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38 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Seminal but Flawed Work on Colonialism
When it was written, Orientalism administered a much-needed correction to the study of the Arab and Asian worlds. Any historian, social scientist or humanist working in related fields should own a copy.
The strength of Edward Said's Orientalism is its highlighting of the underlying assumptions of dominance and subjection in Orientalist scholarship. Said correctly...
Veröffentlicht am 17. Juni 2000 von Stephen Graham

versus
3 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen not at all good
This book is extremely flawed, not the least because its scholarship is far from convincing. Luckily, Ibn Warraq's recently published book (the main title of which, however, could have been chosen more wisely) "Defending the West. A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism" is an effective rebuttal of Said's theory and critical practice. Both books should therefore be read...
Veröffentlicht am 16. März 2008 von Till Kinzel


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38 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Seminal but Flawed Work on Colonialism, 17. Juni 2000
Von 
Stephen Graham (Seattle, WA United States) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
When it was written, Orientalism administered a much-needed correction to the study of the Arab and Asian worlds. Any historian, social scientist or humanist working in related fields should own a copy.
The strength of Edward Said's Orientalism is its highlighting of the underlying assumptions of dominance and subjection in Orientalist scholarship. Said correctly points out that the British, French and United States have relied on the reduction of the Orient to an academic study backed by a mythical image of its inhabitants and cultures as more primitive, passionate, mystical and illogical. Complementing this has been a presumption of Western superiority that allows diagnosis of social ills and prescription of Western remedies for these ills.
Said also pointed out a secondary weakness in the Orientalist approach to its studies. If Westerners presume the Orient to be more passionate and mystical, they may assume that it provides absolute alternatives to the ills of Western culture and modernism. Thus the span of Western history scrutinized by Said has seen individuals and groups embracing ill-understood religions and cultural precepts. The anti-majoritan/left-leaning subcultures arising during the upheavals of the 1960's are particularly susceptible to this.
This leads naturally to Aijid Ahmad's primary criticism of Said. Orientalism doesn't consider the varied responses of the Orient/Third-World to its theories. In particular, Ahmad correctly points out that Orientalism over-focuses blames on the West and doesn't address the self-inflicted problems of "Oriental" societies. Based on this criticism, the proper approach is to balance the effects of Western Orientalism and the indigenous difficulties. Essentially, Ahmad advocates abandoning the simple depiction of the Orient for a complex and layered reality.
Orientalism's uncriticized weakness lies in its treatment of Europe. Said willingly admits his limited focus on Britain, France and United States may miss some important scholarship found elsewhere. This concentration has some logic to it. His trio of nations has been among the strongest if not dominant powers in the colonial and post-colonial world. A complete survey of European Orientalism could run for several volumes. Yet in this focus, Said misses those European nations who had had longer and more intricate relations with the "Orient".
Said mentions his lack of attention to German scholarship on the Orient. Beyond the loss in additional scholarship, he cannot take account of the direct influence of the German academic tradition on the rest of Europe and particularly the United States. Beyond this immediate effect, Said loses the transmitted experience of the German Reich's participation in the direct struggle against the Ottoman Empire. While he mentions the Medieval and Renaissance hostility to Islam based on direct threat and conflict, he ignores the extension of this conflict into the 18th and 19th centuries. Yet this conflict remained a dominant factor in the existence of the Austrian and Russian Empires. As long as the struggle continued, the Orient in the form of Islam would have a direct influence on the course of European history. The simple illustration of this is the European approach to independence for the Balkan states and occasional support for the Ottomans versus an opponent. While this support was partially based on the perceived weakness of the Ottomans and resultant manipulability, it also concedes the existence of some real and beneficial power.
Said's exclusion of other European states weakens his structure in a different manner. It's useful to consider the British and French perceptions of Austria and Russia. A simple interpretation of Orientalism presumes a unified Europe as opposed to the Orient. Yet this ignores the equally institutionalized denigration of Austria and Russia. We can refer to the image of the mythical Slavic province of Ruritania (cf. Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda), a den of intrigue and iniquity. Add to this Said's notes on the relative knowledge of the Near Orient versus the Far Orient. This suggests more of a subtle gradation in the construction of the Other than is represented by Orientalism's sharp division between Occident and Orient.
