Topics: Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Edward Said Pages: 3 (621 words) Published: August 4, 2014
Postcolonial is that which questions, overturns, and / or critically refracts colonial authority-its epistemologies and forms of violence, its claims to superiority. Postcolonialism therefore refers to those theories, texts, political strategies, and modes of activism that engage in such questioning, that aim to challenge structural inequalities and bring about social justice. It is helpful to view postcolonialism in a comparative frame alongside feminism. Both these approaches arrived at points of critical self-awareness in definitive periods of civil rights protests. This conjunction may be partly explained by the fact that both approaches champion resistance to entrenched singular forms of authority (patriarchy, empire) ‘from below’ or from positions of so called weakness. Both too seek the politicisation of areas conventionally considered as non political: the domestic space, education, sport, the street, who may walk where, who may sit where, and how. Some of the central critical concepts of postcolonialism developed out of nationalist struggles for independence in the early half of the twentieth century. The political and cultural reforms proposed by anti-colonial movements in such countries as India, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Kenya and in the Caribbean, formed the fountainhead of what we now call postcolonialism. At first, these movements advocated a politics of assimilation of ‘natives’ or the colonized into colonial society for them to obtain self representation. They began with limited demands for piecemeal constitutional reforms but it became rapidly clear that the colonial authorities were not ready to dismantle the social, economic and political hierarchies on which their control rested. After the end of World War II, anti colonial nationalist movements took a more confrontational, no-compromise attitude. The demand was for complete independence. This demand extended not only to the liberation of political structures but also to the obliteration of the...
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