social misfits. They lack a real-world knowledge of practical problems facing society. 7. Intellectuals rarely follow cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary approaches; they do not have knowledge of different fields and branches of the social sciences, research tools or techniques, and a knowledge of other fields of the sciences. 8. There is no general long-term orientation in intellectualism, and there are too many rival camps in operation. Therefore, in twenty-first century intellectualism, and all fields of activity in various fields in the social sciences, including theorization and conceptualization, the following must be followed, and must be present at all times: 1. A desire for scientific, cultural and socioeconomic progress must always be at the heart of scientific activity and intellectualism. People must always be at the heart of all meaningful research activity.
  • 4. 4 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved 2. Our concepts and theories such as the theories of socio cultural change, structured apperception techniques, cultural frame of references, ethnography of enculturation, mind- orientation, cultural orientation, mindspace, identity theory, etc, must always be borne in mind, and used whenever necessary. 3. Truly globalized teams must be used in research- refer our paper on cross cultural research design for a more comprehensive overview. 4. Inductive approaches must be followed wherever applicable as discussed in our papers with grounded theory and exceptionism. 5. Field work driven approaches must be followed wherever applicable with a collection and analysis of raw data. 6. We must guard against excessive over theorization under any circumstances, especially where they do not make any sense. 7. Real-world utility and practicality of theories, frameworks and paradigms must be ensured at all times. 8. Universal applicability of theories, frameworks and paradigms must also be ensured at all times. 9. Unnecessary careerism and rivalry must be eschewed at all times. There must be institutional coherentism at all times. 10. Eschewing intellectual nerdism and ivory-tower approaches is a must for meaningful and sustainable progress. 11. Desire to do good to science and to society or individuals must be present at all times. This must be applied meaningfully and productively at a universal level, level of a culture, or the level of an individual. 12. Scientific methodologies, tools and techniques must always be followed including qualitative and quantitative social science research techniques such as interviews, questionnaires, surveys, focus group discussions, panel studies, cohort studies, and quantification techniques, and these must be put to practical use to solve real-world problems, and provide practical and workable solutions 13. Integration between all fields of social science, and different branches of the social sciences and the non-social sciences must also always be carried out by means of the adoption of trans-disciplinary approaches. 14. Proper science communication must be carried out to the masses using simple and easy to understand language. The principle of “Irreducible simplicity” and “Continuous zero-based reassessment of assumptions, hypotheses and methods” must be borne in mind at all times. Jargon must be avoided wherever possible, and culture specific requirements must be borne in mind at all times. 15. Prioritization and according importance to those aspects and facets of research that are important to solve societal problems. These aspects are however, mostly sorely lacking in present-day research. Social sciences have also yet to fully mature and change with the times; they are largely based on Eurocentric paradigms – unlike most fields of the physical sciences – most fields of the social sciences are culture-based, and culture
  • 5. 5 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved dependant. These determine and are determined by the subjective and personal experiences and mind- orientation of both the object (the researcher) and the subject, both of which may be birthed in cultural contexts. Hence, they cannot be carried forward or applied in toto to other non-western contexts. This realization dawned upon us very early in our research, and is perhaps applicable to various fields in the social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, economics, psychology, historiography, and philosophy albeit to varying degrees. This observation would hold good to most subfields of these scientific disciplines. We have had schools of thought in the social sciences such as functionalism, neo- functionalism, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, feminism, and intersectional analysis, but most have not solved the problems of the larger and wider world adequately or satisfactorily. We also have had post-colonial schools of thought and post-colonial theory, but these have widely been criticized as being highly reactionary and mostly lacking in comprehensive, wide-ranging and qualitative substance. We cannot call ourselves post-post-colonial, and we will therefore still prefer to call ourselves post-colonial. However, the contours and dynamics of post-colonialism must change. We are not blindly anti-west or blindly anti-anything. On the other hand, we respect the west, and all the contributions it has made to science. We had preferred to call our institute, “The institute for the study of the globalization of science.” (ISGOS) We had also founded a think tank “Scholars and intellectuals for mankind”. (SCHIMA). We hope that these two names would say a great deal. We therefore emphasize the need for building robust intellectualism and scientific prowess in India and other developing countries such that their own causes and interests are advanced. This is somewhat lacking at the present day and time and the kind of intellectuals revolutions, renaissances and enlightenments that the Western world has witnessed several centuries ago, have not replicated themselves in the rest of the world. Sometimes, concepts and ideas are borrowed from the first world slavishly, and without any modification, adaptation or reconsideration for local conditions. Therefore intellectualism is still widely driven by Eurocentric considerations and interests. All these factors have apparently therefore stymied economic, social, and cultural progress in various other parts of the world, and in some cases, prevented these regions from regaining their past glory. The concepts, ideas and ideals presented in this paper would overlap with those in our previously published papers, and other scholars and researchers must also drive this process forward; they must also collaborate with other developing countries through horizontal collaboration, though vertical collaboration must also be pursued and followed wherever required. Globalized science activity will also naturally benefit science in general. It is also allow for fundamentally better science to be birthed and gestated. This is yet another reason why we call for an “Indian enlightenment”, and enlightenments in other developing countries. This must be molded in line with older European renaissances and enlightenments, but must also always take into account and consideration, the unique requirements and realities of the region. We still have some more way to go. For example, in India, universal literacy has just been achieved, and the quality of education is still sometimes poor, there is still an observed general pre-scientific temperament, as people are steeped in religion and old myths, with religious-driven and religious- inspired morals and ethics rule the roost, outdated pedagogical methods are mostly followed, learning by rote is still emphasized over understanding concepts, and practical application of concepts, or the difference between science and pseudo-science is still not fully and properly understood by the masses;
  • 6. 6 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved there is an immaturity and lack of awareness on the part of policymakers and educational planners. We have ideologies galore, and warped intellectualism, there is an inadequate spend on R&D, a poor reward and recognition mechanism for scientists and intellectuals in India, etc. All these factors must be overridden and overcome, before we can hope to make any meaningful progress. Of course, the very nature and dynamics of various fields in the social sciences must also change for the better; this is what this paper is all about. Intellectuals must also strive to make the world a better place; currently, this is far from happening. We are not even moving in that direction. We do hope and except that someone one day will come up with a test like the Turing test to assess whether or not, social sciences are aligned to social and cultural needs. One simple and acid test could be this: paradigms must make sense to, and work for peoples in all parts of the world. All the points presented in the introduction of this book must also be constantly benchmarked against to see if they are adhered too. There are a lot of people not only in India, but both in the developing and developed world who cannot distinguish science from pseudo-science. But if standards of science are to be improved, and superstition and blind faith fought, scientists, particularly social scientists, must produce science that is of a fundamentally higher quality. This is possible only if scientists are committed to serving society, and all the principles of this paper are followed. We also believe this would produce intellectual revolutions of sorts particularly in the developing world. The first intellectual revolution from our perspective was writing, and its spread in old world civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. The second intellectual revolution would refer to the flourishing of science in Ancient Greece, and its stellar contribution to the whole of human civilization. The third intellectual revolution followed the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1436, when knowledge could be widely disseminated. The fourth intellectual revolution coincided with the renaissance in Europe, while the fifth coincided with the European enlightenment. The sixth intellectual revolution coincided with the second industrial revolution of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, when people had plenty of time at their disposal. The seventh intellectual revolution occurred when decolonialization occurred, and this set the stage for new and creative intellectual thought in developing countries, though this would unfortunately be marred by dictatorship and socialism. The eighth intellectual revolution occurred due to globalization, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and the rise of the internet. The ninth intellectual revolution would be attributed to the rise of smart phones and artificial intelligence, while the tenth we believe could be driven by the globalization of science the way we see it, and the emergence of intellectualism and enlightenments in underrepresented parts of the world. Is anyone willing to take the bait?
  • 7. 7 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chapter 1 What is post- colonialism?
