Are we eating the cannibal? Provincializing STS from Latin America


Pablo Kreimer, CONICET

Some approaches, speaking about "postcolonial STS" are discovering the "failures" of the broad constructivist model (ANT, coproductionists, Third wave proponents, etc.) that became practically dominant since the 70s: stating that studies must be "located", they selected only a part of the world ("Euroamerica") and assumed that all technosciences could operate under more or less similar precepts, assuming that "the world" responds to the same patterns that the most developed countries.
The perspectives most used in the study of "Euro-American" science were useful theoretical-methodological tools, but insufficient for the social study of technoscience in other regions. By the way, some Latin American scholars apply those paradigms stricto sensu, without questioning their validity.
Those who seek to "provincialize CTS" (Law and Li, 2015), or those who sustain postcolonial perspectives (Anderson, 2012, Harding, 2008 and 2016, among others), promote a real and important advance, since they question the hegemonic model of STS and intend to broaden their agendas to account for and understand the dynamics of technosciences in the "other contexts".
It is not a question of finding "new localities" in different "provinces", but rather that the processes of techno-scientific development -both in central and peripheral contexts- are crossed by the complex and heterogeneous societies, where we find, for example, perfectly internationalized scientific elites, generally trained in "central" laboratories, coexisting with a multiplicity of other actors, some of them seeking to reproduce the internationalized canons, others questioning them, while a last group is only oriented by local dimensions.


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Contributed date

March 20, 2020 - 7:50am

Critical Commentary

Abstract submitted to 4S 2020 open panel on Transnational STS