Essay on Colonialism On Race And Ethnicity

Essay on Colonialism On Race And Ethnicity

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Over the centuries, countries have sought to expand their spheres of influence, whether politically, economically, or socially. With the advent of technological advances such as the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, colonial endeavors intensified as the world became increasingly interconnected. Countries were no longer confined to their neighboring territories as steam power reduced the distances to far-flung countries and increased their manufacturing output. In this essay, colonisation would refer to the process of subjugation by European powers in other parts of the world, notably in Africa and Asia, occurring mainly between the 18th and 20th century. Although direct colonialism largely ended in the wake of nationalist uprisings post-World War Two, the legacy of colonialism lingers to this day for both colonizers and the colonized.
In this essay, I will refer to several authors who attempt to move away from viewing colonialization through political and economic frameworks, mainly Ashis Nandy, Mahmood Mamdani, and Frantz Fanon. I will delineate the ramifications of colonialism on identity, discuss the legal quandaries of colonialism on race and ethnicity, and finally debate the various means for colonies to dismantle these shackles of their colonial legacy.
In his seminal work Orientalism, Edward Said posits that “European culture gained in strength and identity by setting itself off against the Orient as a sort of surrogate and even underground self” (Said 3). Said argues that this Otherisation occurred on the basis of “a relationship of [European] power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony” (Said 5) and that Orientalist discourse has built its foundation from “nothing more than a structure of lie...


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... full implications of his message of retributive violence – as Fanon’s work has often been blamed for emotionally instigating acts of terrorism by non-state actors – can we actually extend Fanon’s advocating of violence beyond the Algerian fight for independence?
In conclusion, we see that the although colonialization began from the European pursuit of domination politically, economically, and socially, the legacy of colonialism has had negative psychological effects for the involved parties. This has mostly played out in terms of how colonizers enforced imbalanced power relations that changed the way they saw themselves and ‘other’ cultures. While most political theorists acknowledge the complexities in untangling the legacies of colonialism in institutions and in thought, Fanon appears to justify the use of violence in the struggles of post-colonial liberation.

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