Considerations of hybridity run the range from existential to material, political to economic, yet this discussion will not be able to tease out the extensive implications of each consideration. Rather, this discussion aims to explore the notion of hybridity theoretically, synthesizing the vast body of literature to critique essentialist notions of identity as fixed and constant. According to my understanding of Hybridity, there are three ways in which hybridity might serve as a tool for deconstructing the rigid labels that maintain social inequities through exclusion in race, language and nation.
By exploring how the hybrid rejects claims of bonds within race, language, and nation, I understood that cultural studies like these are imperative in considering the politics of representation. For the purposes of this discussion, the cultural hybridity refers to the integration of cultural bodies, signs, and practices from the colonizing and the colonized cultures. The contemporary cultural landscape is an amalgam of cross-cultural influences, blended, patch-worked, and layered upon one another. Unbound and fluid, culture is hybrid and interstitial, moving between spaces of meaning. The notion of cultural hybridity has existed far before it was popularized in postcolonial theory as culture arising out of interactions between “colonizers” and “the colonized”. However, in this time after imperialism, globalization has both expanded the reach of Western culture, as well as allowed a process by which the West constantly interacts with the East, appropriating cultures for its own means and continually shifting its own signifiers of dominant culture. This hybridity is woven into every corner of society, from trendy fusion cuisine to Caribbean rhythms in pop music to the hyphenated identities that signify ethnic Americans, illuminating the lived experience of ties to a dominant culture blending with the cultural codes of a Third World culture. Framing Cultural Hybridity in post colonial context;
Among postcolonial theorists, there is a wide consensus that hybridity arose out of the culturally internalized interactions between “colonizers” and “the colonized” and the dichotomous formation of these identities. Considered by some the father of hybrid theory, Homi Bhabha argued that colonizers and the colonized are mutually dependent in constructing a shared culture. His text The Location of Culture (1994) suggested that there is a “Third Space of Enunciation” in which cultural systems are constructed. In this claim, he aimed to create a new language and mode of describing the identity of Selves and Others. Bhabha says: It becomes crucial to distinguish between the semblance and similitude of the symbols across diverse cultural experiences such as literature, art, music, Ritual, life, death and the social specificity of each of these productions of meaning as they circulate as signs within specific contextual locations and social systems of value. The transnational dimension of cultural transformation migration, diaspora, displacement, relocation makes the process of cultural translation a complex form of signification.
The naturalized, unifying discourse of nation, peoples, or authentic folk tradition, those embedded myths of cultures particularity, cannot be readily referenced. The great, though unsettling, advantage of this position is that it makes you increasingly aware of the construction of culture and the invention of...