  • 8. 8 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved What is post colonialism? One of the guiding principles and building blocks of post-colonial theory is that while physical occupation and political exploitation of colonies by erstwhile colonial powers has ended, the intellectual supremacy of the west has neither eroded nor ended. This is sometimes referred to as neo-colonialism. Neocolonialism is a term used to denote the continuation of imperialist hegemony or power in some form, by a former colonial state even after colonialism has formally ended, and was first used around the time of the Second World War. Neocolonialism may take on various forms such economic imperialism, globalization (this is largely disputed because it has proven to be detrimental to western interests unlike what many Marxists claim), cultural imperialism, and military interventionism. According to the postcolonial researcher Robert Young, post-colonialism is an umbrella term which represents various fields of studies which deal with the criticism of colonialism as seen by the oppressed and the subaltern peoples of the formerly colonialized world. It also deals with reactions and emancipatory movements led by the oppressed people. It comprises literary and non-literary branches of study, and these include political, and economic critiques of colonialism and imperialism as well. Postcolonial critiques also challenge established, and assumed Eurocentric knowledge in the cultural sphere including racial and cultural stereotypes and allegations of the absence of civilizationism, by providing counter canons, and must continue to work in the true spirit of the anti-colonial movements by further developing its own tools and techniques to enforce social justice on formerly disempowered and dispossessed peoples all across the world. Postcolonialism also argues that western knowledge was often used chiefly for the purposes of subjugating non-western peoples. It comprises and encompasses various and diverse fields of study such as post-colonial literature, postcolonial feminism, postcolonial Marxism, postcolonial historiography, anthropology, sociology, and different streams of economic thought from a postcolonial perspective. Subaltern studies allow for dispossessed peoples to speak their voices out, and air their views openly. Other terms such as tri-continentalism have been proposed to describe post-colonialism, connoting a study of Asia, Africa, and South America, but the term never caught on. Sometimes, the term global south is used to describe formerly colonialized regions of the world, but this is sometimes thought to be a misnomer. The term west on the other hand, is used to refer to the occident, and the term refers to both colonizers and non-colonizers. One of the key foundations of post- colonialism is that ideas need to be studied with respect to their contextual settings and power configurations which may also lead to cultural hegemony. This idea was also reinforced by Edward Said in his 1978 book, on post-colonialism titled “Orientalism”. We however, not that notions such as the west and the east may fade into gradual oblivion as globalization becomes more potent, and we therefore cannot accept any “isms” at face value. This term is related to other fields of study such as cultural studies, post-colonial melancholia, continued interference and meddling in the affairs of sovereign post-colonial nations by former colonizers, post-colonial sentiment, and a study of other general forms of post-colonial international relations, and critical race theory, with a number of participating scholars such as Paul Gilroy and others. Peter Barry was an important colonial thinker. His analysis of post-colonialism is based on the following key concepts:
  • 9. 9 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved 1. An awareness of the representations of other non-western cultures as being marginal, peripheral, exotic, and non-mainstream, sometimes even immoral. 2. An interest in the role played by language in supporting, or subverting that power dynamic, and the role played by the colonizers language in this respect. 3. An emphasis on identity as doubled, hybrid, and unstable, and the study of the mixing up of cultures of colonial powers and the colonized to create hybridized cultures both at an individual and cultural level. 4. A stress on “cross-cultural” interactions among different peoples including oppressors and the oppressed, and studying it in relation to political and cultural power equations. . Post-colonialism has been heavily influenced by post-structuralism developed through the works of French thinkers Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. It has also been influenced by Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionism which refers to the act of breaking something down into its separate parts in order to understand its meaning, usually when this is different from how it is traditionally and canonically understood. This approach also differentiates between central and peripheral loci of power. It is also influenced by Foucault’s idea of power which is seen as being impersonal and blind, and his idea of discourse as well which states that all forms of knowledge are created primarily through mutual and productive discourse. Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi K Bhaba, and by and large, the most important figures of the postcolonial movements, and these are referred to as the holy trinity of post-colonial studies. Postcolonialsm must also ne necessarily distanced from post-modernism; the latter rejects many enlightenment worldviews, and the even certainty of knowledge, according a great deal of importance to subjectivity, and interpretation of knowledge, and to this extent must be frowned upon by all well-meaning and serious individuals and intellectuals. Marxists have naturally been critical of post-modernism, but post-colonialism and Marxism have similarly shared an uneasy relationship. We now discuss the contributions of leading post-colonial thinkers, and the role played by them in shaping post-colonial discourse below: Edward Said who passed away in 2003, was an eminent Palestinian-American thinker and writer, and was among the founders of post-colonial studies. He is best known for his book Orientalism which was published in 1978; in this book, he provided the foundation of what would later come to be known as post-colonialism. Gayatri Spivak is an Indian scholar, and literary theorist, who is best known for her essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?". She is also considered to be one of the founders of post-colonial studies. Homi K Bhabha is a leading Indian scholar and critical theorist. He is one of the most important figures in postcolonial studies, and has developed a number of the field's neologisms and key concepts, such as hybridity, mimicry, difference, and ambivalence. Arjun Appadurai is an Indian-American anthropologist and a major proponent of postcolonial and globalization studies. Some of his most important and influential works include “Worship and Conflict under Colonial Rule” (1981), “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” (1990), etc. Frantz Fanon has often been hailed as the great prophet of decolonization. He has written about the effects of colonization, and is a Marxist humanist thinker, and a Pan-Africanist. Dipesh Chakrabarty is an Indian historian and leading scholar of postcolonial theory and subaltern studies. He has published important works such as Rethinking Working Class History (1989), and
  • 10. 10 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2000). Robert J. C. Young is a British postcolonial theorist, cultural critic, and historian. He has published books such as “Empire, Colony, Postcolony” (2015) Torn Halves: Political Conflict in Literary and Cultural Theory. Manchester (1996). Gautam Basu Thakur has also published works on post-colonial theory, and so has Stuart Hall who is a British sociologist and cultural theorist. Others like Masood Raja have also written extensively on postcolonial studies. There are several criticisms of post-colonialism, and these include allegations that these are influenced heavily by postmodern literary criticism, allegations that they are heavily Influenced by Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionism. Another criticism is that leading post colonial thinkers did not publish extensively in oriental languages, and relied heavily on English. Western conservative and right-leaning thinkers believe that postcolonialism is anti-western in orientation, that it is damaging to western culture and interests, etc. Some others accuse post-colonialists of vendetta, and a vendetta-drivien agenda that is otherwise lacking in substance. This is not necessarily true; we believe that science is science; there is no western science and no eastern science, and we do not wish to do any injustice to anybody, or demean anybody; science is good science if it benefits everybody, and does justice to everybody. That is the bare and naked truth, and the quintessence of it all; that is the bottom line. 1 2 3 1 On the power dynamics between Western cultural knowledge production and Indigenous knowledge systems, see Laurie, Timothy, Hannah Stark, and Briohny Walker. 2019 2 Ashcroft, Bill; Griffiths, Gareth; Tiffin, Helen (2000). Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. New York: Routeledge. pp. 168–173. 3 Saïd, Edward. 2000. "Nationalism, Human Rights, and Interpretation." Reflections on Exile, and Other Essays. pp. 418–19.