Other historical patterns also stress the need for the representation of a more complex Occident. For instance Said argues that European exploration and extension of trade routes to India and the Far East shows hostility to Islam. A simpler explanation may be mercantile concerns for lowering expenses and increasing profits. Direct trade was more profitable than relying on Arab middlemen. The Arab reaction to Portuguese penetration of the Indian Ocean reflected a concern with being excluded from the profits of trade with India rather than with the intrusion of a new power in the region. This concern with trade leads to different motivations for learning languages and examining cultures. A variety of motivations for scholarship argue for a more complex Occident. The need for more complexity does not necessarily invalidate Said's central points on the institutionalized domination common to Western European Orientalism. Rather it demands refinement of a useful critique of the study of colonialism.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Superb Polemic, 17. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
At first sight, arcane knowledge of the classical "Orient" and seemingly objective inquiry into cultures other than "ours" may not bear any great impact on politics or other more decisive facets of life. Said demonstrates, however, that knowledge does affect political power in extremely significant ways. He thoroughly documents how apparently "objective" scholars from Europe and later America formulated and taught academic dogmas about the "inferior East." These academic doctrines, in turn, acquired an aura of authority on the basis of their seemingly immense knowledge, and thus acquired the power to (mis)represent "the Orient" to the Occidental audience. Through various reductionist stereotypes, such Orientalist dogmas climbed their way into state-sponsored academic chairs and experts who, up to his very day, have the power to guide and direct national policies. Said's Orientalism is a forceful and cogent political argument against binary oppositions and harmful divisions which unfortunately still pervade much of "our" scholarship and politics.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A brilliant analysis of Western mind and view of the East, 31. Dezember 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
It is not often that a brilliantly, exhaustively researched book on an alternatingly controversial and trivial subject can engender an emotional response of the magnitude with which this work does. In documenting the psychological architecture of the western mind and its perspective on the East- or the "Orient", he deconstructs it. The idea that it exists deconstructs it by nature; before reading this book you will swear that most of what we know of the Arabian East is the absolute truth, and isn't much of anything complimentary, let alone influential.
I rate this book, for its effect on our psyche as Americans alone (regardless of race or assumed political leanings), as one of the most important written in this now closing century. The world looks the way it does not because of natural law,like the reasons why the Sahara has become a desert- or at least not by the natural laws we have imagined. Edward Said shows this in remarkable fashion.
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13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Eurocentrism Reconsidered, 29. April 2003
Von 
Jan van der Crabben (Munich, Germany) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Pro: Good analysis of the Eurocentric view of the Orient.
Con: Could have been much shorter to get the point across...
Edward Said is a Palestinian-American professor of literature at Columbia University in NYC. Having grown up in two seemingly opposing worlds, he has investigated this 'opposition' and come up with very interesting results. As this will probably be an academic read, I will shortly summarize what you will find: His thesis is that European (and later American) culture has mystified the Orient, made it seemingly inaccessible and foreign. This was done not only by rulers and propaganda, but much more subtly by authors, artists, journalists and -lately- the media. It is not necessarily an intentional act, but rather one that has to do with identity: the Orient was necessary for Europe to create its own identity. Said then argues that the academic field of study 'Orientalism' was the avantgarde of creating the myth of the Orient, and thus creating European identity. Said is not really arguing for or against the status quo, but rather analyzing it and questioning it.
'Orientalism' will make you think, but can also bore you if you really intend to read every paragraph. As an academic read in media studies or cultural studies it is essential, but not all of it is relevant for every subject. The book just covers 'too much'...
