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The need for indigenization of social sciences

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A. Overview:

There was been a great crisis existing in the field of social sciences as most local researchers face the reality that the Western aspect on research methods used in their studies influence the outcome or interpretations of their findings in the cultural context of the country. As Pe-dua, R. (1989) states that, “ May mga limitasyon ang ganitong pamamaraan na matatagpuan sa iba’t- ibang antas ng pag-aaral, mula sa pagplaplano, hanggang sa pagkuha at pagsanay ng mga tagapanayam…”; in the article of Enriquez V. (1979) towards cross-cultural knowledge through cross-indigenous methods; also, in the commentary of Sta. Maria, M. (2008) pointing on resolving the indigenization crisis in Philippine Social Sciences; and to all researchers , may it local or international, who focus on this issue, there can be an assumption for a need of indigenization in this field.

B. The Indigenization Crisis in Philippine Social Sciences3:

From the point of view of Sta. Maria, M. (2008), the indigenization crisis currently happening in the social sciences stems from the inability of the researcher to observe and interpret social phenomena from the perspective and meaning systems of the culture within which the research is taking place and from which the data is gathered or to be gathered. According to her as well, this crisis has emerged from the reality that explanations and methods used are particularly came from the Western context and thus unable to explain and study the events in the cultural contexts of the country.

Sikolohiyang Pilipino, as the pioneer of this innovation, already aimed to develop theories and methods and likewise, to identify the concepts that are borne from the cultural experiences of the members of their respective cultures.

Yet, if the question for the indigenization is already resolved, for Sta. Maria, there are still points that have to be realized first. These are the concepts made based from her gathered perspectives:

1. Most Filipino psychologists use a reactive way of correcting foreign views on Filipino culture. There has been a greater focus on indigenous aspects that are in contrast with the foreign interpretations instead of focusing to the whole aspects of the former.

2. Most Filipino psychologists were trained in the traditional Western Psychology context and thus, concrete research issues focusing on the Filipino Psychology were relatively few.

3. There is a hesitation of criticism among the research works of Filipino psychologist on each other. Thus, there is a little room for improvement of studies.

4. Western methods of research influence the growth of the true Filipino psychology and thus create an illusion of liberation on the latter field.

5. The influence of English language does not help a Filipino psychologist to put into his system the aims of the indigenization.

From this point, Sta. Maria, M. (2008) sees the relevance of Salazar’s proposal of Pantayong Pananaw so as one uses one singe perspective, and this perspective represents all those who participate within the culture being studied to be the best solution to the problem created by the indigenization crisis.

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