  • 11. 11 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chapter 2 Science and the history of science
  • 12. 12 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved It is difficult to put forward a straightforward and an all-encompassing definition of science because although the principles of science are universal, and its histories intertwined, science cannot be alienated from a cultural context, and therefore may not have a permanent or a universal meaning. Because modern scientific practices have different histories, some mutually interdependent, and some birthed in their unique cultural contexts, they may vary from context to context while retaining a universal core. The west did not always dominate is science; even the Islamic world has produced great scientists, examples being Ibn Sina, and Ibn al Haytham, and there was a time when Islamic science was dominant. However, other societies may have had other approaches to science such as the observation of phenomena in their natural contexts over a protracted span of time, or no controlled approaches at all. These are sometimes brushed off as traditional or indigenous knowledge. Thus, in 1913, J. McKeen Cattell, the Vice President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was skeptical or the ability of non-white cultures to produce great scientists; even the otherwise brilliant American Biologist and Geologist Louis Agassiz thought non-whites to be unfit for scientific work. but this may only be partly true, and applicable to the situation in the USA then. The application of scientific method and its duties in relation to society may also change from time to time, and as scientific awareness improves, its role may change from that of countering pre-scientific beliefs (from all directions, examples being myths legends in traditional cultures to scientific racism in the west) to facilitating intellectual development and progress. Thus, one of the pillars of a modern society is a scientific culture and many researchers of sciences such as Kandor (1957) see science to be a major factor of production. Science continues to evolve, and the science of the future encompassing methods and principles, may be a vast improvement from the science of the present, given the opportunities now available for dialogue, discussion and cross-cultural comprehension. The scientific framework includes the people, institutions and techniques involved in creating and disseminating a scientific temper, and these would play a major role in determining scientific outcomes and the pace and direction of scientific research. (Dear, 2006).Science therefore not only encompasses scientific method, but is also an art because it involves an understanding of culture, culture specific constructs and involves a thorough understanding of the human psyche. This is particularly true of the social sciences.4 The term Science is derived from the Latin word scientia, meaning knowledge or the state of knowing, and is a systematic endeavour that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of facts, principles, testable explanations and predictions about different phenomena by studying and observing them based on evidence, and reassesses them from time to time based on changing evidence. Thus, science may be defined as a “A systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory-building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.”According to the Science Council,“ Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.” It is a systematic hunt for pertinent knowledge on a topic acquired with a certain goal or end. It is also a body of certified knowledge comprising empirical methods and valid deductions. Scientific methodology includes several components such as objective observation, quest for objectivity and accuracy, empirical measurement and data, multiple routes of evidence, 4 Teaching science in the 21st century, Jack Rhoton, Patricia Shane, 2006
  • 13. 13 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved systematic approaches, experiment and observation, reasoning and critical analysis, hypothesis creation and verification, establishment of general rules or conclusions, verification and testing, peer review and assessment, as well as communication of scientific findings to the masses. (Kuhn, 1962) Science also encompasses research which D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences define as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art.” William Emory, on the other hand, defines Research as "an organized enquiry designed and carried out to provide information for solving a problem". It often comprises of defining and redefining problems, formulating hypotheses, and providing solutions to problems. Thus, research, is often central to scientific endeavour, as it extends the body of scientific knowledge systematically. On the other hand, for sociologists like Robert K. Merton, science may be defined in terms of what scientists do and produce, and scientific output in relation to society, and for its betterment. Thus, scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and helps us understand the natural world, but provides only a limited understanding of other aspects of culture such as art, philosophy, or religion. These may however be attempted to be understood through unique frameworks in social sciences as these evolve and become robust in their own right. Scientific methods are to some extent still subjective and subject to the vagaries of human nature, given that science is still and will be a human endeavour, but a gradual transition to higher states of objectivity will result if scientific methods become more robust, fool proof and trust worthy. This can happen only if empirical data is gathered from all parts of the world. Many sociologists such as Ian Robertson, William P. Scott, and W F Ogburn consider Social sciences to be bonafide sciences, but these must prove their mettle in the days to come. Science also includes pure research which is carried on regardless of practical application (It is driven by sheer curiosity or inquisitiveness, and often provides explanations to natural phenomena), as well as applied research which ties scientific research to real-world outcomes. A related concept is the emergent discipline of the philosophy of science (with its natural corollary, the philosophy of social sciences) which encompasses all the assumptions, methods, processes and frameworks of science particularly in relation to their social contexts, though the utility of this field of study, is greatly disputed. This field emerged in the twentieth century, is still nascent, and greatly overlaps with the Sociology of Science, a field that may be in need of a reorientation. Scientific method therefore, often overlaps with fields with scientific epistemology, or an epistemological approach to knowledge, ontology or the study of entities, and metaphysics as well, to achieve overarching frameworks. The philosophy of science must also encompass the search for, and definition of philosophical worldviews and ideologies, both hidden and manifest, as these may impact scientific output. It may, in most cases, also call for the elimination of undesirable philosophies of science.(Guba 1990) 567 There are several defining characteristics of science, and these include the following: 5 Research Methodology C R Kothari, New Age International (P) Ltd, 2004 6 Research Design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches, John W. Creswell, Sage Publications, 2014 7 Research Methodology, Ranjit Kumar, Sage Publication, 3rd edition, 2011
  • 14. 14 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved 1. Objectivity: This refers to the ability to see facts as they are, and guard against biases, beliefs, favouritism, personal values and preferences. Thus, one must set aside subjective considerations and personal prejudices driven by cultural outlooks, and adopt a quest for objectivity at all times. This requires a truly global outlook with the ability to understand diverse cultures, and not just base conclusions on Eurocentric premises, or reactionary ones. This field remains largely elusive in the field of social sciences till date, even though many claims are made to the contrary. Lack of objectivity may either arise due to the absence of neutral scientific paradigms, or due to biases during the time of fieldwork or observation. Objectivity must be multi-dimensional and must be attained at every stage of scientific endeavour, though in the case of social sciences, only near objectivity may be possible, and objectivity must be studied against the backdrop of postpositivism, and antifoundationism. 2. Verifiability: Scientific knowledge is based on verifiable evidence (or concrete factual observations) so that other researchers can observer measure the same phenomena and achieve the same results. In other words, scientific endeavour is always testable and verifiable, with minimum scope for error. Thus, any scientific theory is also falsifiable and can be rejected if not found in order. This doctrine was famously introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in the 1940’s. This concept can be extended for the field of social sciences too, albeit with suitable modifications. 3. Scepticism: Scientific endeavour is based on healthy scepticism. Thus, all postulates and assumptions made are always questioned. As a corollary of this, paranormal and occult explanations must be summarily rejected, unless these can be investigated through bonafide methods. However, one must guard against over-scepticism or skeptopathy which is detrimental to the interests of science. This, combined with ideological predilections, has often been the bane of science, and has retarded progress. Likewise, the limits of science must be understood, and the power of curiosity and wonderment retained. 4. Ethical and moral neutrality: Science is ethically and morally neutral. It seeks knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and does not differentiate between what is good and what is bad. The application of knowledge is determined by societal or universal human values. Thus, scientific knowledge is value-neutral or value- free. However, scientists are often bound by codes of conduct or ethics in the real-world, and must abide by them. These have currently been implemented only in some fields of science, and practitioners often resist them. Value-neutrality and objectivity have also been elusive in the social sciences, as processes to pursue them have not been put in place. Scientific and professional codes of conduct must be universalized in due course and must promote objectivity and the pursuit of ethical science which must remain at the core of scientific endeavour. 5. Methods and processes: A scientific approach adopts defined methods and procedures for collecting and analysing facts to arrive at outcomes. This includes pre-determined steps such as formulation of hypothesis, collection of facts, analysis of facts and results generation. These taken together form frameworks and paradigms, a concept introduced by Thomas Kuhn. While older researchers recommend the use of pre-determined procedures, science is often now free-form and scholars may choose their own methods. Thus, science comprises both a body of knowledge and processes which are used to produce such knowledge. All these taken together constitute methods which may comprise of experimentation, observation, logical arguments from postulates and a combination of
