South–South relations in the academic world

The case of anthropology

Authored by: Gordon Mathews

Routledge Handbook of South–South Relations

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138652002
eBook ISBN: 9781315624495
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315624495-6

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the intellectual and academic world of South–South and South–North relations through the lens of anthropology. There is a growing cultural and political awareness among anthropologists that their discipline is global. The World Council of Anthropological Associations, an organisation of presidents of anthropological associations from around the world, is one manifestation of this; despite structural biases such as the use of English as a lingua franca, it does indeed succeed in providing an anthropological global forum, where South–South relations can potentially flourish. However, while ‘West is Best’ has long since lost its intellectual validity, institutionally it retains its dominance, as manifested by such markers as the Social Science Citation Index in all its Anglo-American bias. Still, if anthropological global South–South relations are to counter Anglo-American hegemony, it is difficult to see how this could happen except via a common language, which at present is, indeed, English.

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