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Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu

Tom Claes (UGent)
(1996) CULTURAL DYNAMICS. 8(1). p.79-99
Author
Organization
Abstract
Francis Hsu signalled in 1973 two prejudices that, according to him were at work in western anthropology. The first prejudice is the opinion that nonwestern anthropologists do not have anything interesting to contribute to theory formation in anthropology. The second is closely linked to the first. It consists of granting non-western anthropologists the status of privileged fact gatherers, but nothing more. The upshot of these prejudices is the failure by western anthropologists to take into account views other than those to which their cultural conditioning has led them. The effect of this is that western cultural anthropology is essentially the application of western folk theories disguised as a science-that is, as cultural anthropology. The failure hinted at earlier becomes clearly visible in studies of, among other things, non-western religions. In this 'second look' some of the implications and suggested remedies are evaluated.
Keywords
Methodology, Cultural Anthropology, Culture Theory, Religion, China

Citation

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Chicago
Claes, Tom. 1996. “Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu.” Cultural Dynamics 8 (1): 79–99.
APA
Claes, Tom. (1996). Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu. CULTURAL DYNAMICS, 8(1), 79–99.
Vancouver
1.
Claes T. Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu. CULTURAL DYNAMICS. Brill; 1996;8(1):79–99.
MLA
Claes, Tom. “Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu.” CULTURAL DYNAMICS 8.1 (1996): 79–99. Print.
@article{257779,
  abstract     = {Francis Hsu signalled in 1973 two prejudices that, according to him were at work in western anthropology. The first prejudice is the opinion that nonwestern anthropologists do not have anything interesting to contribute to theory formation in anthropology. The second is closely linked to the first. It consists of granting non-western anthropologists the status of privileged fact gatherers, but nothing more. The upshot of these prejudices is the failure by western anthropologists to take into account views other than those to which their cultural conditioning has led them. The effect of this is that western cultural anthropology is essentially the application of western folk theories disguised as a science-that is, as cultural anthropology. The failure hinted at earlier becomes clearly visible in studies of, among other things, non-western religions. In this 'second look' some of the implications and suggested remedies are evaluated.},
  author       = {Claes, Tom},
  issn         = {1461-7048},
  journal      = {CULTURAL DYNAMICS},
  keyword      = {Methodology,Cultural Anthropology,Culture Theory,Religion,China},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {79--99},
  publisher    = {Brill},
  title        = {Theorizing the West: A Second Look at Francis Hsu},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {1996},
}