  • 15. 15 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved these in different proportions. Thus, hypotheses are introduced, and tested to give rise to theories, and in some cases, laws. These are then used for other scientific work; thus, science is incremental. 6. Reliability: Scientific knowledge must be reproducible under a specific set of circumstances and the same results must be achieved under all conditions. Scientific endeavour is not only scrutinizable, but also verifiable and repeatable. Thus, conclusions must always be demonstrable to be held valid. This differentiates valid sciences from pseudosciences such as Astrology. Another related concept is that of coherentism which implies that concepts must be understood only in relation to a coherent and an all-encompassing framework. 7. Precision: Scientific knowledge is precise. It is not vague like literary writing. Thus, all conclusions must be backed up by evidence. Scientists must refrain from adding their own interpretations, and restrict their conclusions to what can be backed up by evidence. 8. Accuracy: Scientific knowledge is accurate, and accuracy is the hallmark of a good scientist. Thus, precise measurements must always be used in drawing conclusions (in such a way that these can be tested), and vague statements avoided. 9. Realistic: Science must show realistic results, and abstraction must be avoided. Thus, science must serve practical ends, and scientists must be useful to society. However, in the real world, this is not always so, and scientists succumb to ivory-tower approaches. Thus, inductive methods are often used to arrive at generalizations and laws which can be applied under all circumstances. 10. Predictability: Scientists do not merely describe the phenomena being studied, but attempt to make predictions as well. This predictability arises from the reliable nature of scientific work, and scientific work must have explanatory and predictive power. Scientific work must therefore also satisfy the principle of causality. However, results in social sciences are less reliable than physical sciences, and causation is hard to establish. To remediate this, better scientific methods need to be developed for such sciences. 11. Constant refinement: Constant refinement is one of the hallmarks of science, and scientists should not rest on their laurels. They should adopt a constant quest for perfection, and improve on their results to achieve a higher state of understanding. Scientific findings are always work in progress, and there is scope for improvement. Thus, scientific work greatly contributes to scientific knowledge, and this is compared to a repository where new findings are added, and irrelevant ones discarded. 12. Cultural sensitivity: Science must be culturally sensitive, and while adopting scientific method, the sensitivities of people in different cultures must not be trampled upon. Thus, there must be cross- cultural dialogue and communication which will naturally lead to dialectical approaches, and better science. 13. Communication: Communication is also an integral part of science communication entails communicating the results of science to the masses to achieve and higher state of understanding, and battle against, dogma, superstition, and blind faith. History of science Science has made a huge impact on human lives particularly since the Nineteenth Century, and its impact can be felt on virtually every facet of human life. Thus, the Industrial Revolution which began in
  • 16. 16 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Europe, changed the relationship between humans and nature greatly, and initiated a natural resource consumption driven economic growth. While standards of living have improved greatly, this has raised concerns about dwindling natural resources and sustainable development, and in recent years, has led to a call for radically new approaches to science and economic development. Since the end of colonialization, countries in Asia have also made gigantic strides in economic development, but have barely begun to challenge Eurocentric paradigms, or analyse the cultural contexts that produced many paradigms in science. 8 Science is not however, a recent phenomenon, nor was its development limited to the West, as it is often fallaciously assumed. Some researchers such as Lucretius, Vedel Simonsen, Svel Nelsen, Montfaucon and Mahudel have traced the origin of science in human pre-history, long before the emergence of writing. John Frere and Boucher de Perthes discovered early pre-historic stone implements in France, and these put in motion more sophisticated tools in the periods to follow in different parts of the world such as blades, flake tools and harpoons. However, the cradle of tool-making was Africa, and not Europe. Tool making also led to a better control over wild animals, natural elements, an increasing diversity in diet and specialization of labour, corresponding to a greater complexity and sophistication in society. This also initiated downstream changes such as early clothing, a diversification of habitats and better dwellings. According to Richard Wrangham and Frances D. Burton, the discovery of fire a was another important development in human evolution because it paved the way for other complex discoveries. It led to cooking and helped chase away wild animals leading to a better control over nature. The earliest boats were used one hundred thousand years ago and these emerged in different parts of the world, making them the earliest form of transport, long before the invention of the wheel, the bullock cart and the chariot. These were typically made of hollow barks or reeds, and enabled people to travel long distances over rivers, and stillwater. However, the development of writing which is considered to be a pre-requisite of civilization was a long- drawn process, was preceded by proto-writing and non-linguistic symbols which equates to proto- history. Agriculture and the domestication of animals, associated with the Neolithic revolution first began in the Levant with developments elsewhere. This led to a transformation from hunter-gatherer societies to a more settled way of life, bringing about other changes in turn. Pottery is another early human invention, at the earliest pottery is dated to 15000 BC. Weaving of textiles began in the Neolithic Age, with cotton and wool being used in textile production. Housing also improved in the Neolithic Age, and the first villages also began to appear in this age. The invention of the wheel is another milestone in human history, and is believed to have taken place around 6000 BC. This later came to play a major role in the popularization of wheeled transport, and the earliest bullock carts were used in Mesopotamia around 3500 BC from where they quickly spread to Egypt and the Indus Valley where they were the sole form of inland transport. The domestication of the horse began in Central Asia in 3000 BC according to the Kurgan hypothesis. The use of horses is carts was perhaps a much later invention and probably began in Western Asia after 2200 BC, from where it spread to Egypt, and later the Ganges Valley, where it was associated with the ruling class. The 8 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE IN INTELLECTUAL FORMATION JEAN-MICHEL MALDAMÉ
  • 17. 17 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chalcolithic age is characterized by the use of metals, and this period is also known as the early metal age. The first metal to be used was Copper, and tin was later added to Copper to make Bronze. The former is also known as the Copper Age, while the latter is known as the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age also coincided with the development of writing, which led to the emergence of the first civilizations. Metallurgical skills greatly improved in Old World Civilizations and a wide variety of metals were manufactured and used. The most important Old World Civilizations were Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Precious metals and other precious stones were also in use in this period, and a wide variety of goods such as Lapis lazuli and steatite were manufactured. This period also saw an emergence of major urban centers and architectures. People of Old World Civilizations pioneered knowledge in mathematics, astronomy and medicine. The Mesopotamians developed a calendar and a sexagesimal numeral system. Geometry was developed by the Mesopotamians and the Harappans, and put to widespread practical use. The Harappans also used a very accurate weighing system, and could measure lengths accurately. Ancient Egyptians too possessed a knowledge of science. They not only invented papyrus, but Egyptian priests such as Imhotep possessed a knowledge of medicine. The Greeks were also exposed to Mesopotamian ideas through trade, but took science to altogether new heights, and developed the local reasoning, rationalism, and deductive approaches which are still in use today. Thus, a new golden age of science emerged in the Hellenic world after 600 BC, and Greek scholars laid the foundations for philosophy and metaphysics. Notable Greek scholars included Aristotle, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Thales, Empedocles, Anaximander and Plato, and their contributions in diverse fields are remembered even to this day, even though their conclusions were often highly erroneous. The Romans had great respect for Greek scholars and there was a continuity of tradition from the Greek period to the Roman period, even though the contributions of the latter were inferior, and the decline of Greek tradition led to a decline in scientific traditions as well . Egyptian works had also likewise influenced the Romans, but to a much smaller extent. The Romans also excelled in the application of science and attempted a more practical use of scientific knowledge. Post-Harappan India also saw remarkable advances in Mathematics and Geometry forming a part of Indian esoteric traditions. Early Indian mathematicians were Baudhayana and others. Sushruta was an early Indian physician who lived around 600 BC. Aryabhatta was a great Indian mathematician and made many contributions to Mathematics and Astronomy. Science in Ancient China was also advanced and developed independently from influences elsewhere in the world. Chinese medical systems were advanced and included acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Other Chinese technological advances included gunpowder, counting machines, time-measuring devices, paper, compasses, printing, porcelain and alchemy most of which developed independently. Science in the Medieval Islamic world flourished between 800 AD and 1400 AD, and is referred to as the Islamic Golden Age of Science. This included advances in various fields of Mathematics such as Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, and Geometry. Major advances were made in the fields of Astronomy, physics, geography, medicine, botany and zoology too. Alchemy was developed the Arab world to transmute materials, and this evolved into Modern Chemistry. In addition, Ibn-al-Haytham made many contributions to scientific method, and is regarded by many as an important scientist.
