La situation coloniale: Approche théorique

TitleLa situation coloniale: Approche théorique
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1951
AuthorsBalandier, Georges
JournalCahiers Internationaux de Sociologie

"In large part, the scientific knowledge we have of colonized peoples derives from the work of anthropologists and ethnologists," the author, a French anthropologist, wrote in this still-influential article. Such studies, in principle, could not (or should not) ignore such an important fact, that of colonization, which for a century or more has imposed a certain type of evolution on subjugated populations. However, it was only in a very uneven way that anthropologists took into consideration this precise context implied by the colonial situation. Any current study of colonized societies, aiming at a knowledge of present reality and not at a reconstitution of a historical character, aiming at an understanding which does not sacrifice specificity for the convenience of a dogmatic schematization, can only be done by reference to this complex named the "colonial situation." This article aims to reconfigure the approach of anthropologists toward global interaction by first drawing the essential lines representing the reference system of this colonial situation. [translated from introduction]

Translated TitleThe Colonial Situation: A Theoretical Approach
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