Countering hegemonic knowledge in cross-cultural research: Hofstede, epistemic violence and imperialism

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    Cross-cultural research methodologies are imbued with a legacy of western-centric, colonial epistemology. By clinging on to the neutral orientation of positivism, these studies eschew socially constructed hierarchies of race, class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality. The erasure of alternate realities of subaltern people compared to Western, educated, industrial, rich and democratic – WEIRD populations, in the study of cultures, homogenizes human experiences and explains them from a White heteropatriarchal perspective. In this article, I look at the tradition of cultural determinism in cross-cultural research created by the work of Geert Hofstede and how such discourses impact geopolitical mobility of people from non-West settings. Celebrated as one of the most authoritative body of work in cross-cultural studies, his work inspired a barrage of scientific literatures that produced monumental epistemic violence. Using an assemblage- inflected approach, I look at epistemic injustices constituted by researches that use Hofstede’s parameters of national cultures and uphold a racialized power-knowledge materialization. Finally, I present suggestions to amplify inclusivity in social science discourses to counter the Euro-American monopoly in knowledge production.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Critical Southern Studies
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2023


    • culture
    • colonialism
    • subaltern
    • WEIRD
    • epistemic violence
    • power-knowledge
    • assemblage

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