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Post Key_Terms_in_Post_Colonial_Theory

You should read over the following definitions in order to understand some of the basic ideas associated with post-colonialist literature:

#COLONIALISM : The imperialist expansion of Europe into the rest of the world during the last four hundred years in which a dominant imperium or center carried on a relationship of control and influence over its margins or colonies. This relationship tended to extend to social, pedagogical, economic, political, and broadly culturally exchanges often with a hierarchical European settler class and local, educated (compractor) elite class forming layers between the European "mother" nation and the various indigenous peoples who were controlled. Such a system carried within it inherent notions of racial inferiority and exotic otherness.

#POSTS_COLONIALISM : Broadly a study of the effects of colonialism on cultures and societies. It is concerned with both how European nations conquered and controlled "Third World" cultures and how these groups have since responded to and resisted those encroachments. Post-colonialism, as both a body of theory and a study of political and cultural change, has gone and continues to go through three broad stages:
an initial awareness of the social, psychological, and cultural inferiority enforced by being in a colonized state
the struggle for ethnic, cultural, and political autonomy
a growing awareness of cultural overlap and hybridity
ambivalence: the ambiguous way in which colonizer and colonized regard one another. The colonizer often regards the colonized as both inferior yet exotically other, while the colonized regards the colonizer as both enviable yet corrupt. In a context of hybridity, this often produces a mixed sense of blessing and curse.

#ALTERITY : "the state of being other or different"; the political, cultural, linguistic, or religious other. The study of the ways in which one group makes themselves different from others.
COLONIAL EDUCATION: the process by which a colonizing power assimilates either a subaltern native elite or a larger population to its way of thinking and seeing the world.

#DIASPORA: the voluntary or enforced migration of peoples from their native homelands. Diaspora literature is often concerned with questions of maintaining or altering identity, language, and culture while in another culture or country.

#ESSENTIALISM : the essence or "whatness" of something. In the context of race, ethnicity, or culture, essentialism suggests the practice of various groups deciding what is and isn't a particular identity. As a practice, essentialism tends to overlook differences within groups often to maintain the status quo or obtain power. Essentialist claims can be used by a colonizing power but also by the colonized as a way of resisting what is claimed about them.

#ETHNICITY: a fusion of traits that belong to a group–shared values, beliefs, norms, tastes, behaviors, experiences, memories, and loyalties. Often deeply related to a person’s identity.

#EXOTICISM: the process by which a cultural practice is made stimulating and exciting in its difference from the colonializer’s normal perspective. Ironically, as European groups educated local, indigenous cultures, schoolchildren often began to see their native lifeways, plants, and animals as exotic and the European counterparts as "normal" or "typical."

#HEGEMONY: the power of the ruling class to convince other classes that their interests are the interests of all, often not only through means of economic and political control but more subtly through the control of education and media.

#HYBRIDITY: new transcultural forms that arise from cross-cultural exchange. Hybridity can be social, political, linguistic, religious, etc. It is not necessarily a peaceful mixture, for it can be contentious and disruptive in its experience. Note the two related definitions:
CATALYSIS: the (specifically New World) experience of several ethnic groups interacting and mix

Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:49 pm
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