Discourses of Transculturality: Ideas, Institutions and Practices in India and China
Transculturality, though conceptualized differently depending on the intellectual context, is broadly understood here as a research perspective that while challenging universalism, acknowledges the existence of ideas, institutions and practices across different cultural settings as a result of asymmetrical cultural flows. This perspective allows for transcending disciplinary boundaries by deploying concepts such as flow, asymmetry, hybridity, structure and agency as heuristic tools which are crucial in critically analyzing the meta-narratives of Euro-centrism, and their implications for understanding non-Western societies in their own terms, rather than along the lines of Western parameters. Each of these conceptual categories becomes an important tool to address the particular contexts of a society in its entirety rather than fitting them into a given model. This does not imply a theoretical and methodological exoticism of non-Western societies, but constitutes an attempt to generalize from these societies in a more inclusive manner. As the title suggests, this Special Issue strives to comprehend discourses of transculturality as an emerging and alternative paradigm to analyze concrete concepts, such as citizenship, governance, identity, bureaucracy, diplomacy, and tourism networks in the specific contexts of India and China.
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