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Intersection of Psychology and the Media - Essay Example

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This essay explores how images in the visual media consistently misrepresent non-western cultures and illustrates the theories of Edward Said, who first explored the idea of Orientalism as a means of building upon Michel Foucault’s concepts of the creation of meaning…
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Intersection of Psychology and the Media
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Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates that Orientalism, as it was known by Napoleon, was based on just such knowledge – that is known about the Orient projected upon it by the Western world. This idea of the Orient, as it was expressed among the Western scholars – overrode the true Orient. Observers entering the true Orient were already convinced of what they knew regarding an unchanging and already defined system, locking everything labeled Orient into a passive, unresisting object for study. Comparable linguistics was the basis for many of these assumptions. This had and continues to have, a negative effect upon the Western world’s perception, understanding, and appreciation of a multitude of cultures that were erroneously grouped into a single identity. The introduction to Edward Said’s book Orientalism is essentially an argument in three parts illustrating the various means he plans to use in order to support the key arguments he makes in the remainder of the book; namely, to first show how the Orient has become something that is not a “free subject of thought or action” through the more imaginary concept of Orientalism and second to demonstrate how the “European culture gained in strength and identity by setting itself off against the Orient as a sort of surrogate and even underground self”. Opening with an argument regarding the use of the term Orientalism, Said makes three observations. The first one centers on the idea that the term ‘Orient’ refers not to the truth of the region, but rather to an idea that has been developed in the minds of Europeans that tends to group all individuals of the Middle East and East as belonging to a single cultural and religious sector.  Although not based on actual truth, this concept is naturally present in the European culture in the form of academic and other social institutions, the established vocabulary, the imagery utilized and the colonial styles. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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