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Discourses of postmodern epistemology: radical impetus lost?


Müller, Martin (2006). Discourses of postmodern epistemology: radical impetus lost? Progress in Development Studies, 6(4):306-320.

Abstract

Exhibiting a highly divisive agenda postmodernism has created profound chasms across scientific communities. In development studies its radical impetus has translated into the postdevelopment perspective which violently repudiates the modernist development project. This paper crystallises two distinct discourses of working upon the epistemological raw material of postmodernism: an exclusivist discourse, which reinforces the chasm by isolating postmodernism, and an inclusivist discourse, which fosters mutual engagement between modernism and postmodernism. I contrast the trajectory of this inclusivist discourse in development studies to the hegemony of an exclusivist discourse in geography and find the preponderance of an inclusivist discourse to yield a higher radical potential and produce a kind of hybrid development research that is neither modern nor postmodern. Concluding I suggest that the relationship between modernism and postmodernism be thought of not in an exclusivist way as two competing paradigms, as it is often done, but rather as of two poles of negotiation between which a future sustained engagement should occur to enrich the theoretical and practical body of the discipline.

Abstract

Exhibiting a highly divisive agenda postmodernism has created profound chasms across scientific communities. In development studies its radical impetus has translated into the postdevelopment perspective which violently repudiates the modernist development project. This paper crystallises two distinct discourses of working upon the epistemological raw material of postmodernism: an exclusivist discourse, which reinforces the chasm by isolating postmodernism, and an inclusivist discourse, which fosters mutual engagement between modernism and postmodernism. I contrast the trajectory of this inclusivist discourse in development studies to the hegemony of an exclusivist discourse in geography and find the preponderance of an inclusivist discourse to yield a higher radical potential and produce a kind of hybrid development research that is neither modern nor postmodern. Concluding I suggest that the relationship between modernism and postmodernism be thought of not in an exclusivist way as two competing paradigms, as it is often done, but rather as of two poles of negotiation between which a future sustained engagement should occur to enrich the theoretical and practical body of the discipline.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:03 Oct 2013 08:59
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:49
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1464-9934
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1191/1464993406ps145oa
Related URLs:https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/Publikationen/55853

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