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Towards a method for postcolonial development geography? Possibilities and challenges

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Abstract:

In this paper we explore the contours of a ‘method’ for postcolonial development geography, which makes it possible to imagine another ‘world-picturing’. We suggest three steps towards such a method. First, we propose that a postcolonial method involves thinking about why we are doing research in the south in the first place; how we come to and produce our questions; and how we analyze and represent our findings based on our subject positionings. Second, that we need to recognize theorization as an inherent part of method, rethink how we currently theorize and reconfigure our methods of theorization to address wider political aims. Problematizing theorization helps challenge the universalism of Eurocentric theories, thus enabling development geography to move towards more decolonized versions and visions. Finally, that this must be accompanied by firmer recognition of our multiple investments – personal, institutional and geopolitical – and how they frame the possibilities for change. These are some possible steps that we think can reconfigure the ‘scholarly track’ that postcolonial development geographers traverse.

Keywords: British neoliberal academy; development geography; dialogue; method; postcolonial; theory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9493.2006.00262.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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