COLONIALISM IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE Name: Tutor: Course: Institution: Date: Colonialism is the practice in which one group of people is forcefully dominated by another. The practice involves both economic and political control over a dependent territory. This practice emerged centuries ago within Europe when perceived strong territories exercised control over dependent territories…
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In the modern world, both colonialism and imperialism are practiced indirectly in various nations across the world. Nations with political and economic superiority across the world, such as the US and other European nations, exercise direct and indirect global control. The dominant powerful nations are using grounds, such as art, film, literature, and fashion to ensure a constant global expansion of their dominance. Often, imperialism is justified as a means of bringing people the blessings of a superior and modern way of life or of liberating them from tyrannical rule. The act results from a variety of causes including economic pressures, greed, human aggressiveness, search for security, prestige, search for power, humanitarianism, national emotions and many other factors. These motivating factors make it difficult to eradicate imperialism. However, they are also very beneficial especially for nations susceptible to victimization because they make it easy for them to suspect policies that might turn out to be imperialistic (Sartre, 2001). For example, some states in the Third World have accused former colonial masters and other powerful nations of neocolonialism. The post-colonial theory clearly explains the modern spread of colonial ideas in various forms. Post-colonial theory involves the study of interactions between colonialist nations and the societies that they colonized (Gandhi, 1988). The theory examines the effects of the domination and colonization of non-European people, land, and cultures. The key concepts in this theory include history of colonialism and representation, and identity of modern cultures and other practices (Gandhi, 1988). Majority of studies have shown that Western traditions and cultural practices especially regarding thought, music, fashion, and literature dominate the global culture. Non-Western traditions, cultural practices, and other forms of expression are widely excluded and marginalized in modern practices. This field of post-colonial studies was greatly influenced by a Palestinian literary critic named Said. Through his popular piece of work known as Orientalism, Said sought to depict how Middle Eastern and African Arab people and their cultures were represented as the exact opposite of occidental and Western cultures (Said, 2003). Orientalism is a reflection of the Western style in restructuring, dominating, and acquiring total control over the East (Celik, 1996). In his literary piece, Said argued that the modern orient representations impose colonial dominations by implying that oriental cultural practices are inferior in relation to Western cultures. The Western culture is brought out as a culture with a rich history, with morally superior and virtuous practices. On the other hand, the oriental culture or third world practices have its history imposed on it by powerful facets with possessive and submissive practices. In addition, the oriental culture is brought out as strange, lazy, and weak and one that promotes immoral and unequal practices (Said, 2003). According to Said’s argument, the Western superior nations are making every effort possible to make the colonized people admit that their culture is inferior, unrealistic and imperfect in character (Said, 2003). The colonizers promote their history, language,
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