  • 18. 18 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved The Middle Ages or Medieval Period in European history is the period from the 5th to the 15th centuries. The trigger for the start of the Middle Ages was the collapse of the Western Roman empire, while the Renaissance and the Age of discovery marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period is sometimes further sub-classified into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages. The Byzantine Empire survived into the Early Middle ages and remained a major power with its capital as Constantinople till its sacking in 1453. During the Byzantine Empire, much of ancient scientific knowledge was retained, and further refined and developed. After 1000 AD, in the High Middle ages, there was an upsurge in technological innovation in Europe, including developments in fields such as theology and philosophy. The Crusades, first launched in 1095 AD, were military conquests by the Christians aiming to take back control of the Holy Land from Muslims. This period was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that blended faith with reason, and the earliest cathedral schools and universities which imparted religious education were founded during this period. There was also a study of law during this period, including both secular and ecclesiastical law. The earliest windmills and mechanical clocks were also developed during this period as also technologies to manufacture gunpowder. New technologies in Agriculture were also developed during this period. The Late Middle Ages however, was marked by famine, plague, and war, which killed millions; between 1347 and 1350, the Bubonic Plague and the Black Death killed twenty million people, according to one estimate. One of the more important intellectuals of this period was William of Ockham who developed the Occam’s Razor which impacted scientific method. This approach calls for parsimony, and states that entities should not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. Literary output in Vernacular languages (languages other than Latin) increased in this era, and the earliest literature in the old English Language dates to this period. This period is also known as the intellectual dark ages, and for the excesses of the Church as characterized by the burning of Giordano Bruno on the stake for his ideas of cosmic pluralism, then equated to heresy. The Middle Ages were succeeded by the renaissance which lasted from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The renaissance began in Italy, around the Florence region, and later spread to the rest of Europe. The fall of Constantinople led to a rediscovery of new texts. Greek philosophy was also revived and adapted for the new age, leading to the philosophy of Humanism which emphasized human thought and action. There was also a new emphasis on education, intellectualism, and learning. In science, observation, and inductive reasoning was encouraged. The German Renaissance saw advances in arts, architecture, sciences, and the Protestant reformation. The French renaissance is associated with arts, literature, architecture, science and exploration. The English renaissance saw the emergence of important writers such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and this age was succeeded by the Industrial Revolution. Exploration also began in this age. Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Magellan were some of the great explorers of this era, and discovered the new world. This exposed shortcomings of old conceptions of geography. Science was seen as being against religion, however, and new knowledge was often not seen kindly. Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in the year 1600for heresy and blasphemy. Nicholas Copernicus, who was preceded by Tycho Brahe, promoted a Heliocentric model of the Universe overturning Ptolemy’s model, and revolutionized Astronomy; he was opposed for his ideas even though they gradually gained acceptance. Tycho Brahe was a Danish Astronomer who made accurate planetary
  • 19. 19 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved observations, and showed that the moon orbited the Earth and the planets orbited the sun. However, he wrongly concluded that the Sun orbited the Earth instead of the other way around. Johannes Kepler developed the three laws of planetary motion which led to Isaac Newton’s theory of Universal Gravitation. Galileo Galelei invented the telescope based on earlier work by Hans Lippershey and promoted the idea of Heliocentrism; for which he was labeled as a heretic and put under house arrest. Isaac Newton, who discovered gravity, was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Great progress was made in other sciences too. In the thirteenth century, the printing press had brought about a revolution in knowledge by disseminating ideas quickly. Francis Bacon developed the idea of empiricism which stated that progress could only depend on real world observations. Rene Descartes searched for the underlying principles of nature. Helmont discovered Carbon dioxide, and William Harvey of England researched the process of blood circulation. Valerius Cordus obtained ether from Sulphuric Acid and Alcohol. One of the events leading to the renaissance was the invention of the printing press which resulted in a spread of knowledge. Philosophers such as Peter Abelard and Roger Bacon emphasized reason and empiricism over blind faith, and this triggered an increase in knowledge too. The Colonial Period began in the Fifteenth Century when European powers established their earliest colonies across Asia and Africa. Although there were some benefits associated with colonialism such as the spread of new technologies to new territories, the effects of colonialism were mostly negative, as this led to economic stagnation and oppression of knowledge in colonies (as colonialism was driven by vested interests). The Colonial age ended when colonies won their economic and political freedom in the 1950’s. The Enlightenment, or ‘The Age of the Enlightenment’ and ‘The Age of Reason’ followed the renaissance. This is referred to the Scientific Renaissance by Marie Boas Hall, and others. The Enlightenment began with the Scientific Revolution through the works of scholars such as John Locke, Rene Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Gottfried Leibniz and others, and strove for progress and the triumph of secular values. Enlightenment ideals also spread through the works of scholars such as John Miller, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, Immanuel Kant, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. One of the more important works of this era was the first encyclopedia which was published between 1751 and 1772 by Denis Diderot. Rene Descartes was an important philosopher whose doctrine of rationalism also influenced the course of the Enlightenment, and greatly impacted modern science. Montesquieu’s ‘Spirit of the Laws’ and Rousseau’s ‘Discourse on Inequality’ were other important works of this age. The Enlightenment also led to the decline in the power of the Church, and loosened its control on people’s lives. There was a revolt against tradition, and traditional beliefs in this age, as scientific progress and new inventions enabled people to see the world in a new perspective and re-examine their old ways of thinking. The Eighteenth Century Italian scholar Giambattista Vico was also one of the earliest scientists to explore the relationship between science and society. However, some scholars argue that subjects like political science and history were given undue importance, and the natural sciences neglected. They also argue that intuition and emotion were given undue importance, and logic and reasoning neglected. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued in this book, ‘Critique of pure reason’, that experiences were highly subjective, and these had to be counterbalanced with logic and reasoning. His work later
  • 20. 20 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved led to new fields of study such as interpretivism and phenomenology. The latter is also related to the idea of structuralism proposed by Claude Levi Strauss, and others. The Industrial Revolution led to the adoption of new technologies and manufacturing processes and improved productivity. The First Industrial Revolution led to Steam Locomotives, Steamships, the Telegraph, besides other machinery. The Second Industrial Revolution began in 1870, and this led to widespread adoption of existing technologies impacting daily lives, besides development of new technologies such as electricity and telephones. The rise of technology and consumerism marked the Twentieth century: this included new technologies such as the automobile, the radio, the aeroplane and the television. Karl Marx rebelled against the inequities associated with capitalism, and proposed the idea of communism, though his legacy remains controversial and questionable. The German philosopher Max Weber was one of the important pioneers of sociology and social science ,and his work was extended by Alfred Schutz and others. There were also notable philosophers of science like Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, Bertrand Russell and Aldous Huxley. Albert Einstein overturned many concepts of Newtonian physics, and the foundations were laid for quantum mechanics as well. The century ended with the great internet boom which triggered globalization, and is leading to a better cross-cultural understanding of cultures. Scientific method continues to evolve, and some question the need for a scientific method itself. Extreme versions of this approach encompass Epistemological anarchism and epistemological individualism. The axis of economic and political power is now gradually shifting away from the West to other parts of the world, and most developing nations are now trying to showcase their technical, military and economic might. The renewable energy revolution and the ‘Globalization of Science’ are bound to transform the world further, and in turn produce new scientific advances. However, scientific paradigms particularly in the social sciences continue to be Eurocentric, and science communication to the masses remains to be poor despite remarkable advances in education. Due to this, scientific progress continues to be erratic, and dependent on event driven scientific revolutions; this may change if scientific methods in the social sciences which already comprise action research, field research, participant observation, ethnography, questionnaires and surveys, among others are greatly improved by social scientists across the world, are geared towards bringing systemic social change in diverse contexts. We believe these will be the two pillars of scientific progress in the 21st century and every advance must be evaluated against this yardstick. 91011121314 Our fundamental and foundational hypothesis is that – especially for most fields of the social sciences such as sociology, physical and cultural anthropology, economics, historiography, philosophy, and linguistics – science needs to be sufficiently and adequately globalized. Otherwise, they will throw up false, erroneous, or misleading results and conclusions – this is also because most fields of the social 9 THE SHORT HISTORY OF SCIENCE – or the long path to the union of metaphysics and empiricism TUOMO SUNTOLA Third Edition 10 Evolution: The remarkable history of a scientific theory, Edward J. Larson,, 2004 11 The story of philosophy, Will Durant, Pocket books, 1926 12 Darwin, the indelible stamp, edited with commentary by James D. Watson, Running press, 2005 13 River out of Eden, Richard Dawkins, Phoenix, 1995 14 Presenting the ‘Structured and Annotated Participantdriven Appraisal’ technique in Ethnography: Towards the universal realization of Multivocality in Ethnographic studies Sujay Rao Mandavilli ELK's International Journal of Social Science Vol 4, Number 4, 2018
  • 21. 21 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved sciences are context-dependant, and culture-dependant, unlike many other fields of the physical sciences. Therefore, concepts such as emic perspectives, cultural frames of references, sociological ninety-ten rules, and the certainty uncertainty principle for the social sciences, all must kick in, and play their part in developing frameworks and paradigms, and data must be collected from all over the world. Of course, this will hold good for other sciences as well, though in some specific circumstances alone; for example, automotive safety must take in accident data collected from all over the world, not just developed nations alone. This would result in safer cars for everybody. It is perhaps only due to accidents in history, that the west came to play such a dominant role in science. However, science produced by Asian, African and other non-white scholars particularly in various fields of the social sciences is still reactionary and recalcitrant. All this must also change, and people from all over the world must produce high-quality science in their own right.
