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Manuela Boatcă: Counter-Mapping as Method: Locating and Relating the (Semi-)Peripheral Self. [Abstract]

Drawing on several critical cartographers’ approach to counter-mapping as method and on Boaventura de Sousa Santos’ “sociology of absences,” I discuss their combination – counter-mapping as a method for the sociology of absences – as a means of enhancing sociological reflexivity through a transdisciplinary lens. Such a lens reveals the very constitution of those academic disciplines that deal with the social world as shaped by the colonial and imperial context of their emergence. I argue that counter-mapping can serve as a decolonial strategy to the essentialization of nation-states and world regions in social scientific and political discourse and propose a relational perspective capable of revealing the constitutive entanglements through which a global capitalism grounded in colonial expansion interlinked all areas of the world. The focus lies on the entanglements that counter-mapping as a method uncovers between semiperipheries such as Eastern Europe and Latin America, constructed as fixed and unrelated locations on imperial maps.

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