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A classic text, should be studied by all serious scholars, 20. Mai 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
This is an academic work, not for everyone's interests ortastes. But still it is a revolutionary look at how Westernscholarship "invented" the Orient from its own political and psychological needs to create a dehumanized "Other". Few books explain so well the intellectual origins of popular and academic stereotypes of the Middle East. Few books explain so well the failure of Western academics to accurately study other cultures in a useful way conducive to mutual understanding.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An account of how 'the West' perceives 'others', 11. September 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
Although some may find this book distasteful to their appetites because it might infringe upon their personal perceptions of themselves or their society, debasing the book to a work that they perceive as an attack upon their 'race', "Orientalism" actually attempts to address an issue concerning Western academic perceptions regarding non-Western people: Mainly that these perceptions are tainted. The very fact that some individuals perceive that the book is a personal attack upon a certain race validates the book itself. Said attempts therein to explain how certain perceptions about certain people persist in academia, permeating and sustaining prejudices within the non-academic world as well, because the Orientalist school appeals to the base of human emotions of jingoism and self-justification of 'superiority'. Debasing this explanantion by perceiving it as an attack upon any other 'race' reeks of the attitude that Said is trying to explain. No 'race' is at blaim, only the causal relationship between the perceptions that empire created and the people they attempted to govern. Interpretations that attempt to label Said's work as an attack upon a certain 'race' only show the true colors of those that make such arguments
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Deconstruction with a purpose, 3. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
Said's primary task consisted in locating a discourse on orientalism which is no mean feat. Having arrived at that underlying ideology, he proceeded to deconstruct, an even harder task especially for the marginalised Orient. The book screams Foucault adopting the same modal in demonstrating the relations of power that institutionalise knowledge and reproduce truths with the deliberate aim of controlling the "other". This work, moreover, is a poignant reminder that deconstruction is not an intellectual luxury, provided it does not divorce its aim from political effectiveness. Said revealed himself as the mouthpiece of the Orient at a time when globalisation threatens to sweep everything in its way. I am a keen believer in the need to reconcile humanism and postmodernism, a paradox, that Said deflty overcomes.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Orientalism is an inaugural book for postcolonial studies, 18. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
Although from the perspective of postcolonial and cultural studies in the late nineties Said's Orientalism may seem basic or unselfconscious, one must remember the importance of this book to a wide range of fields. Through his identification of the construction of the racist and imperialist discourses of academic Orientalism, Said forces those interested in literary and cultural studies to reflect upon their own status as intellectuals and their own complicity with Orientalism and, by extension, other exploitative modes of power. Said's book at least partially inaugurates contemporary debates about the literary canon, as well as really paving the road for a variety of approaches to postcolonial studies, including, most importantly, the work of Homi Bhabha.
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4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An exhaustive review of European literature about the East, 17. Dezember 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
Whatever one may chose to believe about Said's methodology, one cannot question his vast erudition concerning Western literature about the Middle East. Said presents a rigorous and thoroughgoing exegesis of Western texts about the "Orient" and covers virtually the entire gamut in European letters, from Nietzsche to Karl Marx, from British colonialsim to American social science. His penetrating criticism of this material constitutes a significant contribution to the canon of literature.
One may argue against the merit of Said's more radical interpretation of these texts, namely, that the concept of the "Orient" is a sweeping generalization that lacks "ontological stability," and must be understood as a discourse of power in Western literature. This is a fascinating and intellectually pregnant thesis, although many may find it recondite and polemical.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Deconstruction with a purpose, 3. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Orientalism (Taschenbuch)
Said's primary task consisted in locating a discourse on orientalism which is no mean feat. Having arrived at that underlying ideology, he proceeded to deconstruct, an even harder task especially for the marginalised Orient. The book screams Foucault adopting the same modal in demonstrating the relations of power that institutionalise knowledge and reproduce truths with the deliberate aim of controlling the "other". This work, moreover, is a poignant reminder that deconstruction is not an intellectual luxury, provided it does not divorce its aim from political effectiveness. Said revealed himself as the mouthpiece of the Orient at a time when globalisation threatens to sweep everything in its way. I am a keen believer in the need to reconcile humanism and postmodernism, a paradox, that Said deflty overcomes.
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Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (Modern Classics (Penguin)) von Edward W. Said (Taschenbuch - 28. August 2003)
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