Go argues that due to sociology's metrocentrism, there are blind spots within sociology that prevent it from being reflexive: analytic bifurcation, occlusion of empire, suppression of colonial agency, Orientalism, and substantialism
. Go offers a compelling alternative for sociology, by reconciling social theory and postcolonial thought into a third postcolonial wave that emphasizes the epistemic action of postcolonial relationalism.
In his "Manifesto for a Relational Sociology," which is one of the founding documents of the academic movement of RS, Mustafa Emirbayer, presents a stark choice: "The key question confronting sociologists in the present day is not 'material versus ideal', 'structure versus agency', 'individual versus society', or any of the other dualisms so often noted; rather is the choice between substantialism
and relationism" (Emirbayer 1997:282).
The overvalued interest in the maintenance of given formations has frequent recourse to the language of substantialism
So, it is important not to dismiss field simply as a useful but problematic heuristic because it requires that we have both a sense of structural dimensions (without falling into substantialism
) and relational and perspectival dimensions (without falling into relativism).
For Alberto Toscano, this is a highly nongenealogical form of what Blumenberg had already identified as 'historical substantialism
', whereby historical contents specific to one context are transported unchanged to a different time and place (Toscano, 2011, pages 128-129).
The distorting effects of historical substantialism
are particularly apparent in histories that rely on the secularization hypothesis as a substitute for historical explication (Blumenberg, 1985, pp.
That tradition was of course heir to the substantialism
that for long had marked historical thinking, but it developed it and made it into a hermeneutical principle.
Empiricism's outcome is materialistic substantialism
, which also involves two claims.
Thomas, Fairness and Certainty in Adjudication: Formalism v Substantialism
, 9 OTAGO L.
Science has progressed by systematically replacing substance essentialism with dynamical and relational accounts, but substantialism
remains the tacit assumption in eliminative materialism.
, nor Reformed memorialism produced in opposition to