Criticizing Eurocentrism: Limitations and Alternatives


Eurocentrism is a grand narrative changing with time and transforming under different contexts. Many critics of this grand narrative have not yet managed to go beyond what they have criticized. In this article, we aim to analyse and question the critique of Eurocentrism from two domains: ‘centrism’ and ‘Europe’. First, we discuss the inadequacy of responding to one centrism with another centrism and one essentialism with another essentialism. Second, we look at how the idea of ‘Europe’ can be restrictive when it is imagined as a homogeneous, uniform and consistent entity. For us, one way of making differences visible within Europe, the West and the rest of the world is closely related to being able to think beyond rigid categories and binary oppositions. Being able to read culture in its complexity by taking into account hybridities, contextual variations and intercultural moments is of utmost importance. In this article, we argue that providing a viable critique of Eurocentrism has to do with understanding and analyzing Eurocentrism in its specific context. To this end, understanding the universal effect of Eurocentrism, its specific readings, the way it is has been received and reinterpreted in different cultures is crucial. Only by adopting an interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary outlook without dismissing either a macro or a micro-analysis is it possible to avoid binary oppositions and understand the variable, diverse and complex nature of the supposedly static and homogeneous


Geography Time-Space Reception Studies Hybridity Interdisciplinarity