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For the past six decades, Berkeley’s Sociology Department has consistently been ranked among the world’s top sociology departments. Our graduate program is ranked #1 in the latest U.S. News and World Report, and our undergrad degree is currently the best in the US according to College Factual and features on Grad Reports’ Best College List 2020.
Prof. Einstein served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand…
Departmental Colloquium Series
Wai Kit Choi, "Empire, Psychological Warfare, and the Allure of Behavioral Modification"
Monday, September 25, 2023 - 2:00 pm - Monday, September 25, 2023 - 3:30 pm
Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building & Via Zoom
In the Western, or more specifically, U.S.-dominated social sciences, people of color outside or within the West have historically been reduced to “research subjects,” and their role as knowledge producers has been marginalized. Precipitating such practices was the European and U.S. formal colonization of different parts of the world. In recent decades, there have been efforts to decolonize social science. Does greater “inclusion” of scholars of color within the existing knowledge production system achieve the decolonization goal? Or does the U.S. fundamentally reproduce the same hierarchical power relations within its informal empire through such “inclusion”? To address these questions, I will introduce the concept of “control by manipulation,” which is divided into “psychological warfare” and “behavioral modification,” and sketch a model of the way the U.S. has exercised manipulative control from the end of World War II to the present. From this model, I will develop an account of the relationship between the U.S. empire and knowledge production that will help address the question of “inclusion.”