ABSTRACT

The social theory of a writer like Ashis Nandy in India, drawing on a rich indigenous intellectual history, reads very differently from the social thought of Afrikaner intellectuals in South Africa, who were cut off by the dynamics of settler colonialism from the resources of indigenous thought. One of the fundamental problems that social science faces is to connect different formations of knowledge in the periphery with each other. Metropolitan social theory comfortably talks about the constitution of society, about the building blocks of social processes, and about the reproduction of social structures. Social science as a whole is embodied practice. It is something done by particular groups of people in particular settings. This has been clear since feminists raised the issue of what it was to have women rather than men doing the research, as well as being the objects of research. The institutional base of social-scientific workforce is relevant to the kind of knowledge that is produced.