  • 22. 22 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chapter 3 Understanding the Social sciences
  • 23. 23 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Social science is a very important and one of the most fundamental sub categorizations of science, the other fundamental sub categorization of science being the physical sciences which studies the inorganic world. The four main branches of physical science are physics, chemistry, astronomy, and the earth sciences, which include meteorology, ecology, and geology. All branches of the social science are devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The social sciences are used to study human-created, human-dominated, and human-influenced systems. The most important field of the social sciences is sociology, which is the science of the study and analysis of society, and its myriad problems and challenges. However, anthropology, economics, linguistics, political sciences, law, philosophy, psychology and historiography besides a wide variety of disciplines and sub-disciplines also fall under the social sciences. The history of the social sciences began with the ancient Greeks, Chinese and Indians, though it flourished and took off in a modern sense during and immediately after the Age of Enlightenment which saw a revolution in the fields of sociology, and other allied fields, all of which were influenced by the ideals and the spirit of the age. The development of various fields in the social sciences was also influenced by subsequent events such as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution. Voltaire and, Immanuel Kant, and Jean Jacques Rousseau were some of the leading thinkers of the age. The beginnings of the social sciences in the eighteenth century can be traced to the grand encyclopedia of Diderot, with articles from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other pioneers. August Comte was known as the father of sociology, and gave the field a distinctive shape and orientation. The growth of the social sciences is also reflected in other specialized treatises produced during this period as well. The term "social science" was coined in the French language by Mirabeau in 1767, and later came to be used in English and other languages. The earliest forms of social science research techniques were also instituted during this period. Sometimes, mathematical, statistical and other quantitative techniques were also applied. Interdisciplinary approaches were also eventually adopted, and the interrelationship between sociology, economics, and other fields explored. Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, and others also developed the first ideas in modern economics. Anthropology also became a distinct and very important field of the social studies. Evolutionary theories in the field were developed by EB Tylor and others. Early anthropology was armchair anthropology, but fieldwork driven anthropology known as ethnography was developed by Bronislaw Malinowski, AR Radcliffe Brown, Edmund Leach, and others. In the recent past, social sciences have matured, evolved and diversified with the times, though they are decidedly Eurocentric in orientation. Examples of emerging disciplines within social sciences are ethnobiology, ethnomedicine, social research of medicine, sociobiology, neuropsychology, bioeconomics and the history and sociology of science. Sustainable development studies have also become an important field of studies. The term social sciences is also interrelated with humanities, though these two are somewhat different from one another. The methodologies, tools, techniques and methods used social science research are generally not as complex as the methodologies, tools and techniques used in most fields of natural science research. Social science research is fundamental based on less complex forms of research such as surveys, interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, longitudinal studies, cross-cultural research,
  • 24. 24 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved behavioral studies, phenomenology, etc., unlike natural science research, which is chiefly based on experimentation. However, research methods used in both fields may sometimes overlap, and the basic scientific methodology used is mostly the same. Cross-cultural research design would also unquestionably be extremely important in the social sciences, though it is mostly given the short-shrift. Inductive approaches and grounded theory would also be extremely important from our perspective. Case studies, participatory research, and action research are also sometimes used. Of late, quantitative and qualitative techniques are being integrated, and data and method triangulation adopted. Sociological theories are therefore, embedded in a particular social context, and are deeply influenced by them multi-directionally and multi-dimensionally. Each sociological thinker or theorist has thoroughly understand and investigate the social situation in which his object of study exists (this is known as a social and a psychological setting) and to try and make sense of the greater, overarching culture as well, before he can hope to make any meaningful progress in his area of study. As the twenty-first century progresses, further global shifts will manifest themselves in the form of globalization, the emergence of non-western economies, intellectual multi-polarity, etc. We have made some progress, as Jesse Popp and others have spoken about the importance of non-western systems of knowledge, and there is an acknowledgement in the west about the need to reconcile diverse schools and systems of thought. However, we must also eschew all isms, and embrace “isopedology” in true letter and spirit. We have defined this term elsewhere in our earlier papers, and this essentially means the science of putting, or attempting to put everything on an equal footing. Social sciences must take all these factors and aspects in their stride, and must emerge fully equipped to tackle present and future challenges. Thus, we need multi-layered and multidimensional inclusivity with comprehensive and robust interpretations of the term subaltern. In some definitions, women may also be construed as subaltern. We have also had science wars which were, in large part, related to conflicts between the social sciences and the natural sciences; such debates will continue to manifest themselves until all fault lines are dissipated, cultural and non-cultural, ideological and non-ideological. Therefore, knowledge is embedded, situated, located in, and therefore greatly affected by, the historical, cultural, linguistic, and religious context of the knower, and these also in turn define his perceptions and value systems. Therefore, the philosophy of positivism which has several variations, has its natural limitations, and we have discussed concepts such as cultural frame of reference, and cross- cultural frame of reference. We also proposed the ideas of bounded mindspace which means that scientific ideas and ideals can never effectively replace pre-scientific ones, including religious ones. We also need a through and comprehensive evaluation of power dynamics, and intellectual dynamics, including reactionary mechanisms. We also need cultural and moral relativism, and not cultural and moral absolutism or othering. All this will of course be possible only if there is an intellectual awakening in different parts of the world. Only this can lead to diversified emic and diversified etic perspectives, including typical and atypical ones and the ensuing reconciliation mechanisms that can lead to espitemological rupture, and an exponential increase in human knowledge. Only this can lead to bipolarity and multipolarity that is so essential for human and scientific progress in different parts of the world. For example, we have birthed and gestated concepts such as thought worlds, worldviews, mind-orientations and cultural-orientations which have
  • 25. 25 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved thus far eluded both conventional and conservative sociological thinkers, and progressive and radical sociological thinkers, including post-enlightenment thinkers. Why have post-modernist thinkers shunned some of the ideas, and ideals of the Enlightenment movement, while we have not? This is because multi-culturalism and progressivism have always been at the root and heart of all our activity, as also a desire to do good to societies, and people from all cultures and walks of life. We have always adopted bread and butter approaches, while other researchers may not. We require sociological imagination including agency and structure, (a term coined by C. Wright Mills) but this must be combined with altruism, and humanitarianism. We need reflexivity to assess our own place in the social and cultural world, and in the bigger social and cultural scheme of things. We also need to ability to move back and forth between a wide spectrum of different political, cultural and social positions and standpoints without losing our cool, but this is in reality, easier said than done. We need an approach to determine whether “aeternitism” and “omnimodism” are achieved. We had proposed an approach for this in the introductory part of this book, and had recommended an approach in our papers on the Indo-Europeanization of the world as well. What changes in approach, or what changes to frameworks need to be made as a result of their confabulation with a diverse array of peoples in line with our principles of cross-cultural research design? For example, what visions of the future do Chinese and Indians have in comparison with Americans? Are they exactly the same, or do they differ widely? What “Sociological explanations” do we have for these? What exceptions exist for any given phenomena, and are these actively analyzed and researched? We look forward to a large number of new ideas and papers emerging in this virgin field and unexplored area. In some cases, concepts already do exist, whether through the medium of social science research techniques or otherwise, but they are not actively explored and implemented. For example, are social science research techniques used to study religiosity, or religious shifts? Are they used to study the ethnography of enculturation? Are they used to study first and second language acquisition patterns? Are issue-based approaches adopted? Are long-term approaches adopted in line with our paper on long- term ethnography, and are trends extrapolated? For example, can we predict long-term religious trends? We still have some more ground to cover here. Of course, positions, solutions and recommendations must also vary from region to region. For example, we can argue that India’s ideal total fertility rate must be lower than other developing countries because India’s population density is already higher, and India is more susceptible and vulnerable to the perils of global warming. We can also not make omnibus and high end generalizations on aspects of human culture like the total fertility rate. For example, the total fertility rate in South Korea was 0.72 in 2023, less than that of Japan, Europe and North America. Idiographic, inductive and nomothetic approaches must therefore be always followed in any meaningful and well-structured study. We can also use our concept of the certainty and uncertainty principle for the social sciences to good effect in many practical situations. We can use it to study where claimed IQ differences between two groups of people are genetic or not; we can use to it study whether differences in GDP per capita between two nations are due to cultural differences or not; we can use it to study whether increased intake in colleges of students pertaining to a particular racial or ethnic group are due to affirmative
  • 26. 26 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved action or not; we can also use it to determine to what extent biases in Marxist sociological scholarship is due to impact of Marxist economic philosophy, and to what extent it is not. Our position is that all these areas of study and focus must be driven by researchers and scholars from developing countries as well, in order to override cabals, conflicts of interest, and other vested interests. For this, of course, intellectual revolutions are a must everywhere. There is simply no other way.15 16 15 Backhouse, Roger E., and Philippe Fontaine, eds. A historiography of the modern social sciences (Cambridge University Press, 2014). 16 Delanty, G. (1997). Social science: Beyond constructivism and realism. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.
