“A conceptually power-packed volume that is at once erudite and accessible, expansive and focused, true to sociological traditions yet stimulatingly exploratory. Scholars and students will be served very well by this absorbing, far-reaching enquiry into ethnicity and race.” - Raymond Taras, Tulane University “[W]hat Meer offers with this distinctive new volume is a brief survey of the academic approach to key subjects in this area. For example, the entry titled ‘Racialisation’ opens with the provenance of the subject in the works of W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon; then Meer traces debates about whether the concept can be projected back upon history... Meer offers in-depth coverage of 28 concepts, including ‘Citizenship,’ ‘Hybridity,’ ‘Intersectionality,’ ‘Post-colonialism,’ ‘Transnationalism,’ and more… Students wanting a guide into the deeper realms of academic theorizing on race and ethnicity will be well served.” - G. A. Lancaster, Choice This book offers an accessible discussion of both foundational and novel concepts in the study of race and ethnicity. Each account will help readers become familiar with how long standing and contemporary arguments within race and ethnicity studies contribute to our understanding of social and political life more broadly. Providing an excellent starting point with which to understand the contemporary relevance of these concepts, Nasar Meer offers an up-to-date and engaging consideration of everyday examples from around the world. This is an indispensable guide for both students and established researchers interested in the study of race and ethnicity.
Chapter 18: Orientalism
Orientalism has come to be associated with the critique of Western scholarship, though it was once a respected mode of area studies, what we would today broadly understand as Middle Eastern studies. The critique was popularised through historical and literary criticism in the work of Edward Said in particular, but has been taken up across the social sciences in a way that is linked to post-colonial scholarship.
In its most benign form, Orientalism may be conceived as a mode of historical areas studies, not unlike Latinism or Hellenism, that is today broadly ‘equated with Middle Eastern studies’ (Samiei, 2010: 1145). The latter immediately departs from how the term ‘Oriental’ is frequently understood to describe East Asian cultures and territories. In contrast, as Samiei (ibid.) describes, ...