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The Making of a Region: Southeast Asia - Research Paper Example

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Southeast Asia is an Asian subregion that is composed of countries that lie south of China, north of Australia, east of India and west of the Pacific Ocean. Politically, it is defined by a countries membership to ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The ASEAN…
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The Making of a Region: Southeast Asia
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Download file to see previous pages Then again, that image is perpetuated by Westerners. That is called Orientalism by the late intellectual, Edward Said.
According to Said, Orientalism had its roots from the Age of Conquests in Europe, wherein they used their power to define the “orient” other than the “occident”. They packaged the “orientals” and other races that they conquered (i.e. the Native Americans and Africans) into something lesser to justify their acts of injustice like slavery. Orientalism means to control other people through the use of misinformation and obfuscation.
These images of them being lesser humans do not really reflect up to this time. However, certain “tags” still exist when something non-Western shows up. For example, when someone says Brazil, Bossa Nova immediately comes to mind. This is a stereotype. Not all Brazilians like Bossa Nova, and most do not even like it. Or when one says China and Kung Fu comes to mind. Not everyone in China knows how to Kung Fu, but the thought still prevails.
Because of the advent of technology and new media, many stereotypes have been quashed. This makes people more humble because it tells people of what they do not know about a certain culture; many people have embraced diversity: may it be cultural or racial, to be one of the most exciting facets of the global civilization that we’re having today. This also proves that there are so many things to explore and to do with regards to intercultural stereotyping and prejudice. Orientalism, therefore, is a grand step towards understanding and appreciating each culture’s unique traits and respecting it; not make it as an excuse to enslave or mock someone/ a race.
If we have to apply the concept of Orientalism to Southeast Asia, what comes to mind? That is the subject the subject of this paper and more. This paper aims to analyze and to make out the perception of the Westerners with regards to the Southeast Asian region.
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