He is a refreshing admission of failure. Western social thought sucks and has failed to provide solutions to any “of our most pressing domestic social and economic issues.” Well duh. Natural science may have been successful at ramping up the technological quotient of this world, but social thought has done nothing but goggle the environmental, psychological, emotional, and spiritual disaster that has resulted. We definitely need a new way of thinking about the world. Still, and sadly, I’m pretty sure you wont’ find it in this book.
[amazon_enhanced asin="1848135572" container="div" container_class="bookbox" price="All" background_color="FFFFFF" link_color="000000" text_color="0000FF" /]Has Western rationality reached its limit?
In this radical new book, Patrick Chabal reveals how the future of the West is now inextricably linked to that of the non-West. The book argues that the postcolonial challenge, as well as the influence of non-Westerners now living in the West, have combined to expose the restrictions of Western rationality – that is, the theories and concepts that are currently used to understand and act upon the world.
Discussing such provocative questions as ‘Is it a good idea to build mosques in Europe?’ and ‘Is Beckham the new black icon?’, Chabal explores the growing failure of Western social thought to explain many of our most pressing domestic social and economic issues. He also debates contentious issues in international relations, such as the legitimacy of enforced democracy and the existence of universal human rights, picking apart Western arrogance in favour of a more nuanced and egalitarian approach.
Chabal concludes that, ultimately, what the West needs is not more and better theory but an entirely new way of thinking – one that will put an end to its current deep-seated conceit.
The End of Conceit: Western Rationality after Postcolonialism by Patrick Chabal is published by Zed Books,
priced £14.99/$26.95, ISBN 9781848135574.
For more information or to request a review copy
please contact Ruvani de Silva on 020 7837 8466 or [email protected].
Filed Under: Books
About the Author: I'm a sociologist at Athabasca University where I coordinate,amongst other things, the introductory sociology courses (Sociology I and Sociology II). FYI I did my dissertation in the political economy of scholarly communication (you can read it if you want). It's not that bad. My current interests lie in the area of scholarly communication and pedagogy, the sociology of spirituality and religion, consciousness research, entheogens, inequality and stratification, and the revolutionary potential of authentic spirituality. The Socjourn is my pet project. It started as the Electronic Journal of Sociology but after watching our social elites systematically dismantle the potential of eJournals to alter the politics and economies of scholarly communication, I decided I'd try something a little different. That something is The Socjourn, a initiative that bends the rules of scholarly communication and pedagogy by disregarding academic ego and smashing down the walls that divide our little Ivory Tower world from the rest of humanity. If you are a sociologist or a sociology student and you have a burning desire to engage in a little institutional demolition by perhaps writing for the Socjourn, contact me. If you are a graduate student and you have some ideas that you think I might find interesting, contact me. I supervise graduate students through Athabasca Universities MAIS program.