Epistemologisk hegemoni: Et studie i kolonial vidensproduktion med vand som kampplads

Rasmus Andreas Tønder, Asser Rothe & Oskar Korup-Lauridsen

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


This project is a critical inquiry into the workings of epistemological hegemony, which delineate a scanty depiction of the world. We investigate how colonial patterns of exclusion are reproduced in a manner that disregards a plurality of epistemologies, especially from the global South, thus neglecting possible responses to the current climate crisis and biocide.

We take our point of departure through a philosophy of science in which postcolonial and neo-Marxist studies critique unilateral and, allegedly, objective forms of knowledge. Through the notion of colonial patterns of exclusion by Frantz Fanon and Boaventura de Sousa Santos, we conceptualize how zones of (non-)being and abyssal lines are expressions of cultural dehumanization, that neglect other modes of being and ways of knowing than the predominant anthropocentric capitalistic Western one. With Antonio Gramsci, we assert how cultural hegemony tacitly influences the organization of society. Indeed, growth as a measurement of success has become the dominant logic by which economic, political and societal choices and structures are shaped. By shedding light on the incapabilities of the current epistemological hegemony, within which we reside, we aspire to transcend the abyssal lines of modern Western thinking through the perspectives of other epistemologies.

We use the concept of World-Capitalism to demonstrate how the mantra of free markets is expanded through globalization in which multinational corporations are the dominant actors. While emphasizing the significance of capitalism in today's society, we utilize the theory of Cheap Nature in order to deconstruct how nature has been commodified, and how humans have been regarded labour through the past five centuries.

Our analysis consists of three cases with water as pivot, thus, illustrating the relation to nature from the perspectives of different societies. This is exemplified through indigenous epistemologies and ontologies and the theory of Earth Jurisprudence. We analyse three instances in which water becomes an arena for competing epistemological and ontological understandings. Moreover, we elucidate how hegemonic expansion of epistemology and ontology influences societies and cultures to incorporate values and ideas, which results in institutionalized exclusion dynamics obliterating any other modes of being and ways of knowing. We thereby conclude, that the dominating economic reasoning neglects alternative responses to the climate crisis and biocide, however, counterhegemonic epistemologies and ontologies carry potential for a different societal agency.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor
Antal sider51
VejledereJulia Suárez-Krabbe


  • Hegemoni
  • Epistemologi
  • Neokolonialisme
  • kolonialisme
  • post-kolonialisme
  • Fanon
  • Gramsci
  • de Sousa Santos
  • Kapitalismekritik
  • Privatisering
  • Appropriation
  • Cheap Nature
  • jason Moore
  • Earth Jurisprudence
  • Anthropocene
  • Capitalocene