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Postcoloniality And Subaltern Studies Are Studies Done Regarding A Specific Culture Influenced By Colonialism But The Perspective In Which They Are Done Is Different.

952 words - 4 pages

Postcoloniality and Subaltern StudiesPostcoloniality and subaltern studies are studies done regarding a specific culture influenced by colonialism but the perspective in which they are done is different. Postcoloniality study by definition is a specifically post-modern intellectual dissertation that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural effects of colonialism. Subaltern studies on the other hand is the analysis of the dimensions of colonialism and how it affected cultures but from the point of view of that inferior country inflicted by colonialism, for example South Asia in regards to Britain's colonialism. Subaltern studies are primarily focused on the masses as opposed to only one specific class of society. These definitions vary from the prospect of three theorists; Dipesh Chakrabarty, Homi Bhaba, and Ranajit Guha.Dipesh Chakrabarty in his article "Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History: Who Speaks for 'Indian' Pasts?" Mentions that this new awareness of subaltern studies can be proclaimed as the representation of Indians in history. He feels that history itself of subaltern regions is overshadowed by the one acclaimed history of domineering Europe. By subaltern, we mean less developed, inferior, unrepresented regions. He says "Europe" remains the sovereign, theoretical subjects of all histories, including the ones we call India" (pg 1). This is to say that the subaltern studies are studies that target regions like India and the problem is that these subaltern regions always feel obligated to link their histories with that of Europe and this stems from the euro-centrism. He terms euro-centrism to be "cultural arrogance". However, euro-centrism is not the single problem from which subalternity has derived. He mentions a paradox with European history and philosophies, that even though the westerners are ignorant of these subaltern regions, they still find their philosophies and history beneficial in understanding their own societies. To Chakrabarty the crucial function of subaltern studies is to recognize the struggles, ideas, tragedies, ironies, and such of the social groups empowered by a sovereign state. To represent the masses and not just one class of the elite is essential to subaltern studies. Chakrabarty explicitly says this as he says "that the rhetoric and the claims of the (bourgeoisie) equality , of citizens' rights, of self determination through a sovereign nation state have in many circumstances empowered marginal social groups in their struggles is indispensable to the project of subaltern studies" (pg 21).Ranajit Guha in his article "The Prose of Counter-Insurgency" explores the three types of discourse; primary, secondary and tertiary" and how they effects on post-colonialism due to their "appearance in time and their affiliations. He explains that primary discourse is immediacy. Giving an example of a primary source in which a representative writes to a high official, shows an immediate official response...

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