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(cultural theory)

A field of study concerned with the critical analysis of the ideological impact of Western imperialism and its continuing influence (neocolonialism). ‘Post-’ does not signify that colonial relations have been overturned. The primary methodology is called colonial discourse analysis, which involves the deconstruction of the discourses in which colonial relations are constituted, exploring the representational strategies and subject positions of colonialism. Influenced by Foucault's focus on power, it is an anti-*Eurocentric investigation of the representation of race, ethnicity, and nationhood and the marginalization and othering of the colonized. Its exploration of the process of cultural hybridization reflects an anti-essentialist notion of identity. It is particularly associated with Said, Bhabha, and Spivak, though the fact that the members of this ‘holy trinity’ were based in Western universities and drawing on often abstruse poststructuralism has attracted criticism from those prioritizing the urgent political problems of the formerly colonized. See also cultural identity; ethnic identity; national identity; other.

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