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Université de Bordeaux

Bordeaux Summer School - Social science education in globalization: situated standpoints and common tools

Summer 2021

The globalization of social sciences began as early as the end of the 19th century, including in colonial and extra-Western contexts, taking into account colonial, anti-colonial and nationalist perspectives.

From an early stage, the question was posed as to whether the social sciences were indeed universal in their capacity to reflect upon modernity and the changes of modernization or whether, because of their Western-centric perspective and original evolutionism, they were blind to the effects of the coloniality of power and knowledge.

For this reason, following postcolonial and decolonial critiques, and even as Western social sciences remain dominant in terms of resources and academic influence, discussions continue about the critical reflexivity of social sciences concerning the non-hegemonic conditions of the production, circulation and appropriation of knowledge in a world marked by the experience of common issues, by the inequalities in exposure to these issues and by the differences in points of view regarding them.

Social science training, whether through teaching, research or scientific mediation devices (museums, documentaries, digital resources) represents a central space for this critical reflexivity, both in the global North and the global South. Consequently, discussions throughout this summer school are oriented around questions such as:

 Are the categories, concepts and authors of the disciplinary “canons” forged in the global North valid throughout the world or do they convey a Western-centric view of reality?

 Are the categories, concepts and authors of the disciplinary "canons" forged in the global South more relevant to describe the realities of the South and can they contribute to increasing common disciplinary tools, including for northern contexts?

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