Relationship between Postmodernism and Post colonialism

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  • Topic: Fredric Jameson, Postmodernity, Postcolonialism
  • Pages : 4 (1048 words )
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  • Published : August 8, 2006
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Postmodernism has been described as a new version of Western cultural imperialism. Discuss the relationship between postmodernism and 'postcolonialism'.

Postmodern theory been applauded as liberating, even democratising, in its rejection of absolutism and in its refusal to accept the dictates of hierarchy and certainty. It calls for the abandonment of the modernist qualities of objective truth, centralized knowledge, totalising explanations and determinacy . Rather, postmodern theory advocates for the relatively of truth, indeterminacy and pluralism. Yet, these often celebrated traits of postmodern theory have deep and profound consequences for non-westerns in postcolonial societies. While on the surface it might seem that postcolonial discourse would immediately align itself with postmodernism, as postmodernism highlights the value of defying established authority and the metanarratives of legitimation that had acted as philosophical supports for colonial control, this is not always the case. Postcolonial theorists often accuse postmodernism of dispensing with several vital ideas, particularly historical reference, in its proposition that all is now "hyperreal" or "simulacra". This representation of history in postmodernism further marginalizes the non-Western in postcolonial nations and their aspirations of reclaiming a past and identity that has been taken from them. As the Marxist writer Fredric Jameson points out that while postmodernism might be the "cultural dominant" of our age, its preoccupation with fragmentation, hyperreality serve to disrupt the power to meaningfully engage with issues of class struggle, gender and race struggles. Similarly, its emphasis on destroying all variety of privileges, postmodernism intentionally seeks an equal representation for race, culture and ethnicity. With each nation's culture and identity becoming increasingly merged and integrated with one another, postmodernism essentially destroys differences within society,...
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