  • 27. 27 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chapter 4 Sociology
  • 28. 28 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved The word sociology is said to have been derived from the Latin word socius, which means companion, The suffix “logy”, which means “the study of” comes from the Greek word “logos”, which also means knowledge. The ancient Greeks, and later, Muslim scholars such as Ibn Khaldun, and Ma Duan-Lin, a Chinese historian, also studied some aspects of sociology, though it did not exist as a formal discipline way back then. The term sociology in the modern sense was coined in the year 1780 by the French clergyman and political activist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes. A more contemporary and comprehensive meaning of the term sociology was imparted by the French philosopher of science Auguste Comte in 1838 who saw it as a distinct discipline encompassing various facets of the study of society, social life, and human-derived culture, through a semi interdisciplinary approach. He also developed the idea and concept of sociological positivism which holds that society, much like the physical world, functions based on a set of general and predetermined or predefined laws, that determined its current state, and pace and direction of progress, and these could be understood and analyzed using predetermined scientific method, and various forms of critical analysis. This, according to him, would constitute the pinnacle and apex of societal understanding. Comte’s works were translated into English by Harriet Martineau. Applied sociological research which eventually came into existence, may be applied to understanding social policy and human welfare, besides its myriad issues such as and issues such as religion, social class, social order, social change, social processes, social groups, sexuality, gender, law, secularization, social stratification, social mobility, and deviance. unlike theoretical approaches which deal with more abstract issues. Marx also introduced concepts such as social class, social conflict, class conflict, social oppression, cultural alienation, etc. important concepts such as macro-sociology, micro-sociology, and meso-sociology were also developed. Concepts such as structuralism and functionalism also eventually came to be introduced as important theoretical perspectives. Another related field is cultural anthropology which is a vital sub-discipline of anthropology and covers a diverse array of fields such as art, religion, politics, economy, folklore, music, food, work culture, kinship, marriage, parenting, health etc. A formal study of sociology began in 1892 when Albion Small established a department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. The American Journal of Sociology was also founded in the year 1895. The French sociologist Emile Durkheim, also developed many concepts many concepts in sociology including positivism, and set up the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux in 1895. The first sociology department established anywhere in the United Kingdom was at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1904. The first university course entitled "Sociology" was taught in the United States at Yale University in the year 1875 by William Graham Sumner. Eminent thinkers such as John Locke, Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, and Thomas Hobbes also wrote extensively on society, and social reform. Mary Wollstonecraft wrote about women’s oppressive conditions in society, and this later led to feminist movements. Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber are commonly seen as the three traditional principal architects of sociology. Herbert Spencer, Ferdinand Tonnies, W.E.B. Du Bois, Werner Sombart, William Graham Sumner, Thorstein Veblen, Lester F. Ward, Vilfredo Pareto, Alexis de Tocqueville, Robert E Park, Georg Simmel, Jane Addams and Karl Mannheim also made early seminal contributions to sociology. Today, sociology plays an important role in the social sciences, and is probably next in importance only to economics, and anthropology. Karl Marx and Max Weber
  • 29. 29 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved believed that economic factors were at the heart of driving societal and transformational change; Marx also developed his own dialectical approach known as material dialecticalism. Herbert Spencer believed in social Darwinism and believed that society would progress by itself, drawing an analogy and a parallel from the ‘survival of the fittest’ paradigm. (Nobbs, Hine and Flemming, 1978) Many concepts in sociology however, lack practical appeal in different parts of the world outside the realm of some traditional societies, and are not always driven by raw real-world data. An example is the theory of symbolic interactionism which was proposed by American sociologists such as CH Cooley, William I Thomas, and George Herbert Mead in the early twentieth century. This perspective views symbols as the very basis of social life, and objects to which we attach meanings. Symbols can also be shared meaningfully and productively across societies to produce new paradigms. Some theories such as the theories of cultural evolution including classical evolutionism, as proposed by EB Tylor and others lack universal applicability, and have not withstood the test of time. Some form of evolutionism has also been proposed by Herbert Spencer, Henry Maine, James Frazer, W.H.R Rivers, Carlos Seligman, William Graham Summers, William Ogbum, Bachofen, McLennan, Westermark and A.C Haddon, though there is no absolute consensus on the issue. Some other theories such as cyclical theories of cultural change which propose that cultures pass through several stages, from an initial stage, undergoing a series of changes, and then reverting to its original state. These theories are not universal and are not driven by real-world data. Some Anthropologists such as Oswald Spengler even believed that decay and death were inevitable in societies. A related theory is the theory of deterioration. This theory has some currency among Hindu nationalists who subscribe to a hoary golden age in the remote past. Leslie A. White was a neo- evolutionst, and equated cultural advancement with energy consumption. Pitirim Sorokin was a Russian- born scholar who migrated to the USA in the 1920’s. Sorokin’s theories have some features of the cyclical approach. According to Sorokin, any socio-cultural system alters due to its own forces and properties. Sorokin identified three broad categories of change – ideational, idealistic and sensate. According to Sorokin, culture oscillates like the clock of a pendulum between two points, and that there is some kind of a recurrence or rhythm in change. This is likewise, difficult to ratify. The idea of structuralism was propounded by Claude Levi-Strauss. According to him, elements of culture such as arts, ritual and the patterns of daily life were surface representations of the underlying structure of the human mind. Levi Strauss’s works have revolved around the cognitive processes of people, and the ways in which humans perceive and classify things around them. Varying interpretations of structuralism have been provided by Edmund Leach, Rodney Needham and Mary Douglas. Structuralists believe that various elements of a culture can only be meaningfully understood in terms of the inter- relationships among them. According to Klages (2006; 31), structuralism is ‘a way of thinking that works to find the fundamental basic units or elements of which anything is made’. According to Barry (1995; 39), “The essence of structuralism is the belief that things cannot be understood in isolation and they have to be seen in the larger context of the larger structures they are part of”. Structuralists also look for inter-relationships between different elements of a culture, and tend to adopt more holistic approaches while looking for solutions to problems in Anthropology. For example, if anyone is studying kinship, he cannot arrive at any meaningful conclusions by studying just one family, but must interface it with a
  • 30. 30 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved study of kinship systems in the society as a whole. Likewise, this approach cannot be easily reconciled with real-world data and experiences. 17 18 Let us now attempt to take another parallel from the field of social psychology which is closely related to sociology; social psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its various and different functions, particularly those which affect human behaviour in a particular or a specific social or a cultural context. We also have various different theories in psychology, most of which took root in a narrow Eurocentric context. We also have the social convoy theory in psychology and the convoy model. According to the Convoy Model, relationships with a spouse and other close-knit family members, (in other words, people in the innermost circle of the convoy), usually remain stable throughout the human lifespan. On the other hand, coworkers, neighbours, and acquaintances, people in the periphery of the convoy, are intrinsically much less stable. Does this theory take data from all contexts and situations, and analyse exceptions? Maybe not. We also have the concept of Oedipus complex proposed by Sigmund Freud. This complex refers to a son’s proximity towards his mother, and his hostility towards his father. This is just a general observation, and has been highly criticized by other thinkers as well who state it has been formulated with minimal evidence. Critics also point that this complex may not apply to all cultures. Also, just what are the practical applications of this postulate? Another idea is that of a self-fulfilling prophecy which was first investigated by William Isaac Thomas and Dororthy Swain Thomas and later reworked upon by Robert K Merton. The evidence for such a phenomenon is far from conclusive, and all theories we believe must be internally and externally consistent, and self-correcting. Another weird example is Hume’s guillotine which is somewhat abstract in orientation, and can have many potential exceptions. Theories must also be reflective of human behaviour, and as far as possible, throw light on it. Social sciences will blossom and flourish is data driven constructs are adopted, and data-driven theorization becomes the norm. This will also raise the prestige of social sciences in the eyes of the common man, and do away with pre-scientific constructs too. (Jennison 2011) These are just some illustrative examples; we also then have Thematic apperception tests and Rorschach inkblot tests which are so abstract, they are pretty much useless in solving real world problems. For example, why do most modern Indians, including educated ones, lack a scientific orientation? Why are they overly religious, and why do they succumb to ideologies. We have proposed the structured apperception test for socio- cultural change instead, in a paper we had published in 2023. They law of three stages proposed by Auguste Comte is also difficult to justify; it is at best, an approximation. Talcott Parsons along with his colleagues like Robert Bales and Edward Shills have proposed the ‘AGIL Paradigm’, which is fairly comprehensive, though critics may see it as being somewhat subjective. Most concepts in sociology, just in most other fields of the social sciences, have yet to fully transition out of a “White man’s adventure perspective”, (sometimes, civilizing missions, or missions civilizatrices) into “Service to society”, and a “Service to humanity” perspective. This is even though many anthropologists studied other ”primitive” cultures. These are the two key concepts we wish to define, 17 Aby, Stephen H. 2005. Sociology: A Guide to Reference and Information Sources (3rd ed.). Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited Inc. 18 Macionis, John J (1991). Sociology (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • 31. 