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Postcolonialism: A very short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Juni 2003

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Synopsis

This innovative and lively book is quite unlike any other introduction to postcolonialism. Robert Young examines the political, social, and cultural after-effects of decolonization by presenting situations, experiences, and testimony rather than going through the theory at an abstract level. He situates the debate in a wide cultural context, discussing its importance as an historical condition, with examples such as the status of aboriginal people, of those dispossessed from their land, Algerian rai music, postcolonial feminism, and global social and ecological movements. Above all, Young argues, postcolonialism offers a political philosophy of activism that contests the current situation of global inequality, and so in a new way continues the anti-colonial struggles of the past.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Robert J. C. Young is Professor of English and Critical Theory at Oxford University and a Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. Recent publications include Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Culture, Theory and Race (Routledge, 1995), and Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (Blackwell, 2001). He is also General Editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (Routledge).



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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Ein erschreckendes Dokument der political correctness. Wir (Briten) haben die Kolonien jahrhundertelang ausgebeutet, aber jetzt sind wir auf der Seite des Wahren, Schönen und Guten. Alles leere Phrasen.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Ich kann sagen, dass die Qualität sehr gut ist und Ich mag den Inhalt. Ich erhielt auch das Buch zum richtigen Zeitpunkt.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f6a8030) von 5 Sternen 18 Rezensionen
39 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9f8638e8) von 5 Sternen New Directions 1. Januar 2004
Von Professor G L Whitlock - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is surprisingly good for such a short read. It opens up some new directions in the field by exploring connections between American and African colonialisms, it has clear and useful ways of characterising what postcolonial studies is about, and it is one of those books that gives you ideas for research projects you want to take on for yourself. Young suggests he wants to begin this by working from examples and contexts rather than theories, and this may be why this book is so refreshing and innovative. This is the best of the various introductions and (longer) short studies of the field. It was recommended to me by an experienced researcher well published in the field and it is a recommendation I endorse and pass on.
26 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9f863534) von 5 Sternen Political, Passionate, Engaging and Effective 5. Juni 2006
Von Amazon customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
In the introduction the author tells us that "Postcolonialism is about turning the world upside down and looking at it from a different perspective, that is, from the perspective of the disenfranchised people, a majority of whom come from the developing world" (2). The author then proceeds to show us the world from "their" eyes. His approach is unconventional; he presents "a montage" in which we see the bombing of Baghdad from an Iraqi's perspective, the plight of the homeless peasants in Brazil, the rape and torture of Algerians by the French in colonial Algeria, the forced unveilings of Muslim women under the American imposed Shah in Iran, the displacement of 200,000 Adivasi villagers because of the World Bank sponsored construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the CIA's overthrow of Patrice Lumumba, the president of the newly liberated Congo, and mass starvation in countries with surpluses of food. These slices of the lives and struggles of the disenfranchised peoples make the reader feel their pain and suffering. We experience the injustices of the world and view the imposition of Western culture and values as a form of violence and oppression; we come to understand the Third World's ambivalent, if not hostile, feelings toward the West.

This may seem radical since the Western world prefers to ignore the harsh realties that exist in developing nations and within its own societies. The prosperous are taught that current systems (political and economic) promise equality, justice and prosperity for all and that our interventions overseas have been of a benevolent nature. Thus, by showing another perspective, a perspective in which all these ideas are turned upside down, may strike the uninitiated as subversive. But, that's precisely the point. Postcolonialism specifically seeks to subvert the West's understanding of itself (as good), of different cultures (as inferior) and of its relation to these cultures (as kind and beneficial). It argues that all understandings of historical relations, as well as all forms of knowledge, are inherently political as they authorize one group's view of reality over another's.

A previous reviewer claims that this work reads like a pamphlet. I think this is because it has an emotional impact on the reader, which can be particularly disconcerting for someone who has never seen the world from this perspective and is resistant to giving it any validity. But, this glimpse of the world through the eye's of the Westerner's Other is also what makes this introduction so unique and effective. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in becoming acquainted with this subject on an intellectual and emotional level. However, if you're looking for a critique of Postcolonialism, this is not the book for you.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9f848408) von 5 Sternen A perspective different from what Americans are used to 21. August 2009
Von Eric Balkan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Unlike other books I've read in the Oxford series, this one makes no pretense to being an academic study. In fact, it's one of the most one-sided books I've ever read all the way through. But it gets 5 stars from me because it's an articulate exposition of postcolonial thinking. It presents information and opinions that we just don't get in the mass media in the U.S. For instance, a recent US president made much of Saddam Hussein's use of poison gas against the Kurds in the 80s, but Prof Young notes that Winston Churchill, as British Colonial Secretary, used poison gas against the Kurds in the 1920s. If you want to understand why the legacy of colonialism generates such high feelings overseas, this book can help you get the picture.

