Basics of LiteratureLiterature

Postcolonialism and Key Points in Postcolonial Theory

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Postcolonialism examines how societies, governments and peoples within the formerly colonized areas of the world experience worldwide relations. The use of ‘post’ by postcolonial scholars under no circumstances means that the consequences or impacts of colonial rule are actually long gone. Rather, it highlights the affect that colonial and imperial histories nonetheless have in shaping a colonial mind-set in regards to the world and the way Western forms of knowledge and power marginalize the non-Western world. Postcolonialism just isn’t solely considering understanding the world as it’s, but in addition because it should be. It is anxious with the disparities in world power and wealth accumulation and why some states and groups exercise more power over others. By elevating issues akin to this, postcolonialism asks completely different questions to the other theories of IR and permits for not simply different readings of history but in addition different views on contemporary events and issues. Postcolonialism has particularly drawn consideration to IR theory’s neglect of the vital intersections of empire, race/ethnicity, gender and sophistication within the workings of world power that reproduce a hierarchical IR. This hierarchy is centered not on striving for a more equal distribution of power amongst peoples and states however on the focus of power.

A key theme to postcolonialism is that Western perceptions of the non-West are results of the legacies of European colonization and imperialism. Discourses primarily issues which can be written or spoken constructed non-Western states and peoples as different or completely different to the West, normally in a method that made them seem like inferior. In doing so, they helped European powers justify their domination over different peoples within the identify of bringing civilization or progress. It brings collectively a deep concern with histories of colonialism and imperialism, how these are carried by means of the present and the way inequalities and oppressions embedded in race, class and gender relations on a worldwide scale matter for our understanding of international relations. By paying close consideration to how these features of the worldwide play out in particular contexts, postcolonialism offers us an vital and different conceptual lens that gives us with a unique set of theoretical tools to unpack the complexities of this world.

Read About: The “Unsympathetic” Character of “Notes from the Underground” by Dostoevsky

Post-colonialism, as each a body of idea and a study of political and cultural change, has gone and continues to undergo three broad levels:

  • a preliminary awareness of the social, psychological, and cultural inferiority enforced by being in a colonized state
  • the struggle for ethnic, cultural, and political autonomy
  • a rising awareness of cultural overlap and hybridity

alterity: “the state of being other or different”; the political, cultural, linguistic, or religious other. The study of the methods by which one group makes themselves completely different from others.

diaspora: the voluntary or enforced migration of peoples from their native homelands. Diaspora literature is usually involved with questions of sustaining or altering identity, language, and culture whereas in one other tradition or nation.

ethnicity: a fusion of traits that belong to a group–shared values, beliefs, norms, tastes, behaviors, experiences, reminiscences, and loyalties. Often deeply associated to an individual’s identity.

hegemony: the power of the ruling class to persuade different classes that their interests are the interests of all, usually not solely by means of financial and political management however more subtly by means of the management of education and media.

hybridity: new transcultural forms that come up from cross-cultural exchange. Hybridity might be social, political, linguistic, non secular, and so forth. It just isn’t essentially a peaceable combination, for it may be contentious and disruptive in its experience. 

creolization: societies that come up from a combination of ethnic and racial mixing to form a new material, psychological, and religious self-definition.

ideology: “a system of values, beliefs, or ideas shared by some social group and often taken for granted as natural or inherently true” (Bordwell & Thompson 494)

abrogation: a refusal to make use of the language of the colonizer in a correct or standard approach.

appropriation: “the process by which the language is made to ‘bear the burden’ of one’s own cultural experience.”

magical realism: the variation of Western realist methods of literature in describing the imaginary life of indigenous cultures who experience the legendary, magical, and supernatural in a decidedly completely different fashion from Western ones. A weaving collectively components we tend to associate with European realism and components we associate with the fabulous, where these two worlds endure a “closeness or near merging.”

mimicry: the means by which the colonized adapt the tradition (language, education, clothes, and so forth.) of the colonizer however at all times within the course of changing it in vital methods. Such an approach always accommodates it within the ambivalence of hybridity.

orientalism: by which “the Orient” was constructed as a unique different by European studies and tradition. Orientalism just isn’t a lot a real study of different cultures as it’s broad Western generalization about Oriental, Islamic, and/or Asian cultures that tends to erode and ignore their substantial variations.

other: the social and/or psychological ways by which one group excludes or marginalizes one other group. By declaring somebody “Other,” individuals are likely to stress what makes them dissimilar from or opposite of one other, and this carries over into the way they signify others, particularly by means of stereotypical images.

subaltern: the lower or colonized classes who’ve little access to their very own means of expression and are thus dependent upon the language and strategies of the ruling class to express themselves.

race: the division and classification of human beings by physical and organic traits. Race usually is utilized by numerous groups to both preserve power or to emphasize solidarity. In the 18th and19th centuries, it was usually used as a pretext by European colonial powers for slavery and/or the “white man’s burden.”

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