Resisting Piratic Method by Doing Research Otherwise
In Sociology, 2017. Volume: 51 issue: 1, page(s): 27-42.
The reconstruction of sociology into connected sociologies works towards a truly global and plural discipline. But if undoing the overrepresentation of European epistemology in sociology requires a deeper engagement with epistemologies of the South or worlds and knowledges otherwise, how can we ensure that such engagements do not simply reproduce colonial forms of appropriation and domination? Here I consider means of resisting extractive, or ‘piratic’ method in sociology research by drawing lessons from recent debates around geopiracy and biopiracy in geography and the life sciences. The core claim of this article is that any decolonial knowledge production must involve a consideration of the political economy of knowledge – its forms of extraction, points of commodification, how it is refined as intellectual property, and how it comes to alienate participating knowers. Against this I suggest a relearning of method in an anti-piratic way as a means of returning our work to the intellectual commons.
This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.