SOCB53 – Lecture 5 (Feb. 5)
What is the connection between colonialism and racism?
What is the connection between knowledge and power in the
construction of race/racism? How is this evident in the history
of colonialism and slavery?
Definitions of Colonialism
“Classical colonialism is distinguished by economic
exploitation, forced entry, and cultural imperialism through
the imposition of new institutions and ways of thought” –
o Stealing people‟s land, houses, etc.
o Forcing European ideals.
Culture and Imperialism
“Imperialism means the practice, the theory, and the
attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant
territory; colonialism which is almost always a consequence of
imperialism, is the implanting of settlements on a distant
territory” – Edward Said
o Iraq, there are foreign forces there (imperialism) but
there isn‟t colonialism happening.
Key Elements of Colonialism
Occupation and Seizure of Land
Exploitation of the pre-existing population
Cultural Imperialism (Ideology)
o Trying to change their ways of life
Justification of exploitation through “othering”
o Example: Discourses that justify slavery
Notion that whiteness is superior
o Example: Religious Discourses
Religion took race as a marker of superiority.
Tying their morality to their skin colour.
Postcolonial Theorist, one of the first scholars associated with
o Orientalism (1978) Becomes a discourse that helps explain the orient.
o Culture and Imperialism (1993)
Latent and Manifest Orientalism
“The distinction I am making is really between an almost
unconscious (and certainly an untouchable) positivity, which I
shall call latent Orientalism, and the various stated views
about Oriental society, languages, literatures, history,
sociology, and so forth, which I shall call manifest
Orientalism. Whatever change occurs in knowledge of the
Orient is found almost exclusively in manifest Orientalism; the
unanimity, stability, and durability of latent Orientalism are
more or less constant.” - Edward Said
Discourse about the “Orient,” representational frame
o Frames current knowledge to generate new knowledge
Field of studies, academic and political doctrine
Geography as marker of “inherent” difference
o “they live somewhere different, so they themselves as
people must be different”
Organizes what we know about the “Orient”
Academic disciplines, literature implicated
Connected to power
The Production of the Other, Edward Said on Orientalism
o What does Orientalism tell us about the “Oriental” other
That it doesn‟t change, and never will. They aren‟t
developing like the west. Timeless, doesn‟t
progress. Not modern.
That all Oriental countries are essentially the
same. Homogeneous. Use the same types of
images for each country.
Latent Orientalism: Not really conscious that it