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Published on February 21, 2008

Author: Obama

Source: authorstream.com

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Representations of the ‘Third World’: Orientalism, and Deconstructing the ‘Other’:  Representations of the ‘Third World’: Orientalism, and Deconstructing the ‘Other’ Representation and Discourse:  Representation and Discourse Representation: the creation of an illusion of reality making visual symbols or indicators to stand for an idea Michel Foucault: how people “understand themselves in our culture” production of knowledge about “the social, the embodied individual and shared meanings” Representation and Discourse:  Representation and Discourse Relation of knowledge to power: “The history which bears and determines us has the form of a war…: relations of power not relations of meaning” (Foucault) Discourse: way of representing “a group of statements which provide a language for talking about – a way of representing – a particular topic at a particular historical moment” (Hall) construction of knowledge/meaning through language defines limits of acceptable speech Representation and Discourse:  Representation and Discourse Historicised approach: meaning developed within specific historic context variation over time – not fixed Who is the ‘Other’? Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex Man = subject/norm, Woman = Other “The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness” (Aristotle) Representation and Discourse:  Representation and Discourse Aquinas – woman as ‘imperfect man’, ‘incidental being’ Definition affects role and position: men in position of authority/superiority over women “The proper wife should be as obedient as a slave” (Aristotle) Discourse and Power:  Discourse and Power Whose Representation? Knowledge intrinsically linked to power “There is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time, power relations” (Foucault, Discipline and Punish) Discourse and Power:  Discourse and Power “Truth isn’t outside power… Truth is a thing of this world; it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint… And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its ‘general politics’ of truth; that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish ‘true’ and ‘false’ statements; the means by which each is sanctioned; and the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true” (Foucault, Power/Knowledge) Discourse and Power:  Discourse and Power 18th and 19th Century view of ethnicity: superiority vs inferiority craniometrists – lower brain capacity polygenicists – different genetic lineages, different stages of evolution ‘Regime of Truth’ Slide10:  “[I]n recent times, Western societies have witnessed an almost complete separation of religion from secular life and the gradual replacement of religion with hedonistic values. Materialism, sensual gratification and selfishness are rife. The community has given way to the individual and his desires… [leading to] the breakdown of established institutions and diminished respect for marriage, family values, elders and important customs, conventions and traditions… Hence, Western societies are riddled with single-parent families, which foster incest, with homosexuality, with cohabitation, and with unrestrained avarice, with disrespect for others and with rejection of religious teachings and values… Their moral foundations are crumbling, Westerners are suffering all kinds of psychological and physical decay, their lives filled with stress and the fear of terrible new diseases engendered and propagated by their hedonistic lifestyles” (Mahathir Mohamad) Absence:  Absence Asian values debate: West = political elites + civil society East = political elites +government-sponsored academics Absence: who is missing vs who is taking part Orientalism:  Orientalism “a manner of regularized (or Orientalized) writing, vision, and study dominated by imperatives, perspectives and ideological biases ostensibly suited to the Orient” Orientalism:  Orientalism “It is hegemony, or rather the result of cultural hegemony at work, that gives Orientalism [its] durability and strength... Orientalism is never far from… the idea of Europe, a collective notion identifying ‘us’ Europeans against all ‘those’ non-Europeans, and indeed it can be argued that the major component in European culture is precisely what made that culture hegemonic both in and outside Europe: the idea of European identity as a superior one in comparison with all the non-European peoples and cultures. There is in addition the hegemony of European ideas about the Orient, themselves reiterating European superiority over Oriental backwardness, usually overriding the possibility that a more independent, or more sceptical, thinker might have had different views on the matter” Slide14:  “The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe’s greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely imaginative. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles… the phenomenon of Orientalism as I study it here deals principally, not with a correspondence between Orientalism and Orient, but with the internal consistency of Orientalism and its ideas about the Orient… despite or beyond any correspondence, or lack thereof, with a “real” Orient” (Orientalism, pp.1-3, 5) Orientalism:  Orientalism “The Orient was Orientalized not only because it was discovered to be “Oriental” in all those ways considered to be commonplace by an average nineteenth century European, but also because it could be – that is, submitted to being – made Oriental” (Said, Orientalism, pp.5-6) 19th Century – translation of Oriental writings Orient – studied, seen, observed Orientalism:  Orientalism The Nautch Girl Beneath the sky of blue, The Indolent Hindu Reclines the whole day long. He scorns ambitious schemes, He weaves no lofty dreams His glance is on the ground Orientalism:  Orientalism Eothen – A.W. Kinglake “His features displayed a good deal of serene pride, self-respect, fortitude, a kind of ingenuous sensuality, and something of instinctive wisdom, without any sharpness of intellect” (p.13) A Grain of Wheat – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o “Here were two Africans who in dress, in speech and in intellectual power were no different from the British. Where was the irrationality, inconsistency and superstition so characteristic of the African and Oriental races? They had been replaced by the three principles basic to the Western mind: i.e. the principle of Reason, of Order and of Measure” (p.53) Orientalism:  Orientalism Said – Orientalism carries through into modern depiction of Arabs Narrative rather than vision Why study it in this module? power/knowledge important ‘knowledge’ affects practice Orientalism:  Orientalism Major impact on post-colonial regimes Acceptance of ‘regime of truth’ about essential progressiveness and superiority of West vs. backwardness and inferiority of rest Development = achieving Western modernity

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