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Volume :34 Issue : 4 2006      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Impact of Globalization on the Social Sciences: The Case of Asian Studies

Auther : Mohammed A. Selim

Globalization has brought major changes not only in the areas of security, trade, culture, development, and democracy, but also in the area of social knowledge. It has led to an unprecedented dissemination of knowledge as a result of the revolutions in information and communications technology, but more importantly it has epistemologically, ontologically, methodologically, and conceptually influenced the social sciences. This paper reviews the major transformations in the social sciences, which have resulted from the emergence of the post positivist globalization paradigm.

The paper contends that these transformations have been reflected in the field of area studies, and especially in that of Asian studies. These studies are now undergoing major changes in the direction of those occurring in the social sciences in general, with additional unique institutional transformations. The field is rapidly moving away from the traditional Western Orientalist paradigm towards a truly Asianist one, and is witnessing a process of the institutional globalization of Asian studies in the form of trans-regional research networks and the introduction of a global Asian research agenda. In this respect the paper poses three hypotheses regarding the presumed relations between globalization and four areas of social sciences, and Asian Studies. The hypotheses were partially confirmed as some of the transformations were in opposite directions. Finally, the paper assesses the implications of these transformations for the status of the social sciences and Asian studies in the Arab world, and concludes with a plea for a new Arab social science indigenously developed to deal with Arab issues.

Key words: Globalization, Social sciences, Post-positivism, Asian studies, Area studies

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