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Postcolonialism & Cultural Imperalism

Richard Gent | Wednesday April 25, 2012

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, OCR A Level, OCR A2, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Film Studies, WJEC A2 Media Studies, Key Concepts, Ideology, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, Theory, Postcolonial Theory, Theory Downloads

We had an enquiry recently about Postmodernism which led to some productive responses. Ellen Grundy’s approach involved:

(L)ooking at representation and postcolonialism (as follows):

A research task on Gurinder Chadha and her films. How do her life and the themes of her films suggest a post colonial identity? For example Bend it like Beckham as a coming together of different ethnicities / cultures.

The classic clip of going for an ‘English’ in Goodness Gracious Me that turns representation on its head. Useful for debating how different races are treated in a postcolonial / multicultural Britain (see embedded clip below).

The BBC Asian Network radio as links to other cultures for ethnic minorities living in Britain today (also links to theory of Diaspora identities).

Source: Burton, Julia. ed. AQA Media Studies A2: Student’s Book. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes, 2009. 61-62. Print.

Caroline Bagshaw sent in a PPT she developed to help students understand Postcolonialism. It’s an excellent intro to both postcolonialism and cultural imperialism. Caroline comments:

Export the text and you export the ideologies…

Rob Miller identified a decent scholarly article on Postcolonialism you can download as a PDF. He comments:

I teach it only at A2 with Cultural Imperialism (the cultural dominance of western economies on developing nations e.g. Hollywood film and globalisation).

It’s great to hear about ways in to challenging concepts and the clipped style of swift emailed responses from astute colleagues is suggestive of the level of engagement and complexity required to weave a narrative that we can learn from.

It made me think of older texts such as Blade Runner and more contemporary spaces like Second Life as sources for cultural hybridity, evidence of displacement and the idea of ‘home’. Homi Bhabha’s Location of Culture is challenging and insightful, as are Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style and Barthes’ Mythologies as a way...


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