Time and Southern Theories: Relation, Consequences, and Debates

Ana Beatriz Martins

Abstract

In Southern theories, time has remained little examined. This article uses the hypothesis that time is an epistemological aspect and central to the construction of sociological knowledge. If our hypothesis is established, it would make the adequacy of European theories unviable as a standard, as general, and as universal since these would be imbued with their temporal conceptions while other societies have their own approaches to time. So, there is a new dimension for Southern theories to explore. The article has three main parts: In the first part I present the hypothesis, a new approach to time (as an epistemological dimension) and its importance for Southern theories. In the second part, I review the ongoing debate about time in Southern theories, decolonial studies, and postcolonial approaches. In the third part, I return to the initial hypothesis thinking about the implications that it brings to epistemology, social sciences, and the debates that arise.

Keywords

epistemology; Global South; Southern theories; time

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