Discursive Contextures of Science: Euro/West-Centrism and Science and Technology Studies

  • Amit Prasad
Keywords: discursive contextures, territorialization, Euro/West-centrism, de/post-colonial, modernity


Science and Technology Studies (STS) by the very act of showing the multiplicity, contingency, and context-dependence of scientific knowledge and practice, provincialized modern science. Postcolonial interventions within STS have pursued this goal even further. Nevertheless, Euro/West-centrism continues to inflect not only scientific practices and lay imaginaries, but also sociological and historical analyses of sciences. In this article, drawing on my own training within STS – first under J.P.S. Uberoi, who was concerned with structuralist analysis of modernity and science, and thereafter under Andy Pickering, when we focused on material agency and temporal emergence and extensively engaged with Actor Network Theory - I emphasize the continuing role of Euro/West-centric discourses in defining the “self” and the “other” and in impacting epistemological and ontological interventions. More broadly, building on a concept of Michael Lynch’s, I call for excavation and analysis of discursive contextures of sciences. In the second section of the article, through a brief analysis of embryonic stem cell therapy in a clinic in Delhi, I show how with shifting transnational landscape of technoscience certain discursive contextures are being “deterritorialized” and left “stuttering.”

01 Jul 2016
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