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The social science imagination in India : deconstructing boundaries and redefining limits.

By K. Srinivasan


The social sciences have played a significant role in challenging and\ud politicising various forms of exploitation. However, Indian social\ud science discourse has largely ignored the exploitation that is inherent\ud in most human–non-human relationships and, at times, even actively\ud delegitimised any efforts to question the same. This paper tries to\ud understand why the ethical aspects of human–non-human (specifically,\ud animal) interactions have remained outside social science analysis. It\ud does so by examining the arguments used to support such exclusion\ud and by exploring a range of taken-for-granted differences between\ud human and non-human animals. The analysis suggests that the\ud reluctance of the Indian social sciences to engage with this question\ud is unjustified. In doing so, it points to the need for social sciences to\ud continually question the exclusionary power of their boundaries by\ud deploying an empathetic and self-reflexive imagination

Topics: Environmental ethics Non-human animals, Politics of knowledge, Speciesism, Social sciences in India.
Publisher: Indian Sociological Society
Year: 2010
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