A valid criticism of the book is that it's a mishmosh of topics. The downside to this is that you're not going to get a grand theory into which everything falls. The upside is that you get a better feel for the diversity of the various situations in the "Third World". Some topics, like Algerian rai music, seem to get a surprising number of pages devoted to them, but it's often beneficial to dig deeper into selected topics along with a more cursory overview of the rest.

There are an awful lot of references to Frantz Fanon. And Che Guevara is mentioned often also. I can think of some other people, like Ho Chi Minh, who could have just as well been included in a book like this. But, it's a "very short introduction", so understandable that the author talked about his favorite people.

There's a very good section on feminism here. The author particularly notes that feminism isn't just some part of postcolonialism but that the postcolonial movement itself probably would not exist without the grassroots activities of women. While men have often gone along with a prevailing sentiment if it meant jobs in the short run, women have often been more eager to discard the patriarchal attitudes of colonialism and work for real social reform.

Another plus is an extensive list of references that the reader can pursue. (I'm probably going to read one of the Fanon books, which I never would have thought of doing previously.)

Warning: there are some jaw-dropping assertions here that may drive you up the wall. E.g, that America is a land of white Protestants who live in gated communities, whole-heartedly back corporate CEOs, and are responsible for what the French did in Algeria in 1840 because -- they were also white. This is truly a black-and-white view of the world, where white is bad. I suppose it reflects a misunderstanding of Americans and a misunderstanding of the distinction between us and our government that is shared by many around the world -- especially those who haven't spent much time here but know us mostly by what Western business and government has done to them. And is still doing.

So, I understand the point of view of those who hate this book, but I can't think of another book that presents the postcolonial point(s) of view so well.
13 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9f844858) von 5 Sternen A brilliant book--it could change your life 13. April 2006
Von Salgado - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
If you don't want to have any of your views challenged or at least put in question, then don't read this book. You can learn from this book: it tells you about a different world, which is probably not your own. If you just want someone to tell you about the world you already know, then there are many many other books around that do that. This book takes you on a journey of discovery around the earth, showing you what it looks like, how it feels, when the third world comes first, not last. It will be different, it may make you feel uncomfortable, you may feel that it is turning your world upside down, but its an amazing, positive and heartening experience you will never forget.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9f862840) von 5 Sternen This is a great book - but not a great introduction... 24. November 2012
Von Camilín - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Let me reiterate, it's not a bad book. It's great. However, if you are looking for a an actual introduction to the particular topic of Postcolonialism that summarizes for you the key theorists in the field, and makes connections between the leading theories and points of view, this book is not for you. And that's why the book was not for me - and in my opinion does not belong to this series either. Having read four other books in this series (Globalization, Spanish Literature, Modern Latin American Literature and Colonial Latin American Literature), I would say that my expectations were misled for this particular title. I am, in fact, familiar with some of the key theorists in the field of postcolonial studies but I guess I was looking for a summary that would help me put some of the authors I have read (or I am somewhat familiar with) together, and find some others I am unfamiliar about so that I can make my own little map of the field. And this book did not help me much.

However, I think this would be a great resource to undergraduate classes on "postcolonialism" - if the book is framed correctly, and not precisely like an introduction to "postcolonialism" as a theoretical framework, but as a small example of a "postcolonial" point of view enunciated through some case studies that include some historical background and creative ways of posing the subject.

I think one of the connecting threads of this book as a whole is a look at "postcolonial issues" through the lens of transnationalism and globalization - almost all of the chapters try to make the point of a "globalized postcolonial" point of view - though this is not clearly enunciated. It almost seems as if this were the seed of a larger book Prof. Young was trying to write where he's looking at the particularities of different "postcolonial" issues and subjects in different parts of the world and the transnational connections that have been forged between them. However, this is dangerous territory for it pressuposes that the colonial experiences of far-away places, and of different historical times can be represented by the same set of rules through which we study its phenomena. For example, it's probably true that Che Guevara read Fanon and was influenced by his writings, but Che Guevara's point of view is arguably not one of postcolonialism (Latin America was largely decolonized in the 19th century when most of the countries in the region found independence) but one of neocolonialism - Latin America was at the time (and currently) being exploited by European, Canadian and U.S. American corporations for its resources.

Yet the book has what I consider an ingenuous tone and outlook on the questions of postcolonialism which help understand some of the problems, without delving deeply into the theoretical work undertaken by its theorists through the last few decades. Since I was looking for a more theoretically-heavy book, this book was not helpful. I suggest the person who is looking for such a book to try and find a good introduction elsewhere.
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