Orientalism and Nationalism


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Orientalism and Nationalism

  1. 1. ID501Nationalism and Orientalism The Social Science of Enyclopedia Selma Kadiroğlu 1561729
  3. 3. • Nationalism is the political doctrine which holds that humanity can be divided into separate units, and each unit has a right and the duty to constitute itself as a state.• It is not specified exactly what a nation is. It would be shared culture, shared language or shared religion and sometimes history .• It emerges with French Englihtenment and American Revolution in 18th century.• Opera and novel were favourite vehicles of nationalist feelings.
  4. 4. • Italy remains imperfectly national.• German unity owed more to Bismarck than to popular passion for nationhood.• In Africa and Asia, there were few plausible states and successor states claimed freedom in order to begin the process of cultural homogenization which may lead to nationhood.• Pakistan tried to hold together two separated areas inherited from British Raj but could not be sustained in that form and separated.
  5. 5. • Political scientists argue that nationalism provides an explanation to hidden causes of conflict between different ethnic groups. Nationalism becomes a force to move people to both action and belief.• “Nationalism is better treated as a complex of ideas and sentiments which respond flexibily,decade by decade, to new situations,in which peoples may find themselves.”(Kenneth Minogue)
  6. 6. • The ideas of Herder and Fichte were important in the development of the anthropological concept of culture.• Boas failed to question the assumption that people belonged to one culture only as naturally while fighting against the idea „race‟.• Weber and Marx treated nationalism and vision of human cultural differences which is based on classes.• Anthropologists rarely questioned the idea of nationhood desptite its pervasive effects, they prefer ethnicity.
  7. 7. • Mauss, Dumont, Warner and Geertz treated nationalism and rituals of nations.• In 1980, it was seen as an antropological problem, because of civil war and violent movements towards separatism. Ethnographers in European colonies had to deal with the political and human cost of postcolonial nationalisms.
  8. 8. • There were publications of important theoretical books on nationalism in the 1980s.• Ernest Gellner offers a general sociological model of links between nationalism and modernity (Nations and Nationalism ,1983)• He argues that industrial society is based on a necessary cultural homogeneity which allows for continious cognitive and economic growth.
  9. 9. • Benedict Anderson focused on nationalism as a mode of political imagination (Imagined Communities , 1983)• Chatterjee examined the paradoxes and contradictions of anti colonial and post colonial nationalisms (Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World, 1986)
  10. 10. • Anderson opened new research areas on cultural production;in the mass media, consumption, art and folklore (Foster 1991).• Anthropologist have been slower to respond to nationalism as a specifically political phenomenon, slower to deal with its power to mobilize people politically.
  11. 11. • Several ethnographic research has instead concentrated on the rituals and symbols of nationalism, tracing a line of enquiry opened by Hobsbawm and Ranger (Invention of Tradition).• In this research, intellectuals and cultural producers become unexpected object for anthropology . Handler‟s research on Québécois nationalism as a cultural system became an important examination of the intellectual genealogy of ideas.
  12. 12. Jonathan Spencer( Routledge World Reference); Nationalism occupies a sensitive place in anthropological collective consciousness. It can be held accountable for many gravest crimes in the 20th century. Anthropologist should not employ assertions of relativisim as a smokescreen for hiding their own political engagement .
  14. 14. What is Orientalism?Orientalism conventionally describes academicdisciplines which specialize in the study of „theOrient‟, taken to mean Asia and the Middle East .
  15. 15. • Edward Said ; “the Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, e ven colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles”(Orientalism,1978)• Orientalism refers to distortions in the perception and analysis of alien societies that resemble the distortions that Said discern in Oriental Studies.
  16. 16. Distortions 1. exaggerating the difference between the familiar and the strange It is found in theories or models that compare the west and the alien and that portray the alien as little more than a mirror image of the western. Examples includes comparison of• hierarchic(India) and egalitarian(western) societies (e.g. Dumont 1970,1977),• commodity(western) and gift(Melanesian) (e.g. Gregory 1982)
  17. 17. Distortions2. treating society as though it is unchanging expression of some basic essence or genius, a distortion sometimes called „essentialism‟. According to Said, social and cultural practices and institutions are portrayed or understood as being “what they are because they are what they are for all time, for ontological reasons that no empirical matter can either dislodge or alter.
  18. 18. Distortions3. portraying and analysing a society as though it is radically separated from the west.Ethnography ignores ;• points of contact between society and the west• the colonial relations that may have existed between two societies• western intrusions in that society .Reason of ignorance: They do not reflect what is taken to be the true essence of the society involved.
  19. 19. • Johannes Fabian suggested that the antropological other is placed in a different temporal frame in anthropological writings, rendered different though the denial of a shared history. It was extended beyond the East and, applied to the examination of Occidentalist stereotypes about the West.• James Clifford( On Orientalism,1988) were inconsistent between a fairly traditional liberal humanism and a more unsettling stance borrowed from Michael Foucault. Some of Said‟s weaker arguments were providedn to legitimation by Foucault.
  20. 20. • Said‟s use of discourse in Foucault‟s sense allows him to build up a portrait of a totalizing and undifferentiated Orientalism. His Orientals become mute and passive in the face of Western knowledge-power axis: there is little sense that the inhabitants of the East have themselves contributed to Orientalist discourse.• In 1990s, Orientalist stereotypes were encountered in communal politics within India as in Western foreign policy.
  21. 21. Although many disapprove orientalism, it may beinescapable in anthropology. James G. Carrier says that;“Comparison is at the heart of anthropology and it isnecessary to stress their differences and slight theirsimilarities and to construe them in terms offundamental attributes or essences.”(The SocialScience of Encyclopedia)