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Orientalism
Orientalism

The accumulative body of (‘Western’) knowledge, institutions and political/economic policies which simultaneously assume and construct ‘the Orient’ as different, separate and ‘Other’. In some of the ‘stronger’ texts this develops to the point that the Orient is assumed to be the antithesis of the Occident, or ‘the West’, wherein They are represented as the negation of Us. Thus,

The perceived Arab tendency towards verbosity and antagonistic dispute is the opposite of the self-ascribed European norms of negotiation, consensus and rational dialogue. The more and more frequently emphasized Islamic inclination towards fundamentalism is supposed in contrast with Christian tolerance and democratic pluralism. (Blommaert and Verschueren, 1998: 19)

In the most widely referenced critique (also see Sardar, 1999; Tibawi, 1964), Edward Said (1978) examines Orientalism via Foucault's notion of ...

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