31 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved and these are polar opposites. Therefore, societal problems in society (not just in one given society, but in societies all over the world), must be taken as the meaningful starting point, and solutions and strategies worked out accordingly. Also, all societies must be studied, and not just “primitive” ones. However, many theorists in sociology have provided us the foundational building blocks in terms of concepts in diverse areas such as individualism, collectivity, social facts, social structure and organic analogy, social actors, conflict, stratification, power elite and veto groups, ethnicity, and inequality, including concepts such as natural and social inequality, that are useful in developing more complex and advanced concepts, and we must be thankful and grateful to them for this even if they are not from a cross-cultural perspective. Very early in sociology and cultural anthropology, John Beattie and Thomas Hylland Eriksen, advocated a study of diverse cultures. However, there is now a slow and gradual pace of change as many new concepts such as action anthropology within applied anthropology have come up; this sub-discipline of study seeks to solve communities’ most pressing problems and challenges. Participatory approaches in anthropology help provide a broad direction, but let communities solve their own problems. Cultural brokerage approaches help achieve mutual cross-cultural understanding among people of different cultures. This pace is however, too slow for our liking, and must be rapidly accelerated. There are also no overarching theories in the field, and meaningful and structured attempts to synthesize various theories in the field. We have come up with concepts such as the symbiotic approach to social and cultural change. We have also proposed several new concepts in the social sciences such as thought worlds, world views, mind space, mind-orientation, societal and cultural orientation, cultural and cross-cultural frames of reference, the sociological ninety ten rule, cross-cultural research design, etc. Why did other researchers not think up of them earlier? According to the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, there are various stages in scientific growth, namely the pre-paradigm stage, the normal science stage, the stage of anomalies and crisis, the stage of paradigm-shift, revolution and incommensurability; and the stage of resolution. According to him, these stages would be applicable for the social sciences as well. Let us hope he is proved right eventually. Over-theorization is also dangerous and has limited utility; there has to be a counterbalance between theory and the search for facts. Since Marxism and communism have also declined worldwide, we also look forward to a post-Marxist school of thought in relation to sociology, and one that also takes into account, the realities of decolonialization and globalization. This will also impact the study of political and economic institutions, among others. Marxism is also generally seen as being western-centric by most intellectuals despite the existence of other schools of thought such as the Asiatic modes of production. Marx’s four stages of communism model was never corroborated with real-world data, and neither were his concept of base and superstructure in relation to economic theory. The latter was published in his work “The Critique of Political Economy” in 1859. Traditional Marxist theory also focuses very little on other important issues such as gender, ethnicity, or other aspects of identity. This is another important criticism of Marxist theory, and one that has withstood the test of time. Marx also does not appear to have taken into consideration the aspect that “classes”, and social constructs are fluid and dynamic, not static, and that “class relations” were not based on conflict alone. As Jean Paul
  • 32. 32 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Sartre states, “Marxism remains the philosophy of our times because we have not gone beyond the circumstances which created it.” Anthropologists have done some work on climate change, and environmental ethnography has emerged as a major discipline within anthropology. For example, the plight of climate refugees has been studied by some anthropologists. Ethics must also be understood from a global perspective, and in keeping with the principles of cultural relativism which is opposed to cultural hegemony and cultural imperialism. This must also lead to universal humanism, an idea that is still new within the realm of sociology. Many sociologists may also have been critical of capitalism, but capitalism may also have changed with the times, with more equitable development models, and the institution of social security. Indian sociology and Indian anthropology are still relatively very young, having been conceptualized by Andre Beteille, N.K. Bose, L.P. Vidyarthi S.C. Dube, S.C. Roy, G.S. Ghurye, D.N. Majumdar, and S. Sinha and a few others. Most Indian sociologists and anthropologists however still slavishly copy western paradigms; there is still very little originality in thinking. Sociology and cultural anthropology must be meshed with economics; we have proposed the field of anthropological economics which would be a very novel but useful way to study economics. However, the term ‘development anthropology’ has already been used by anthropologists such as Glynn Cochrane, who felt that the term applied anthropology had a colonial connotation with limited utility in post-colonial contexts. Development anthropologists have also now begun to study the incorporation of local societies into larger, regional, national, and world economic systems. They have also begun to study modernization processes all over the world. According to Escobar, there are two distinct concepts namely ‘Development Anthropology’ and ‘Anthropology of Development’. Both ‘Development Anthropology’ and ‘Anthropology of Development’ use anthropological concepts and insights for formulating economic policy. However, ‘Development Anthropology’ accepts mainstream view of development, while the ‘Anthropology of Development’ prescribes a radical critique of development, and prefers to distance itself from mainstream, orthodox and conventional developmental discourse and establishment. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists have also developed techniques such as Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) which are two distinct methods of research applied by investigators and practitioners in the field, specifically in the rural areas. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists have also played a role in developing and refining concepts such as human capital and Human Development Index or HDI. Another approach would be to adopt non-conservative and heterodox approaches away from the western experience; for example, we could analyze Nehru’s fascination for socialism, his non-universalization of primary education, and its impact on high population growth, along with Sanjay Gandhi’s forced sterilizations of the 1970’s. 19 20 21 19 Coser, Lewis 1956, The Functions of Social Conflict. New York. The Free Press. 20 MacIver, R.M. 1926, The Modern State, Oxford Clarendon Press 21 Parsons, Talcott et al., 1965, Theories of Society, 1 Vol. ed. New York, The Free Press 1960-2 Vols.
  • 33. 33 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Chapter 5 Anthropology
  • 34. 34 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Anthropology is a holistic science which investigates different aspects of man or Homo sapiens, possibly the single most successful species in the world till date, and integrates this study with a study of his forerunners and predecessors including hominins, hominoids and other primates to achieve a thorough understanding of the origins and culture of man. It is also the systematic study of humans as biological organisms, and of human culture, and encompasses the approaches of both the biological and social sciences for a wholesome synthesis between the two. It is an all-encompassing field of study and includes topics as far apart as the evolution of primates into humans (evolutionary anthropology), origin, classification and distribution of races, genetics, archaeology, anthropometry, paleoanthropology, ethnography, human ecology, cultural anthropology, economic anthropology, political anthropology, diachronic linguistics, synchronic linguistics and applied anthropology. Anthropology therefore deals with all aspects of human existence (Howard and Dunaif-Hattis, 1992), and its scope is so vast that it interfaces with a host of other sciences such as sociology, historiography, psychology, geography, social sciences and economics. However, the core fields of Anthropology are considered to be Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology or Archaeological Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. The last of these in a strictly Anthropological context evolved in American universities, and is a sub-field with a lot of promise. The word anthropology is derived from the Greek word ‘anthropos’ which means human being and ‘logos’ which means science. Anthropology therefore refers to the science of human beings (Barnard, 2000; 1). However, the term anthropology did not exist at that time and the word came into use only in the past couple of centuries. Paul Broca defined Anthropology as “The natural history of man”. According to Haviland, Prins, Walrath and McBride (2011; 2), “Anthropology is the study of humankind in all times and places”. Langness (1974; 1) defines anthropology as “The scientific study of human beings- i.e., of the human creature viewed in the abstract: male, female, all colours and shapes, prehistoric, ancient, and modern.” According to the University of North Texas, “Anthropology is the study of human diversity around the world with a view to identify commonalities and differences in social institutions, cultural beliefs and communication systems”. According to Barrett (1996; 3), “Anthropology usually has been defined as the study of other cultures, employing the technique of participant observation, and collecting qualitative (not quantitative) data”. Clyde Kluckhohn likened Anthropology to a great mirror which enabled man to look at his own diversity. The 1822 Encyclopaedia Britannica on the other hand, defined Anthropology as a discipline devoted to a discourse on human nature. Anthropology is also very closely related to sociology which may be defined as the “science of society”. (L.F Ward and W.G Summer) August Comte, Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl
  • 35. 35 Copyright @ Sujay Rao Mandavilli, all rights reserved Marx were the pioneers of sociology. Many Anthropologists also functioned as sociologists and the distinction between the two disciplines is often blurred. August Comte defined sociology as “The science of social phenomena subject to natural and invariable laws, the discovery of which is the object of investigation.” According to Max Weber, “Sociology is the science which attempts the interpretive understanding of social action in order thereby to arrive at causal explanation of its course and effects.” Morris Ginsberg states “In the broadest sense, sociology is the study of human interactions and inter- relations, their conditions and consequences.” Sociology also forms a part of Social sciences which may be defined as “Disciplines which study social interaction, society or culture.” (William P. Scott) Anthropology is a relatively new discipline whose theoretical framework developed only in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. However, an interest in studying human beings can be traced to the time of Heredotus in Ancient Greece in the fifth century BC, who developed a great interest in alien peoples and may have been the world’s first anthropologist. Heredotus travelled amongst Greek colonies such as those forming a part of the Persian Empire, but wrote about other alien cultures mostly from second hand information. Other early contributors to Anthropology included Aristotle, Strabo, Lucretius (progenitor of the Three-age system of classification later refined by Christian Jurgensen Thomsen and Gustav Oscar August Montelius), Tacitus, Aquinas and Polo. Aristotle, arguably the world’s first biologist, introduced philosophical anthropology, writing on human nature, and differentiating between man and animals. Strabo, a geographer, also wrote about distant places and far off lands just like Heredotus. He is known for his travels to Egypt, Ethiopia and Asia Minor. Some aspects of anthropology such as linguistics also evolved independently, in places like Ancient Egypt, Ancient India and Ancient China through the publication of notable works such as those of Panini. The voyages of early travelers and conquerors such as Hiuen Tsang, Fa Hien, Alexander the Great, Appolonius of Tyana and Megasthenes also stimulated interest in other cultures. Psammatichus of Egypt is regarded to be by some as the world’s first linguist. Interest in cultural studies can also be traced to the renaissance period of the fourteenth and the fifteenth centuries. In the 14th century, Ibn Battuta also wrote about his travels to distant lands which included both Muslim and Non-Muslim worlds. Similarly, the age of exploration gave a boost to interest in exotic cultures, and travelers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, James Cook and Christopher Columbus wrote about their experiences and encounters with distant cultures. The dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution gave a major fillip to anthropology and sociology. The French philosopher Baron de Montesquieu wrote about several exotic cultures in his work “The spirit of the Laws” which was published in the year 1748. Henry Maine and Henri Lewis Morgan’s famous works “Ancient Law” (1861) and “Ancient Society” (1877) were based on their own investigations and travels. Colonialists and missionaries also wrote about their encounters with other cultures, but their endeavours often had selfish, ulterior motives. Cultures were often labeled primitive, savage, barbaric, pre-literate etc, and not even the most eminent of Anthropologists were free from Eurocentric bias. In France and Germany, anthropology took off in the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, but other names such as ethnology, Volkskunde, Volkerkunde were usually employed. Early attempts to establish anthropology as a science can also be